History Of The Therastim




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PhysioDynamics, Inc. (“PDI”), the predecessor to ARP Manufacturing, LLC, was incorporated in Colorado in 1987 for purposes of manufacturing the Therastim®, a transcultaneous electronic muscle stimulator generating a unique electrical wave form for tissue penetration. Gary Thomas invented and developed the device and received patent approval for his electrotherapeutic apparatus on May 5, 1992, (United States Patent No. 5,109,848).

The United States Food and Drug Association (“FDA”) classified the Therastim® machine as a powered muscle stimulator Class II medical device under 21 CFR 890.5850. All manufacturers and importers of such devices are required to register their establishment with the FDA and file for and obtain FDA authorization of a 510K application prior to commercial distribution of the powered muscle stimulator device.

In 1989, PDI received premarket approval from the FDA for its 510K application related to the Therastim® device pictured above.

The standard indications approved by the FDA for use of the Therastim® under 21 CFR 890.5850 were: Relaxation of muscle spasms; Prevention or retardation of disuse atrophy; Increasing local blood circulation; Muscle re-education; Immediate post-surgical stimulation of calf muscles to prevent venous thrombosis; and Maintaining or increasing range of motion.

PDI initiated production in 1991 and the first Therastim® machines were placed for sale in commerce later that same year. The Therastim® became an important new treatment modality for soft tissue injury. Its patented wave form allowed a practitioner to place a patient in motion to purposes of treatment, which is unique to this day. The Therastim®, unlike most Electronic Muscle Stimulator (“EMS”) devices, was a DC voltage device, which could achieve deep tissue penetration at a low voltage and thereby reduce the level of discomfort for the patient experienced with AC machines that ran on much higher voltage. Unlike any other machine on the market, the Therastim® enabled the practitioner to locate the electrical discontinuity caused by a soft tissue or other type of injury.

The primary market strategy for the Therastim® in the 1990’s was geared toward medical practitioners who would use the Therastim® as a compliment to their traditional physical therapy methods. That market focus began to slowly change, however, after Gary Thomas was introduced to Denis Thompson (“Thompson”) in 1990, who later founded the Accelerated Recovery Performance System and ARPWave. Thompson began to experiment with benefits of the Therastim® based on techniques employed by the former Soviet Union in training its Olympic athletes. In the early and mid 1990’s Thompson experimented with the Therastim®, developed various protocols for use of the device and traveled to different trade shows demonstrating its use and effectiveness to individuals.

During this time period, Thompson developed and perfected his “Search and Destroy”SM method. This method was premised on finding the cause or source of the particular injury and the electrical discharge that resulted therefrom. Thompson found that by using specific protocols or processes in conjunction with the Therastim®, he could locate the true cause of a particular injury based on a heightened electrical response located in an area within the body, which almost always was in a different location from where the injury itself occurred or where the individual was experiencing pain. Thompson coined the term “Search and Destroy”SM and initiated commercial use of the “Search and Destroy”SM mark as indicating the source of this method.

Thompson determined that the brain was deceiving the patient, as well as conventional medicine in general, by directing pain sensation and resulting treatment to the injured area rather than to an area contributing to the actual cause of the injury. The Therastim® could not be deceived however, because it was designed to locate electrical discharges or spikes within the body and to dissipate them by getting rid of inflammation with use of proper protocols and movement. Based on the Search and DestroySM method, Thompson was able to achieve great success in treating soft tissue injuries; however, he noticed that on a number of patients symptoms would return.

In 1998, with the help of Dr. Steven Moe, Thompson developed the “In Balance”SM system using applied kinesiology, also known as human kinetics. The In BalanceSM system used chiropractic principals and manipulations to bring a patient’s neurological system back into balance for purposes of being able to absorb force. The Search and DestroySM method would then locate and treat the source of the injury. Thompson coined the term “In Balance”SM and initiated commercial use of the “In Balance”SM mark as indicating the source of this applied kinesiology method. However, Thompson discovered that placing a patient in balance and removing the source of the injury still left many patients not strong enough to absorb the level of force necessary to be able to return to regular activities.

