CES Breakthrough

CES Breakthrough

Learn More from these Helpful Resources to
Supplement Your Knowledge About Your Condition

Discover more about the breakthrough technology of Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation and the peace of mind, relaxation, and restful sleep that the CES Ultra brings to those who suffer from anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

Doctor Reports Multiple Studies Revealing Amazing Results from CES

Follow this comprehensive PowerPoint presentation by one of the world’s foremost researchers in CES, showing the evolution of the technology and its extraordinary impact on a number of medical conditions, and the extensive scientific research to back it up. Using colorful graphs showing remarkable improvement in patients with fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, ADHD, depression, phobias, and other medical conditions, this report summarizes the remedy available to you through CES. Presented by Ray B. Smith, PhD, in Seoul, Korea, October 2010

 

Why the CES Ultra is Special

Below you can see a compilation of scientific studies on CES. The CES Ultra stands apart from all other devices, especially in the context of Meta-analyses. A Meta-analysis contrasts and combines the results from many different studies rather than relying on a single study to draw particular conclusions.

Meta-analyses yielding positive results from the use of CES have been conducted at the University of Tulsa and at the Harvard University School of Public Health. The major meta-analysis of the Harvard School of Public Health, which found that CES has a statistically significant effect on alleviating anxiety, focused entirely on units using the configuration in the CES Ultra.

Eighty-five percent of the independent research on the efficacy of CES is based on the configuration of the CES Ultra medical device. Other units on the market may have the same frequency, but they do not measure up to the amplitude, wavelength, duty cycle and frequency found only in the CES Ultra.

That means that while other companies may cite research studies, those studies are often company-based and company-funded and hence are not truly independent and fully objective. Only the CES Ultra has the configuration that was used in independent, university-based studies.

Research on Depression

Depression is the state in which the individual feels sad, helpless, and disinterested in life. Clinical depression affects mood, mind, body, and behavior. Depression is the most frequently seen psychiatric disorder among both hospitalized inpatients and those in outpatient psychiatric care. Research has shown that in the United States about 19 million people-one in ten adults-experience depression each year, and nearly two-thirds do not get the help they need.

There are many kinds of depression, several with deep underlying psychiatric causes. Short of biochemical analysis, however, they are usually difficult to differentiate. Psychological testing can rate depressive states according to intensity but cannot differentiate causative factors. Despite the variations in etiology of depressive states, however, treatments are very similar.

Context

Five studies employing three different measures and 189 different patients suffering from depression. All were in treatment facilities, either psychiatric or chemical dependency. Each of the studies was conducted under controlled conditions; one, double-blind, four, single-blind.

Graphical Interpretationof CES Ultra and depressions studies

Graphical Interpretation

Under each set of bars is the psychological test used to measure depression in each study including a general average of all results. The red bar shows patients’ scores before using CES – the higher the bar, the greater the depression. The blue bar shows the level of depression after using CES.

Results

There have been three replications of findings on the Profile of Mood States, Depression-Dejection factor, and two replications using the Zung Self-rating Depression Scale (POMS-D and ZSDS, respectively on the graph). All yielded similar results. The movement on the ZSDS scale is less because one study was for one week and the second, for ten days. The studies which ran over a span of three weeks, however, provide evidence of an even more dramatic decline in depression.

All three tests yielded congruent results – an average reduction of approximately 50% in the depression raw scores measured before and after CES treatment. All types of depression responded dramatically to CES. CES showed itself to be effective in treating the lighter reactive type within a week or ten days and the deeper seated variety in three weeks.

Because those with deep-seated depression tend to view CES as a modern “miracle,” and expect instantaneous relief, they can actually become more depressed initially while using CES unless the therapist specifically tells them that at least three weeks of treatment are required. With this added clinical support, even the most deep-seated depressions responded well. The study controlled for possible placebo effects did not show any. There has never been a reduction in the scores of sham CES treated controls.

As in the anxiety studies, while some depression studies were “sacrificed” in the attempt to discover how much treatment was necessary to correct the various intensities of depression, there has never been a controlled scientific study in which CES was not shown to significantly improve reactive depression in a week to ten days and deep-seated depression within three weeks. All types of depression studied so far, have responded dramatically to CES treatment.

Research on Anxiety

Introduction

Anxiety is defined as “mental uneasiness” or “distress arising from fear of what may happen.” It has several different manifestations. Individuals suffering from panic disorder experience recurrent, unexpected panic attacks. Those with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) chronically worry too much about a variety of things, and experience symptoms such as restlessness, agitation, or feeling keyed up, muscle tension, fatigue, irritability, and trouble with concentration and sleep. Persons suffering from social anxiety disorder experience extreme fear and avoidance of social and/or performance situations.

Anxiety disorders, as a group, are the most common mental illness in America. More than 19 million American adults are affected by these debilitating illnesses each year. Children and adolescents can also develop anxiety disorders. Anxiety is currently perhaps the most fashionable idiom in the parlance of American psychiatry and medicine. It is used almost synonymously with stress which in turn has been associated with everything from increased risk of heart attack and cancer to the common cold. The general consensus within the medical community is that anxiety can in many instances, be a causative factor in physical illness as well as exacerbate it.

Context

Seven separate studies of 220 hospitalized psychiatric inpatients. All were controlled scientific studies employing measures of anxiety with known reliability and validity. There are four replications using the state anxiety scale (STAI-S) and three using the tension/anxiety factor on the Profile of Mood States (POMS-T/A). Most of the studies were for fifteen days-Monday through Friday over a period of three weeks. The TMAS (Taylor Manifest Anxiety Scale) study was for ten days only and the IPAT (Institute for Personality and Ability Testing) for six. Studies using the STAI-S used five or six thirty minute sessions whereas one of the POM-T/A studies used CES for thirty minutes a day over ten days and two others at a rate of one forty minute session per day for fifteen days

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Graphical Interpretationof CES Ultra and anxiety studies

Graphical Interpretation

The red bar represents the patients’ scores on the anxiety measure before CES treatment (PRE); the blue bar, their score after CES therapy (POST).

