Is the Alpha-Stim® a TENS?
TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) is
a broad category. Just like analgesics cover everything from aspirin
to morphine, the TENS category encompasses everything from your
older milliampere TENS devices that use the sheer power or force
of electricity to block pain, to newer, more effective microcurrent
stimulators which use mild currents, much like those naturally
found in the body, and augment the body's bioelectrical control
systems for longer lasting, more effective pain management. Beware
of cheap imitations of microcurrent technologies that do nothing
more than lower the output, leaving out the therapeutic benefits
of specifically designed waveforms. The Alpha-Stim® 100 is classified
as both a TENS for pain and a CES (cranial electrotherapy stimulator)
for anxiety, depression, insomnia and related disorders. It employs
a unique, proprietary waveform, proven effective through a host
of clinical studies and decades of successful treatment.
Alpha-Stim® help me in my sports training?
Many professional sports
teams, as well as many colleges and universities use the Alpha-Stim®
both to enhance and potentiate the benefits derived from their
training program, and to treat pain, sprains, strains, and muscle
imbalances that arise during training, practice or performance.
Professional athletes also use the CES (ear clip) function to
help focus their mind for competition.
best friend puts his Alpha-Stim® on his dog who is very nervous.
Is that okay?
Some veterinarians do
use and prescribe Alpha-Stim® for use on animals, especially horses,
dogs and cats. Have your friend check with his dog's veterinarian.
when I use the Alpha-Stim® I feel a slight stinging sensation that
makes me uncomfortable.
Turn the current down
just below the point that the sensation is bothersome and continue
to treat yourself at that current level.
people tell me that if they turn their Alpha-Stim® all the way
up when they are using the ear clips, they feel like they've just
had a double martini. Is that harmful?
We do not suggest you
keep the current so high that it causes unpleasant feelings.
have had depression for 20 years. Will I have to use the Alpha-Stim®
every day for the rest of my life?
No. When your neurotransmitters
are balanced and the depression is gone, you will only need to
use it from time to time when your life's circumstances suggest
that the depression might come back. Some people who have recovered
from anxiety or depression find it best to use the Alpha-Stim®
two or three times a week for 20 minutes to prevent another episode.
Others put it on a shelf in the closet and only use it when they
feel out of sorts.
have a friend who wants to come off of his antidepressant drugs.
Will the Alpha-Stim®® help with that?
The Alpha-Stim® will
be a big help with that, but he should only come off his medication
under medical supervision. Some physicians who are withdrawing
hospitalized patients from such medications will withdraw them
very quickly, some even "cold turkey," while using the
Alpha-Stim® an hour or more each day. That would be dangerous for
most persons who were not under constant clinical supervision.
Physicians usually encourage outpatients to come off their medication
a little at a time, reducing it by small amounts every four or
five days, and using the Alpha-Stim® daily during that process.
Withdrawal can take weeks or months, done this way, but it is
I get the best results if I use my Alpha-Stim®
for one hour, three times a day, and at night when I go to bed.
Am I using it too much?
If that is how you get
your best results, you have found the key to how you should use
the Alpha-Stim® for your condition. Keep in mind that the procedure
will likely change over time as you continue to improve, and you
may find yourself using it for only 10 or 20 minutes a couple
of times a week in order to stay at your peak level of functioning.
I use my Alpha-Stim® more than 20 minutes twice a week, my pain
(or anxiety or depression or insomnia) will not stay gone.
Good. You have found
the best way to use the Alpha-Stim® for you. Many people have found
that some hiatus between treatments gets better results. That
is why we recommend using it every other day on a maintenance
I use the ear clips, I sometimes get light headed or even dizzy.
I don't like that feeling. Is it necessary to feel that in order
to get benefit from the treatment?
You do not have to feel
unpleasant feelings in order to get the benefits of Alpha-Stim®
CES treatment. When you first put apply it, be certain you have
the current level set to "0", then gradually turn it
up until you just begin to feel slightly light headed or dizzy.
At that point, turn the current back down until the dizzy feeling
goes away, and continue to treat yourself at that level. If you
feel dizzy again, turn it down again, but never less than "1".
With the Alpha-Stim® microcurrent technology, more is not necessarily
better. However, the lower the current the longer it will take.
Generally, if the current is set at less than "2", it
will take more than 20 minutes. Some people will need an hour
or more, especially for the first few treatments.
I have heard about and seen people get an immediate effect from
treatment, I always feel better the next day after I use the Alpha-Stim®,
and I need to use it for several hours at a time. I am not complaining,
because it does work well for my anxiety, but why don't I get
an immediate effect?