In 1998, Thompson met Frank Schroeder (“Schroeder”), who was involved in strength training and worked with elite athletes in Arizona. In 1999, the two of them began creating strengthening protocols for the Therastim® for use on or by individuals either recovering from injuries or desiring to achieve peak levels of athletic performance. One such individual was Adam Archuleta, who with Schroeder’s help achieved extraordinary results in the pre-draft combine and was drafted in the first round of the NFL draft by the St. Louis Rams in 2001.


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2001 was also the year the A.R.P. Trainer was introduced into commerce by Thompson. The ARP® Trainer incorporated many of the trade dress elements from the Therastim® device including the overall device shape and placement and location of controls, but used a different color pattern on the front face plate.

“A.R.P.” stands for “Accelerated Recovery Performance,” Thompson introduced his untraditional three step ARP® System of: (1) In Balance SM, (2) Search and DestroySM recovery and break down of compensation patterns, and (3) Neurological Force Absorption, to trainers sand medical professionals employed by the NFL. NFL athletes began to accept and use the ARP® System Muscle Loosening protocols before and after competition and that gradually led to the use of the full ARP® System by NFL athletes for therapy and strength training.

In 2004, the first ARP® Clinic was opened in Burnsville, Minnesota, and provided a place where professional athletes and the public at large could be placed in balance neurologically, recover from injury and increase strength and the ability to absorb force. That same year, PDI started to aggressively private label the ARP® Trainer for Thompson and the ARP® lease and license program was developed.

Thompson, under the ARP® brand, began to lease the ARP® Trainer and license the protocols for its use along with consultation and support time to professional athletes in all athletic disciplines as well as the public at large.


In 2006, PDI discontinued its Therastim® production and agreed to work exclusively with Thompson to manufacture only the ARP® Trainer. By this time, the look of the ARP® Trainer also changed slightly in conjunction with the modified trade dress implemented by ARP®, as pictured here.

In 2007, PDI was acquired by a new entity organized by Thompson called ARP Manufacturing, LLC, and began to operate under the ARP Manufacturing brand name. By 2007, Denis Thompson had formed ARPWave, LLC and over 300 professional athletes, numerous practitioners, and hundreds of individuals had leased/licensed the ARP® Trainer and the ARP® System protocols. Over the next several years, new proprietary protocols were developed by ARPWave for loosening, recovery protocols were expanded, custom protocols were added, and athletic performance protocols enhanced. ARPWave began to aggressively solicit relationships with professional sport teams which resulted in over 1000 athletes licensing the ARP Wave® System.


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In 2009, ARPWave opened its corporate headquarters in Apple Valley, Minnesota. By 2010, ARP Manufacturing had developed two new digital machines for ARPWave. The first device is called the ARP Rx 100® and is a prescription medical device much like the ARP® Trainer for which it received FDA approval of its 510K application. The second device is called the ARP POV Sport® and has been approved by the FDA as an over the counter device used to relax and strengthen muscles without the need for a prescription. Both devices are picture here.

In 2010 ARPWave created protocols for its In BalanceSM system that could be implemented with the use of the new machines and which allowed the company to completely move away from the manual manipulation of the patient. Design and utility patents were filed on the new machines and new and upgraded protocols are developed and customized on a daily basis. In addition to the design and development of new protocols in 2010 the company implemented a unique delivery system for administering treatment services using the internet. They would send out an ARP device to a client who expressed a desire for treatment. They would treat the patient over the internet in the convenience of their own home. This was a very successful extension of the ARP Wave services.

In 2011 ARP Wave LLC began to expand the in home treatment program and looked to add clinics throughout the country to expand treatment services. In addition to expanding the treatment services they introduced for regulatory consideration and approval the PRS a hand held unit for loosening and recovery. The PRS prototype was completed and testing began.

In October of 2012 ARP Wave LLC made a decision to change the focus of the company from being a provider of treatment services to establishing in main stream medicine a network of providers. This change was facilitated by the change in the traditional medical landscape and acceptance of insurance carriers for ARP Wave treatment services when done in a medical office.

Banas Sports Therapy is not affiliated with ARP Corp. We use the original Therastim. If you are interested in the newer version of the ARP Wave, we have a Physical Therapist on site that owns one and we can put you in contact with him.


TheraStimSpec PDF