What is an Alpha Stim?
The Alpha-Stim is a microcurrent stimulator. It is an MP3 sized device powered by standard 1.5 volt batteries. There are two versions. One - the AID - that treats depression, anxiety, stress and insomnia. The other, the larger brother, the M, which also treats depression, anxiety, stress and insomnia but also has probes and ashesive pads for treating pain.
How does it work?
Our bodies contain about 75 trillion cells. Each cell is mostly empty space and has an electrical potential across its cell membrane, similar to a battery. The Alpha-Stim sends microcurrents through the brain at a variety of frequencies. Its proprietary waveform normalises the electrical activity of the nervous system producing a calming effect. The microcurrents are at similar levels to those within the brain already. The experience is comfortable, relaxing and safe. The 'M' additionally increases bloodflow to painful areas allowing healing to occur.
What conditions does it treat?
In my practice I use the Alpha-Stim to facilitate the treatment of depression, anxiety, insomnia and pain.
How is it used?
Typically, a patient will rent the equipment, which they can then use on a daily basis at home. Initially it is used for an hour a day and its effect is cumulative. People gradually start feeling calmer, more alert and more able to cope as the Alpha state is reinforced. It is known that when the brain relaxes into the Alpha wave state we are more creative and this is the state when healing and restoration occurs. Some people get an immediate effect; others may find it takes a couple of weeks or so for the effect to become noticeable. Usage times can then be reduced as appropriate to the individual. Pain is treated either by the placement of soft probes around the painful area for ten seconds at a time until the pain is diminished or removed, or by using stick on pads which are left on for longer periods.
It is my experience and the experience of other therapists that the Alpha-Stim is best used in conjunction with psychotherapy/hypnotherapy so that old, unhelpful thinking patterns can be challenged and changed for more useful ones that better support the developing positive state.
What research has been conducted into its effectiveness?
There are currently over a hundred clinical research studies on Cranial Electro Stimulation (CES) in humans (and twenty in animals). The overwhelming majority of the research is very positive. No significant lasting side effects have been reported. Occasionally people might feel dizzy or nauseous if the unit is turned up too high, but this disappears once it is turned down to a comfortable level. Sometimes people report being able to taste the metallic taste of their fillings. Again this disappears immediately the treatment is over. There are many articles and testimonies in the medical press, Google and You Tube. The device is approved by NHS England.