I will start by saying, I’ve never used a Proteus epilator and dont know anyone who has. The proteus EP 2000 and EP2000 Joule appear to be thermolysis only epilator. The directions presented in Michaels book are for the blend method, and relate to the galvanic portion . The book is at my office so unfortunately I cant check what it specifically says. Regardless, to find your working point the idea is to start with low timing and intensity, then epilate a series of hairs progressively increasing current levels and/or timing until you achieve a clean epilation in a single pulse of energy.
For thermolysis , first I will say if you are working in thermolysis only as a learning electrologist, this is a REALLY bad idea. Most electrologists start with blended currents or galvanic only until they have mastered insertions. This is because the intensity of thermolysis for blend is relatively low compared to thermolysis on its own. Putting too much energy or inaccurate insertions with thermolysis alone causes the potential of skin damage including , electrocautery "cutting " of the skin, and burns associated with overtreatment. So if you are learning electrolysis, an old proteus machine would not be my favoured starting point. However that said,to find your working point with thermolysis:
First choose a normally clothing covered body area to work on. DO NOT do thermolysis the first time on a face. Start with a minimal timing. Usually this is broken down to tenths of a second. Choose 1/10 initially and move up to 2 tenths later on if necessary ( it shouldnt be).
Indentify a number of anagen hairs in the area you are treating. usually they will have darker pigment and be the hairs that are “growing” . If they are curled or go pigmentless toward the follicle they are telogen, leave them for now.
Start with the absolute lowest settings. Be as perfect as possible on insertions. Preferably, use of an insulated probe is best to prevent a HF short. You want the end of the probe in the lower 1/3 of the hair follicle. Start with 1/10 of a second and 1/10 intensity . Insert to the bottom of the follicle and press the peddle being careful to not put outward pressure the needle should be strait into the follicle without twisting the skin.
Gently test the hair with tweezers but discard and move onto another hair if there is any resistance ( there will be, because this setting s too low)
Progressively move on to a new hair and increase the intensity from 1/10 to 2/10 3//10 etc. At the point at which the hair epilates without any traction, smoothly like it’s “lubricated” you have found your working point.
Timing and intensity have a multiplied effect. soif you double the timing, say from 1/10 to 2/10 you need to halve the intensity to provide the same amount of current.
In general, most body hairs will epilate somewhere between 5/10 intensity for 1/10 second to maybe 7/10 intensity. But you slowly increase intensity or timing to find this point . In general i dont recommend increasing timing beyond 1/10 for your first treatments that way you can work with just one factor, intensity.
That, is pretty much how you find your working point . Again however, if you are still learning insertions, please give some galvanic a try before you delve headlong into thermolysis treatments.
Edit: from looking at the other replies it appears from the controls that berkowitz is correct as well. But the automatic timing is in TENTHS of a a second ( from 1-10). In general the more you increase timing the more the body percieves discomfort. Thus the body percieves very little discomfort in the lower 1-2/10’thh range I recommended. But for each 10th of a second timing you are doubling the total energy. So 1/10 of a second at intensity of 6 is the same as 2 10ths of a second at 3, but will be percieved differently. That’s the relationship you have to keep in mind. Since most light body hairs will epilate at 7-8 intensity for 1 10 of a second, increasing to 2 10ths would need an intensity of 4. Dont play with the manual timing yet to go multisecond treatments until you have learned how much energy each hair takes to epilate. . But that seems tobe why you are confused, it isnt a seconds dial its 10’ths of a second…
Accuracy if insertion depth is critical to whether or not the hair will epilate. The energy has to be in the right place. The results you achieve will depend on the accuracy of your insertions and for most DIY’ers, that acuracy is very poor especially when you are starting out. Pluck a hair if you have to to do a depth guide and insert your probe only that amount after comparing under magnification . You need that accurate insertion, and thermolysis energy only affects those tissues surrounding the probe.