Results

The findings of all tests conducted were consistent: Most patients responded positively to CES treatment within the first week or ten days; the more entrenched forms of anxiety, within ten days to three weeks. Resultant post CES test scores shows improvement ranging from approximately 30 percent to almost 65 percent. The variation was due to different anxiety scales measuring different facets of anxiety, only some of which are shared in common. In one study, investigators deliberately used patients with low suggestibility levels and compared them with those with high suggestibility levels. No differences were found, thus ruling out a placebo effect.

The net result of these studies shows CES to be a predictably effective treatment for anxiety and related disorders as measured by these scales. There has never been a controlled study of anxiety in which CES patients did not improve more significantly than did the controls.

Most Recent Studies

Braverman, E, Smith, R., Smayda, R, and Blum, K. Modification of P300 amplitude and other electrophysiological parameters of drug abuse by cranial electrical stimulation. Current Therapeutic Research. 48(4):586-596, 1990.

P300 waves have a reduced amplitude in many alcoholics, which does not revert to normal, even after continued abstinence. 13 alcohol and/or drug abusers and 2 staff controls were selected as they entered the clinic for a computerized EEG. All were given 40 minutes of CES between pre and post EEG. There were no significant changes in the controls. Following the CES the patient’s P300 amplitude increased significantly (P<.05). The time went from a pre-treatment of 308 to 317 msec post-treatment. The amplitude (dV) went from pre-treatment of 7.0 to 9.9 post-treatment. Also there were significant positive shifts in alpha, delta, theta and beta spectra in patients who were abnormal in one or more of these areas prior to CES treatment. It was concluded that CES might be a significant non-drug treatment for the underlying electrophysiological disorder of the drug abuser, because the normalization of these electrophysiological parameters are characteristic of pharmaceutical treatment.


Klawansky S, Yeung A, Berkey C, Shah N, Phan H, Chalmers TC., Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA. Meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials of cranial electrostimulation. Efficacy in treating selected psychological and physiological conditions. J Nerv Ment Dis. 1997 Dec; 185 (12): 766-7

Researchers conducted an extensive literature review of cranial electrostimulation (CES) efficacy that identified 18 of the most carefully conducted randomized controlled trials of CES versus sham treatment. For the 14 trials that had sufficient data, the techniques of meta-analysis was used to pool the published results of treating each of four conditions: anxiety (eight trials), brain dysfunction (two trials), headache (two trials), and insomnia (two trials). Because studies utilized different outcome measures, an effect size method was employed to normalize measures which were then pooled across studies within each condition. The meta-analysis of anxiety showed CES to be significantly more effective than sham treatment (p < .05).


Shealy, C. et al, Depression: A diagnostic, neurochemical profile and therapy with CES, J of Neuro. & Ortho. Med Surg. 10(4): 319-21, 1989.

Research was conducted with 4 groups: (1) “normal group”, (2) intractable chronic pain, (3) chronic pain with depression, and (4) longstanding depression unresponsive to medication. Psychological tests, serotonin and cholinesterase levels were measured pre and post. Depressed patients improved most with treatment; 60% reported improvement, 44% of the pain patients reported improvement. In the depressed patients, after treatment, both serotonin and cholinesterase levels improved significantly.


Treatment of Anxiety-Schmitt, R. Capo, T. & Boyd, E. CES as a treatment for anxiety in chemically dependent persons. Alcoholism: Clinical and experimental Research. 10(2): 158-160, 1986.

60 substance abusers, mean age 33.9, were given either CES (30), sham CES (10), or (20) no experimental treatment. Four psychological measures administered pre and post. CES and sham patients received 30 min. of treatment daily for 15 days. Treatment t-tests reveal CES patients had significantly greater improvement in anxiety levels than did either control group. No placebo effect noted.

CES Ultra Neuro-Fitness logo

Additional Research

A comprehensive CES bibliography is available to licensed healthcare providers and researchers on request. Contact us for more information.

Neuro-Fitness is dedicated to furthering an understanding of CES. It is also committed to engaging in and subsidizing research to demonstrate its efficacy. Studies under our aegis are currently being conducted in the Czech Republic on the impact of CES on ADHD and substance abuse. We are also currently conducting a study at the Pain Center of the University of Washingto in Seattle. We are open to proposals for new research designs and studies by scientists and medical professionals in conjunction with Universities and schools of Medicine.

Contact us today to discuss your proposal.

CES Case Studies

The following are some of the many case studies that have been reported to us by mental health counselors, psychologists, MDs, substance-abuse counselors, and others. (For the sake of privacy, identities are withheld.)

  • Depression During Pregnancy
  • Anxiety Disorder and Agoraphobia
  • Rehab Center Treating Insomnia
  • Depression & Anxiety in Teen Male
  • College Student with Anxiety
  • Teen with Anxiety, Depression & Insomnia

Read What Others Are Saying About the CES Ultra

“Thank you for taking the time to follow up with me. It is great to see effort of people such as yourself to help others with their sleep problems. I have used the machine for almost three months now, usually on a weekly basis. Now I only use it when I find difficulty falling asleep. I turn the device on and within 30 minutes I am asleep. For 15 years I have had constant sleep problems and now thanks to your machine, I am able to get a good night’s sleep.”

~ Sherry M.

“I am so glad that a friend of mine directed me to The CES Ultra. I have been astonished with the results. Within a few weeks I noticed a big improvement in my memory and I was more focused and alert while studying. What a great product!”

~ Dana K.

 THIS IS A DIFFERENT

Alpha-Stim® AID

AID2D

… now there is a new way to treat anxiety, insomnia, and depression.