While it is true that
most people get an immediate effect, in some rare cases people
have a delayed effect like yours. In most of the cases where people
get a delayed effect, they also have trouble with prescription
drugs. In all these cases we have found one thing in common. The
person who has a delayed effect from Alpha-Stim® treatment also
has a delayed effect from anesthetics. Usually, when you receive
anesthetic injections from your dentist, you are sufficiently
numb for the dentist to drill your tooth in a few minutes. For
some people, this can take one-half hour or more. Usually the
dentist will make a big deal about it because it is so rare. If
you have a delayed response to anesthetics, you'll probably also
have a delayed response to Alpha-Stim®. You will also need to use
says in the instruction manual not to use the Alpha-Stim® within
three hours of going to bed. My friend uses hers when she goes
to bed at night. She says it helps her sleep better, and she puts
it on again if she wakes up too early in the morning and it helps
her get back to sleep.
The Alpha-Stim® relaxes
your body and focuses your mind. If you are going to bed thinking
about a problem, the mental focus may actually keep you awake.
That is why we do not recommend using it just before going to
bed. However, some people can fall asleep with it on. It is like
caffeine, some people can drink coffee, tea, or soft drinks just
before going to bed, while others are doomed to staying awake
all night if they have a sip of caffeine after 12:00 noon. If
the Alpha-Stim® does not keep you awake, it is okay to use it before
going to bed.
I need to order ear clips even if the pain is in my legs?
The ear clips are used
for CES (cranial electrotherapy stimulation), the registered indications
for which are anxiety, depression and insomnia. However, anxiety,
depression and insomnia are typically evident, especially in chronic
pain syndromes. Where the cause of pain may originally be in an
extremity like your arm or leg, the pain is perceived in the brain.
Pain is a complex central nervous system event and treating the
site alone is only addressing half the problem, and missing the
most important half. You may want to read abstracts of research
on this that have been done utilizing CES applications in the
treatment of chronic pain syndromes like severe spinal pain and
I use the ear clips before or after I treat my pain?
We recommend utilizing
the CES application with the ear clip electrodes after treating
with the probes or AS-Trode™ self-adhesive electrodes with
our pain protocols. The CES application is found to be so effective
that it may reduce or eliminate the pain prior to completion of
the pain protocol. This makes it difficult to ascertain whether
you are treating the correct area (this can be useful in determining
more exact physiology of the problem underlying the pain).
treatment for my back pain, I sometimes feel stiff. What can I
do about that?
You do not need to do
anything. The stiffness will reside, and we're certain you prefer
it to pain. Stiff is a magical word meaning "stop" Alpha-Stim®
treatment for that day. The stiffness will wear off soon.
have heard that it is a good idea to treat my surgical scars.
How do I do that?
Scar treatment is sometimes
necessary in order for you to get a good effect from Alpha-Stim®
treatment. Scars function as randomly-placed resisters in your
bio-circuitry. The Chinese knew this thousands of years ago and
incorporated it into acupuncture as the Mother-Son Law. German
physicians discovered it 50 years ago and call it Neural Therapy.
Neural Therapy is now taught in the United States. To use the
Alpha-Stim® to treat your scars, place the AS-Trode™ electrodes
on each end of the scar and treat at about 300 microamperes at
0.5 Hz for at least ten minutes per scar, at least four days in
a row. You may feel a surge of energy after you treat your scars.
This may also increase your pain, as breaking up bio-resistors
will wake up your whole body, including your pain. Treating your
pain with the standard Alpha-Stim® 100 pain treatment protocols
will alleviate your pain after scar treatment.
I take nutrition supplements and vitamins when I use the Alpha-Stim®?
The Alpha-Stim®, when
used on your body for pain cessation or control, does this in
large part by initiating the repair process in the injured tissues.
It does this by, among other things, increasing the amino acid
transport and protein synthesis in the area. It can not do this
if the necessary amino acids are not present in the blood stream
when you use your Alpha-Stim®. Similarly, when Alpha-Stim® CES is
used, it will effect a balancing of your neurotransmitters by
stimulating the brain to make more of those you do not have enough
of, until their level has increased to the extent they and the
other neurotransmitters can mutually control each other's production.
The Alpha-Stim® can not help your brain make neurotransmitters
if the building blocks for them are not present in the blood stream.