 

The Alpha-Stim® AID provides Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES) for the treatment of mood disorders such as anxiety, insomnia and depression.
Item #500KIT
Price: $795.00

Federal law (USA only) restricts this device to sale by or on the order of a licensed healthcare practitioner.

AIDKit1

 

Treating anxiety, depression, and insomnia with CES
The Alpha-Stim® AID treats anxiety, depression, and/or insomnia with microcurrent using a method called cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES). The treatment is very simple. The current is applied by easy to use clip electrodes that attach on the ear lobes. You may feel a slight tingling sensation under the electrodes, but it is not necessary to feel this in order to achieve results.

Used just 20 to 60 minutes every day, every other day, or on an as-needed basis, CES can help induce a pleasant, relaxed feeling of well being. The Alpha-Stim® AID is well tolerated and very safe in contrast to drugs used in the treatment of mood disorders, many of which have been proven to have undesirable side effects and can be addictive. Unlike drugs, the Alpha-Stim® AID leaves the mind alert. Anxiety reduction is usually experienced during treatment. Depression and insomnia control is generally experienced after several weeks of daily treatment. CES can also help treat the underlying mood disorders associated with pain.

The Alpha-Stim® AID may be used as an adjunct to medication and/or psychotherapy. After treatment, there are usually no physical limitations imposed so the majority of people can resume normal activities immediately. Maintenance of a relaxed, yet alert state is generally achieved with treatments three times per week. As a result, the Alpha-Stim® AID is suitable for clinical or home use.

Treated conditions:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia

Alpha-Stim® advantages:

  • Low incidence of adverse effects
  • More efficacious than most other forms of therapy
  • Relatively easy to learn
  • Alternative in cases refractory to conventional care
  • Reduces or eliminates need for addictive medications
  • No tolerance
  • May be applied on schedule or PRN
  • May be self-administered by patients
  • Highly cost effective

A brief history of CES
Electrosleep treatment (an older name for CES), involving less than one milliampere of current, came into the USA from Japan in the late 1960s, which, in turn had borrowed it from Russia and other East Block countries. Since the electricity was directed across the head, the FDA renamed it Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES) in 1978, and now allows its marketing in the USA for the treatment of anxiety, depression and insomnia.

A major use of CES has been in the drug abstinence syndrome in which people are withdrawing from various substances of addiction, such as nicotine, alcohol, prescription drugs, cocaine or heroin. All such patients have anxiety, depression and insomnia as defining symptoms of the syndrome, and the vast majority benefit dramatically from the use of CES during the withdrawal period. The medical use of CES is becoming more widely indicated in the USA as these and stress from a myriad of other sources continue to build up in our society. Read more about the mechanism of Alpha-Stim® CES.

What scientific research has been conducted with CES?
At present, there are over 126 research studies on CES in humans and 29 experimental animal studies. The overwhelming majority of the scientific research is extremely positive. No significant lasting side effects have been reported.

Harvard University School of Public Health, Department of Health Policy and Management found: “The meta-analysis of anxiety showed CES to be significantly more effective than sham (P<.05).” (Meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials of cranial electrostimulation: efficacy in treating selected psychological and physiological conditions by Dr. Sidney Klawansky et al. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 183(7):478-485, 1995).

Alpha-Stim® AID kit contents:

  • Alpha-Stim® AID console unit
  • Earclip electrodes (item #501)
  • 256 felt electrode pads (item #EEP) for use with ear clips
  • 15 ml bottle of Alpha Conducting Solution™ (item #ACS)
  • 2 AAA 1.5V batteries (high quality lithium batteries recommended for optimal performance)
  • Hard carrying case
  • White AID Lanyard (item #502)
  • Illustrated owner’s manual.
  • Alpha-Stim® AID DVD (item #507)

AIDKit1

Technical specifications
Power Source: Two AAA 1.5 volt batteries (included). Replace with disposable batteries (lithium preferred).
Timer Settings: 20, 40 or 60 minutes.
Current: 0 to 500 µA adjustable in 50 µA increments.
Frequency: 0.5 Hz (pulses per second).
Waveform: Bipolar asymmetric rectangular waves, 50% duty cycle, 0 net current.

Five year warranty
Each Alpha-Stim® AID is warranted to be free from defects in materials and workmanship under normal use for a period of five years except for replacement of batteries and accessories. See Owner’s Manual for complete details.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES)

The response time for insomnia varies. If your insomnia is caused by anxiety or stress it typically responds quickly, often after a single treatment or within days, otherwise it can take 3 to 8 weeks or daily treatments.

Depression typically responds in 3 weeks of daily treatments, but for some people it can take up to 8 weeks.

Yes. Significant effects for state (situational) anxiety will typically be experienced within 15-30 minutes. Control of trait (chronic) anxiety may require daily applications for 3 weeks, thereafter 2-3 times a week but in some cases, for example when treating generalized anxiety (GAD), the process may take up to six weeks or longer.

Some patients who have recovered from anxiety or depression through use of the Alpha-Stim® find it best to treat with Alpha-Stim® two or three times a week for 20-60 minutes (after the initial three week period of daily treatments) to prevent another episode. Others will only need the treatment from time to time when life’s circumstances suggest that the depression might come back. If you cut back on your frequency of Alpha-Stim® treatments and your symptoms return, that will give you an indication of how often you need to treat. Please talk to healthcare practitioner who can recommend the best treatment plan for you.

Most people find that an Alpha-Stim® earclip treatment (CES) at or near bedtime is helpful in falling asleep. They may use it before going to bed. However, for a small percentage of people, Alpha-Stim® may interfere with the onset of sleep if used near bedtime. If this is the case for you, then it is best to treat in the morning or early afternoon and refrain from using Alpha-Stim at least 3 hours before bedtime.

Yes, Alpha-Stim® can be helpful for this type of insomnia. If you have this problem routinely we suggest you treat with Alpha-Stim® just as one would for sleep onset difficulties. Use it in the morning or afternoon, daily for the first two weeks; treating just before bed is fine if it does not interfere with your ability to fall asleep. It may take 3 to 8 weeks for the full benefit to be realized, or you may sleep through the night after your first treatment.

If you do wake in the night, you may do another Alpha-Stim® treatment to help with getting back to sleep. Most people find it relaxes their mind and helps with returning to sleep. Once the problem is resolved you may be able to stop treating or you may find you need periodic or regular ongoing treatments to continue sleeping well. For most people, after the initial 3 weeks of treatment it is best to cut back to treating 2-3 times per week for best results.

Since the Alpha-Stim® works at a level of electricity similar to the body’s own bioelectricity, generally no harm can come from its overuse. However, prolonged ear clip treatment at higher than necessary current intensity may cause dizziness or nausea.

For most patients, the greatest risk of “overuse” is that it may lead to less dramatic results. Most people find that after the first two to three weeks, the Alpha-Stim® is actually more effective for chronic conditions when used less often, just 2-3 times per week.

Some patients assume they will get better results if they set the intensity to the highest setting. This is simply not the case, and there is no need to “work up” to a higher setting over time. The important thing is to treat for 60 minutes if you prefer the intensity at 1 or 2, and treat for 20 minutes if you prefer the intensity at 3 or higher. The sensation should be pleasant. If you feel uncomfortably lightheaded, dizzy or nauseous during your treatment, or if you get a headache, then you have set the intensity too high.

If you feel lightheaded or dizzy please turn down the current setting. You should not feel that, and no, it is not necessary to feel that in order to benefit from the treatment.

Turn the current down just below the point that the sensation is bothersome and continue to treat at that current level. The current should be at a comfortable level. If you are sensitive to the current please keep the intensity at 1 and treat for 60 minutes. If you are sensitive to the current even at 1, as is common in some chronic pain patients in particular, please call us for support (800-684-9343).

The manufacturer encourages patients to keep the current at a comfortable setting. In fact, most research with Alpha-Stim® has been conducted with the current intensity set at low, subsensory levels to conceal the sensation of the current to allow for placebo-controlled protocols. If the current feels comfortable at a higher setting then you may increase it, otherwise it is fine to continue treating at 1 for an hour.

No, this is not recommended. It is important to do a complete treatment in each sitting. Please treat 20 minutes continuously at 3 or higher on the intensity scale, or otherwise 60 minutes continuously at 1 or 2 on the intensity scale. If you have reason to want to do a second treatment later the same day, then it should be a complete treatment again.

For the typical patient the manufacturer recommends treating once daily initially, over time cutting back to 2-3 times per week. However, patients suffering from severe anxiety, such as that experienced during initial recovery from chemical dependence, may benefit from multiple treatments throughout the day. There are some other conditions as well that generate extreme anxiety and these clients might opt to treat more than once per day. The manufacturer indicates it is fine for patients to use it that much if that is how they attain optimal results. Over time, as your brother continues to improve, he may find he can use it less often for optimal functioning, such as for one hour a couple times a week.

While it is true that most people get an immediate benefit for anxiety when using the ear clips for cranial electrotherapy stimulation, and many get immediate pain relief when using probes or electrodes, in some cases patients have a delayed effect. Typically a person who has a delayed effect from Alpha-Stim treatment also has a delayed effect from anesthetics. They may also need to use it longer.

Some hiatus between treatments often leads to better results. That is why for the standard protocol the manufacturer recommends using it 2-3 times per week on a maintenance basis, after the initial 2-3 weeks of daily treatment.

Treatment of primary insomnia, depression, and chronic pain may take several weeks, as long as eight weeks for some patients, so it may be that you have not used the device long enough.

Additional weeks of treatment or altered protocols allow some initially unresponsive patients to get relief. There are testimonials of patients on the manufacturer’s website who needed more than 1 or 2 months of treatment to see good results with the Alpha-Stim. Patients should be well hydrated for optimal results, as hydration is necessary for conductivity and may also reduce the occurrence of a headache following a treatment.

If you have any reason to be concerned that your device itself is not working properly, then please call us at 800-684-9343 for troubleshooting. Your device should alert you with beeps if the battery is low or if the current is not reaching the earclips, unless you have muted this feature.

Following treatment of pain with probes or electrodes, the manufacturer recommends that patients treat with earclips. The registered indications for the Alpha-Stim earclip treatment (CES) are anxiety, insomnia and depression. These conditions often accompany chronic pain syndromes, and resolving these conditions may help a patient with chronic pain. Also, while the cause of pain may originally be in an extremity, all pain is perceived in the brain, and treating with earclips may lessen the patient’s perception of pain. Clinical experience suggests that the pain relief from the probe or electrode treatment will last longer if the patient uses the earclips afterwards.

The manufacturer recommends treating with earclips after treating areas of pain directly with the probes or AS-Trodes. The earclip treatment may reduce or eliminate the pain prior to completion of the pain protocol. This could make it difficult to ascertain whether you are treating the correct area.

If you are time-limited and want to use only the earclips on a particular day then certainly you may do so.

Microcurrent Electrical Therapy (MET)

Alpha-Stim® works for about 80-90% of patients. In other words, 8 to 9 out of 10 patients will achieve clinically significant results if the device is used correctly daily for at least 3 weeks. Please see Alpha-Stim clinical surveys for detailed results. The percent improvement (also known as the effect size) is quite large especially compared to many medications.

If you are not getting benefit from Alpha-Stim® we recommend that you check your device to make sure the unit is working properly and that the current is reaching the electrodes, probes, and/or earclip electrodes. Also, given there is a learning curve in using the Alpha-Stim®, please call us if you are not achieving results. Additional weeks of treatment or altered protocols allow some initially unresponsive patients to get relief. Patients should be sure they are well hydrated for optimal results, as hydration is necessary for conductivity.