So it is very important to eat a balanced diet while using the
Alpha-Stim®, and that includes the major amino acids, vitamins,
minerals, and other micronutrients. We think everyone should take
dietary supplements. You should also drink plenty of water as
it is necessary for electrical conductivity in your body.
kind of food should I eat in order to get all the things necessary
for body or neurotransmitter repair?
Your health care practitioner
is your best local source of information regarding what is required
and how best to find it. You can also get helpful information
from your local health food store. In general, you should eat
natural, preferably organic whole foods and plenty of percent
raw fruits and vegetables. To optimize digestion, balance your
intake of proteins, carbohydrates and fats, and avoid white sugar
and white flour. You should also avoid artificial sweeteners,
especially if you suffer from headaches. You can safely use Stevia
or Xylitol for sweetening, available at your local health food
it normal for my ears to turn red after I have used the ear clips?
Any electrical stimulation
can cause skin irritation and it is usually mild and self limiting.
This is more prevalent in fair skinned people or those with sensitive
skin. If a problem persists, consult your medical professional
or try an alternative method of application such as applying the
AS-Trode™ self-adhesive silver electrodes to the mastoid
process (the bony area behind the ears), or even the shoulders.
The stimulation can dilate the vascular system in the area which
will turn the skin red.
long do the electrodes last? Mine aren't sticky any longer. Can
I tape them to my body?
International, Inc. has gone to great lengths to research and
procure the best possible electrodes for use with the Alpha-Stim®.
We are concerned primarily with efficacy and you should be too.
The adhesive gel on the electrodes is the conductive medium insuring
proper contact and distribution of the electrical signal with
the body. There are many variables which cause this gel to lose
its effectiveness including humidity, amount of hair or sweat
on the skin, and cleanliness of the area where applied. When the
gel begins to lose its ability to adhere properly to the skin,
it is time to get new electrodes. Trying to extend the life by
taping them to the body may be inviting limited or negative results.
Always use fresh electrodes applied to a clean, dry skin surface
and only use AS-Trode™ brand silver electrodes designed
for use with the Alpha-Stim®.
I supposed to put the felts on top of the ones already attached
to the new ear clips or new probes?
You must remove old felt electrodes and clean the surface of the
metal contacts before applying new felt electrodes.
causes the metallic taste in my mouth or flashing lights when
using CES or treating on or near the head?
Close proximity to the
nerves governing taste or the optic nerve in case of the flashing
lights can stimulate these nerves causing the metallic taste or
stroboscopic effect. This is not cause for concern and is normal
in many patients. The flashing lights will go away when the stimulation
is discontinued. If the metallic taste persists, rinse your mouth
with water and it will go away.
the Alpha-Stim® be used along with drugs my doctor has prescribed?
Can it help reduce my need for pharmaceuticals?
Although the Alpha-Stim®
is safe and effective for use in the treatment of its registered
indications, caution should be exercised when using CES with certain
types of drugs, such as medication for high blood pressure. As
the CES relaxes you, it brings your blood pressure down. If a
drug then kicks in and lowers it even further, it can become too
low. It is easy to regulate use of the Alpha-Stim® but this is
not so with drugs. Also, if you are trying to get off of drugs
you feel may be damaging to your health, it is important that
you do so under a doctor's supervision. Many drugs cannot just
be dropped but must be reduced gradually. The Alpha-Stim® can help
accomplish this and is a safe, effective method, but drugs are
not, so caution must be exercised and, again, involve your doctor
in the process.
insurance pay for this?
Many plans that cover
durable medical equipment will pay for the Alpha-Stim®. However,
many plan administrators and case managers are unfamiliar with
Alpha-Stim® technology and, since it is broadly classed along with
cheap TENS devices, they assume it is just another TENS. If a
claim is denied, it is important to work with your doctor and
insurance company to educate them on the benefits of this technology.
Alpha-Stim® is supported by more clinical studies than many drugs
and is proven efficacious for its registered indications. Some
insurance carriers have mistakenly classed the Alpha-Stim® as an
investigational device. We can provide them with clearance to
market this technology by regulatory agencies in Europe (CE mark)
the USA (FDA), Canada, and other countries. As this technology
may be new to your insurance carrier, it is important not to take
"no" for an answer. Your doctor knows the validity of
this technology or would not have prescribed its use in your case.
It is cleared to market and deserves proper reimbursement. As
a manufacturer, we have limited clout with the insurance carriers.
However, the more doctors and patients who request proper reimbursement
for this valuable technology, the more inclined they are to listen.
In the end, this technology will produce significant savings for
the insurer over drugs, surgery and secondary and tertiary problems
caused by other types of medical intervention.