Usually during the first treatment some or complete pain relief is achieved, for most causes of pain. The Alpha-Stim® treatment is cumulative, meaning that a series of treatments over the initial 1-3 weeks build upon one another to create better and longer lasting results.

If you have fibromyalgia, CRPS, or migraines please call us for tips on how to get the best results. These conditions tend to take several weeks to respond so it is important to persist.

The Alpha-Stim® M is a combination unit, broadly classified by the FDA as a TENS for pain (510K K896948) and as a Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulator (CES 510K K903014.) for anxiety, depression, insomnia and related disorders. However, Alpha-Stim® technology is nothing like a typical TENS. Just like the chemical ingredients that make up drugs differentiate one from another, it is the Alpha-Stim®’s patented waveform that makes Alpha-Stim® technology so unique and effective. A typical TENS has limited effectiveness, and just like eyeglasses, it has no residual effect — it only works while in use. But the biggest problem with ordinary TENS is tolerance; similar to drugs, a typical TENS becomes ineffective at safe levels over time as the body develops tolerance. With Alpha-Stim® technology the results are long-lasting and cumulative, and patients do not develop tolerance.

A typical TENS device uses the sheer power or force of electricity to block pain by creating a counterirritation. The Alpha-Stim® treats by a different mechanism, using mild currents (much like those naturally found in the body) to augment the body’s bioelectrical control systems for much longer lasting, more effective pain management.

A typical TENS cannot be used on the head (it is contraindicated), whereas the Alpha-Stim® may safely be used on the head as a CES device.

Once there is no additional improvement in pain control after 3-4 treatment sets, you should stop. After the initial three weeks of daily treatments, it is typically best to treat with probes every other day or less, as most people get better results this way.

Yes. Dentists use Alpha-Stim® technology routinely, not only to treat dental anxiety, but also to control orofacial, temporomandibular and postoperative pain using probes or electrodes on the head. People can also use probes in treating a migraine. It is often best to keep the intensity turned down when treating on the head. It is not recommended to treat near the eyes. Using probes on the head may result in seeing the current in the form of flashing lights as the optic nerve converts the signal into light. Also treating around the mouth may cause a metallic taste.

Close proximity to the nerves governing the optic nerve can stimulate these nerves, causing a stroboscopic effect. This is not cause for concern. The flashing lights will go away when the stimulation is discontinued.

Close proximity to the nerves governing taste can stimulate these nerves, causing a metallic taste. This is not cause for concern. If the metallic taste persists, rinse your mouth out with water and it will go away.

The current density differs. Ten seconds with the probes equals about 10 minutes with the AS-Trodes™. Most patients prefer treating pain with the AS-Trodes™ because it is easier to apply AS-Trodes™ than treat themselves with the probes. Typically, treatment with probes may require help from a friend. However, the probes are faster to use and less expensive over time than treating with AS-Trodes™. Use of probes is also more practical if hair is present (reapply conducting solution frequently if hair is present). We suggest viewing the instructional DVD that comes with the Alpha-Stim M, the owner’s manual, and treatment protocols for more information.

For most patients it is sufficient to treat for an hour daily for the first 2-3 weeks, then 3 times weekly or as needed. After the initial period of daily treatments, most patients get better results by treating every other day at most. Some patients with acute pain do need to treat with AS-Trodes™ for up to several hours at a time, particularly initially or for post-surgical pain.

If possible, shave the hair in the area where AS-Trodes™ will be placed. Alternately, the probes may be used instead, and in that case it is not necessary to shave the area but use plenty of the Alpha Conducting fluid and reapply it often, as the hair will wick it away. Using AS-Trodes™ without shaving the hair will shorten the lifespan of the electrodes.

Stop treatment for that day. The stiffness will wear off soon.

You can but the manufacturer would generally advise to first treat the area of pain with AS-Trodes first and then do the earclip treatment. It is always best to evaluate the pain during each treatment with the probes or AS-Trodes™. Since CES can reduce or eliminate pain by itself, it may be impossible to determine if an adequate peripheral treatment has been completed if CES is done simultaneously or prior to using the probes or electrodes. With severe or acute pain, however, it is sometimes best to leave the AS-Trodes™ in place for an extended period, even 24/7, at a low intensity (1) and add CES once or twice a day.

The manufacturer recommends using the self-adhesive electrodes when treating post-surgical areas and associated pain. The protocol recommends mild treatments (1-2 on the intensity dial) at 0.5Hz for one to several hours daily.

This is perfectly normal. Some patients may not get relief until the following day post treatment. Patients who respond slowly to anesthesia usually fall into this category. Please ALWAYS remember to do several treatment sets, not just a single one, when using the probes. A common mistake is to stop after administering a single set of 10-second treatments, which depending on the protocol is typically 2-4 minutes. One has to continue with these sets, and evaluate pain relief (0-10 scale) between sets, until there is either (1) no pain left, (2) patient feels stiff in the treatment area, or (3) you are not getting more pain relief by adding more treatment sets. The better the relief you get from a treatment (i.e. the stronger the initial suppression of pain), the longer the benefits will last from the treatment.

The manufacturer indicates that hyperesthesia (pain), hypoesthesia (numbness) and parasthesia (altered sensation) can be treated equally well with Alpha-Stim® technology. The manufacturer suggests that you use the Alpha-Stim® to treat numbness the same way as you would treat areas of pain. As an example, if your hands or arms are tingling or numb, you may take one pair of self-adhesive electrodes and put one electrode on each hand. This will run the current up one arm and down the other, and back. As another example, if you have an isolated area that is numb, you may place the electrodes on either side of the area of numbness, so that the current is directed through the area of numbness. You may use two pairs of electrodes in order to run the current in two directions. Please see our treatment protocols to learn how to treat specific areas on the body.

Product Information and Use

The Alpha-Stim M and AID use ear clips for 20 minutes to an hour, anywhere from daily to 2 times a week to treat anxiety, depression and insomnia. The Alpha-Stim® M also treats pain with self-adhesive electrodes or probes on an as-needed basis.

The Alpha-Stim® M treats physical pain of all types with application of a patented microcurrent electrical therapy through the affected area. It also treats anxiety, insomnia and depression utilizing patented cranial electrotherapy stimulation applied through earclips. The Alpha-Stim® AID treats anxiety, insomnia and depression. The AID is simpler to use; the M model is more versatile given it can treat aches and pains throughout the body using self-adhesive electrodes or probes. The M model also comes with three frequency options rather than just the 0.5Hz, and it has two channel outputs rather than one, which allows one to treat pain with 2 sets of self-adhesive electrodes, or allows two people to treat with earclips at once. Put another way, the Alpha-Stim® M treats the body and brain, and the Alpha-Stim® AID treats the brain.

For most people, and most conditions, the 0.5Hz frequency setting is best, resulting in longer residual pain relief that the other settings. If you are not achieving optimal results with the 0.5Hz setting please call us for tech support. The other frequency settings may lead to faster pain relief but typically the relief does not last as long. Always use 0.5Hz for earclip treatments.

In the USA, any practitioner who is licensed to diagnose and treat depression, anxiety, insomnia, or pain can order or dispense the Alpha-Stim®. This includes MDs, DOs, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dentists, chiropractors, naturopaths, physical therapists, acupuncturists, psychologists, licensed social workers, and other licensed mental health professionals.

Remove the old felts after a treatment. Clean and dry the ends of the earclips. If there is glue residue or if you want to sterilize the surface, then you may use alcohol. Peel felts off the protective backing and attach them to the inside of each ear clip electrode, as originally packed. In a clinical setting, between patients clean the earclips thoroughly with alcohol prior to replacing the felts. The felts are intended for single use and cleaning the earclips and replacing felt pads after each use will help prevent discoloration of the metal on the earclips.

If you prefer to reuse the same felts a number of times before replacing please be sure to apply conducting solution to felt pads prior to each treatment.

A discoloration that may occasionally develop on earclips is actually a form of stain, not rust. It is produced as a “byproduct” of a chemical reaction between the current, conducting solution and natural skin residues or oil. This staining, if present, does not affect the efficacy and/or safety of the treatment. The amount of staining reported by patients varies widely among different people, mostly reflecting the amount and type of skin residue and, perhaps, the amount of conducting solution used during treatment.

One way to minimize the stain is to clean earclips and replace felt pads immediately after each use to keep the metal of the earclips dry and clean.

For most people, the current is subsensory when applied on the body with probes or AS-Trodes™. Thus it is normal to not feel it. Or you may feel a very slight sensation.

The AS-Trodes™ may last 2-4 weeks or longer, depending on how often a patient uses the electrodes, for how long, and how clean and dry their skin is when applied. The manufacturer has gone to great lengths to research and procure the best possible electrodes for use with the Alpha-Stim®. The primary concern is efficacy. The adhesive gel on the AS-Trodes™ is the conductive medium ensuring 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, oil, or sweat on the skin, and cleanliness of the area where applied. To maximize the lifespan of AS-Trodes™, apply to clean, dry skin and sit or lie down during your treatment. When the gel begins to lose its ability to adhere properly to the skin, it is time to replace the electrodes, and you may order online at www.AlleviaHealth.com. It is more cost effective to order 10+ packs at a time if you continue using electrodes long term.

Please use high quality AA or AAA lithium batteries only for optimal performance.

Rechargeable batteries do not discharge evenly. The waveform produced by Alpha-Stim technology is very specific and an unstable power supply may alter it thus affecting the results. In addition, the Alpha-Stim requires a well charged battery. Lithium batteries start out with more charge than a rechargeable battery and thus last much longer.

No. Electrical and magnetic fields interfere with each other so magnets can alter the Alpha-Stim waveform, rendering it ineffective.

No, that is not recommended. However, it would be beneficial to use CES before MRI, particularly if a patient often experiences procedural anxiety.

Alpha-Stim technology will not be affected by airport X-ray machines. Feel free to carry it on. If you are concerned security might ask questions about what it is, you may bring a brochure and receipt for the Alpha-Stim. We discourage checking your Alpha-Stim in your luggage to minimize the possibly of theft.

Side Effects and Contraindications

Adverse affects are usually mild and self-limiting. Adverse effects seen in approximately 4,541 patients in controlled, open, and uncontrolled conditions, and by physician survey and reasonably associated with the use of CES are dizziness (6 cases, 0.13%), skin irritation/electrode burns (5 cases, 0.11%), and headaches (9 cases, 0.20%). Prolonged CES treatment at higher than necessary level of current may cause dizziness or nausea that can last from hours to days: please keep it at a comfortable setting. Paradoxical reactions such as hyperexcited state, increased anxiety, and sleep disturbances are very rare but can occur. Well under 1% (0.35%) of patients experiences an increase in pain. If you have this experience please call for support. Often a washout period is helpful.

The Alpha-StimM and Alpha-Stim® AID may affect the operation of cardiac pacemakers (particularly demand type pacemakers). Do not stimulate directly on the eyes, or over the carotid sinus (on the neck beside the larynx). In addition, please note the following precautions: For external use only. Do not allow children to use or handle these devices without adult supervision. Do not operate potentially dangerous machinery or vehicles during, and in some cases, for several hours after treatment with the Alpha-Stim® M or Alpha-Stim® AID. Caution is advised in cases where other forms of analgesia (pain control) would not be used; such as to retain the beneficial aspects of pain for diagnosis or in cases where people may overuse pain-controlled areas. Safety of stimulation has not been established during pregnancy. There have been isolated reports of blood pressure being lowered by CES; while for many people this is considered desirable, care should be taken by those using the Alpha-Stim® M or Alpha-Stim® AID with high blood pressure medication.

Alpha-Stim® and Medication

The Alpha-Stim is safe and effective for use in the treatment of its registered indications, and it has been helpful for many patients to reduce their reliance on medications used to treat pain, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Please talk with your doctor regarding any possible changes to your medications. Some patients use the Alpha-Stim in addition to taking medications, and others reduce their reliance on medications over time as they are using the Alpha-Stim. Physicians typically have patients back off their medication a little at a time, reducing it incrementally each week, and using the Alpha-Stim daily during that process. With many medications it is safest to cut back slowly/incrementally, not suddenly. Please always talk to your doctor about changing medication dosage. Please note that our staff does not advise patients on medication use.

Frequently Asked Questions

Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES)
What are the chances Alpha-Stim® will work for me?

How long should it be before I would see benefits from Alpha-Stim for anxiety?

… how about insomnia?
The response time for insomnia varies. If your insomnia is caused by anxiety or stress it typically responds quickly, often after a single treatment or within days, otherwise it can take 3 to 8 weeks or daily treatments.
… and depression?
Depression typically responds in 3 weeks of daily treatments, but for some people it can take up to 8 weeks.
Is Alpha-Stim® effective for both state and trait anxiety?
Yes. Significant effects for state (situational) anxiety will typically be experienced within 15-30 minutes. Control of trait (chronic) anxiety may require daily applications for 3 weeks, thereafter 2-3 times a week but in some cases, for example when treating generalized anxiety (GAD), the process may take up to six weeks or longer.
I’ve had depression for 20 years. Will I need to use Alpha-Stim® indefinitely?
Some patients who have recovered from anxiety or depression through use of the Alpha-Stim® find it best to treat with Alpha-Stim® two or three times a week for 20-60 minutes (after the initial three week period of daily treatments) to prevent another episode. Others will only need the treatment from time to time when life’s circumstances suggest that the depression might come back. If you cut back on your frequency of Alpha-Stim® treatments and your symptoms return, that will give you an indication of how often you need to treat. Please talk to healthcare practitioner who can recommend the best treatment plan for you.
Is time of day important when using Alpha-Stim®? Can I use the Alpha-Stim® at bedtime if it helps me fall asleep?
Most people find that an Alpha-Stim® earclip treatment (CES) at or near bedtime is helpful in falling asleep. They may use it before going to bed. However, for a small percentage of people, Alpha-Stim® may interfere with the onset of sleep if used near bedtime. If this is the case for you, then it is best to treat in the morning or early afternoon and refrain from using Alpha-Stim at least 3 hours before bedtime.
I do not have problems falling asleep, but I often wake up at 3AM unable to get back to sleep. Will the Alpha-Stim® help me to sleep through the night?
Yes, Alpha-Stim® can be helpful for this type of insomnia. If you have this problem routinely we suggest you treat with Alpha-Stim® just as one would for sleep onset difficulties. Use it in the morning or afternoon, daily for the first two weeks; treating just before bed is fine if it does not interfere with your ability to fall asleep. It may take 3 to 8 weeks for the full benefit to be realized, or you may sleep through the night after your first treatment.

If you do wake in the night, you may do another Alpha-Stim® treatment to help with getting back to sleep. Most people find it relaxes their mind and helps with returning to sleep. Once the problem is resolved you may be able to stop treating or you may find you need periodic or regular ongoing treatments to continue sleeping well. For most people, after the initial 3 weeks of treatment it is best to cut back to treating 2-3 times per week for best results.
Can one use Alpha-Stim® too much? Can it be harmful if overused?
Since the Alpha-Stim® works at a level of electricity similar to the body’s own bioelectricity, generally no harm can come from its overuse. However, prolonged ear clip treatment at higher than necessary current intensity may cause dizziness or nausea.

For most patients, the greatest risk of “overuse” is that it may lead to less dramatic results. Most people find that after the first two to three weeks, the Alpha-Stim® is actually more effective for chronic conditions when used less often, just 2-3 times per week.
Can one use Alpha-Stim® at too high a setting?
Some patients assume they will get better results if they set the intensity to the highest setting. This is simply not the case, and there is no need to “work up” to a higher setting over time. The important thing is to treat for 60 minutes if you prefer the intensity at 1 or 2, and treat for 20 minutes if you prefer the intensity at 3 or higher. The sensation should be pleasant. If you feel uncomfortably lightheaded, dizzy or nauseous during your treatment, or if you get a headache, then you have set the intensity too high.
I feel light headed or even dizzy when using earclips. Is it necessary to feel that in order to get benefit from the treatment?
If you feel lightheaded or dizzy please turn down the current setting. You should not feel that, and no, it is not necessary to feel that in order to benefit from the treatment.
I feel a slight stinging sensation from the earclips. What do you suggest?
Turn the current down just below the point that the sensation is bothersome and continue to treat at that current level. The current should be at a comfortable level. If you are sensitive to the current please keep the intensity at 1 and treat for 60 minutes. If you are sensitive to the current even at 1, as is common in some chronic pain patients in particular, please call us for support (800-684-9343).
I use my Alpha-Stim® AID with the current intensity set at 1 for one hour. Should I try to work up to a higher setting?
The manufacturer encourages patients to keep the current at a comfortable setting. In fact, most research with Alpha-Stim® has been conducted with the current intensity set at low, subsensory levels to conceal the sensation of the current to allow for placebo-controlled protocols. If the current feels comfortable at a higher setting then you may increase it, otherwise it is fine to continue treating at 1 for an hour.
Can I treat for 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the afternoon?
No, this is not recommended. It is important to do a complete treatment in each sitting. Please treat 20 minutes continuously at 3 or higher on the intensity scale, or otherwise 60 minutes continuously at 1 or 2 on the intensity scale. If you have reason to want to do a second treatment later the same day, then it should be a complete treatment again.
My brother reports he gets optimal results using Alpha-Stim® for one hour, three times a day, and at bedtime. Is he using it too much?
For the typical patient the manufacturer recommends treating once daily initially, over time cutting back to 2-3 times per week. However, patients suffering from severe anxiety, such as that experienced during initial recovery from chemical dependence, may benefit from multiple treatments throughout the day. There are some other conditions as well that generate extreme anxiety and these clients might opt to treat more than once per day. The manufacturer indicates it is fine for patients to use it that much if that is how they attain optimal results. Over time, as your brother continues to improve, he may find he can use it less often for optimal functioning, such as for one hour a couple times a week.
When I use the Alpha-Stim I feel relief from anxiety/pain immediately, whereas my friend feels better the next day. Why is this?
While it is true that most people get an immediate benefit for anxiety when using the ear clips for cranial electrotherapy stimulation, and many get immediate pain relief when using probes or electrodes, in some cases patients have a delayed effect. Typically a person who has a delayed effect from Alpha-Stim treatment also has a delayed effect from anesthetics. They may also need to use it longer.
I get significant relief when I use Alpha-Stim® twice a week for 20 minutes, but if I use Alpha-Stim® every day, my insomnia returns.
Some hiatus between treatments often leads to better results. That is why for the standard protocol the manufacturer recommends using it 2-3 times per week on a maintenance basis, after the initial 2-3 weeks of daily treatment.
I have been treating with Alpha-Stim® earclips for 3 weeks and I am not seeing benefits yet. What do you suggest?
Treatment of primary insomnia, depression, and chronic pain may take several weeks, as long as eight weeks for some patients, so it may be that you have not used the device long enough.

Additional weeks of treatment or altered protocols allow some initially unresponsive patients to get relief. There are testimonials of patients on the manufacturer’s website who needed more than 1 or 2 months of treatment to see good results with the Alpha-Stim. Patients should be well hydrated for optimal results, as hydration is necessary for conductivity and may also reduce the occurrence of a headache following a treatment.

If you have any reason to be concerned that your device itself is not working properly, then please call us at 800-684-9343 for troubleshooting. Your device should alert you with beeps if the battery is low or if the current is not reaching the earclips, unless you have muted this feature.
Why do you suggest that patients with pain elsewhere in the body treat with earclips?
Following treatment of pain with probes or electrodes, the manufacturer recommends that patients treat with earclips. The registered indications for the Alpha-Stim earclip treatment (CES) are anxiety, insomnia and depression. These conditions often accompany chronic pain syndromes, and resolving these conditions may help a patient with chronic pain. Also, while the cause of pain may originally be in an extremity, all pain is perceived in the brain, and treating with earclips may lessen the patient’s perception of pain. Clinical experience suggests that the pain relief from the probe or electrode treatment will last longer if the patient uses the earclips afterwards.
Should the earclips be applied before or after using the probes or electrodes when treating pain?
The manufacturer recommends treating with earclips after treating areas of pain directly with the probes or AS-Trodes. The earclip treatment may reduce or eliminate the pain prior to completion of the pain protocol. This could make it difficult to ascertain whether you are treating the correct area.

If you are time-limited and want to use only the earclips on a particular day then certainly you may do so.
Microcurrent Electrical Therapy (MET)
What are the chances the Alpha-Stim® will work for me?
Alpha-Stim® works for about 80-90% of patients. In other words, 8 to 9 out of 10 patients will achieve clinically significant results if the device is used correctly daily for at least 3 weeks. Please see Alpha-Stim clinical surveys for detailed results. The percent improvement (also known as the effect size) is quite large especially compared to many medications.

If you are not getting benefit from Alpha-Stim® we recommend that you check your device to make sure the unit is working properly and that the current is reaching the electrodes, probes, and/or earclip electrodes. Also, given there is a learning curve in using the Alpha-Stim®, please call us if you are not achieving results. Additional weeks of treatment or altered protocols allow some initially unresponsive patients to get relief. Patients should be sure they are well hydrated for optimal results, as hydration is necessary for conductivity.
How long will it be before I experience relief from pain?
Usually during the first treatment some or complete pain relief is achieved, for most causes of pain. The Alpha-Stim® treatment is cumulative, meaning that a series of treatments over the initial 1-3 weeks build upon one another to create better and longer lasting results.

If you have fibromyalgia, CRPS, or migraines please call us for tips on how to get the best results. These conditions tend to take several weeks to respond so it is important to persist.
Is this a TENS?
The Alpha-Stim® M is a combination unit, broadly classified by the FDA as a TENS for pain (510K K896948) and as a Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulator (CES 510K K903014.) for anxiety, depression, insomnia and related disorders. However, Alpha-Stim® technology is nothing like a typical TENS. Just like the chemical ingredients that make up drugs differentiate one from another, it is the Alpha-Stim®’s patented waveform that makes Alpha-Stim® technology so unique and effective. A typical TENS has limited effectiveness, and just like eyeglasses, it has no residual effect — it only works while in use. But the biggest problem with ordinary TENS is tolerance; similar to drugs, a typical TENS becomes ineffective at safe levels over time as the body develops tolerance. With Alpha-Stim® technology the results are long-lasting and cumulative, and patients do not develop tolerance.

A typical TENS device uses the sheer power or force of electricity to block pain by creating a counterirritation. The Alpha-Stim® treats by a different mechanism, using mild currents (much like those naturally found in the body) to augment the body’s bioelectrical control systems for much longer lasting, more effective pain management.

A typical TENS cannot be used on the head (it is contraindicated), whereas the Alpha-Stim® may safely be used on the head as a CES device.
How do I know when to stop using the probes?
Once there is no additional improvement in pain control after 3-4 treatment sets, you should stop. After the initial three weeks of daily treatments, it is typically best to treat with probes every other day or less, as most people get better results this way.
Can you use probes on the head?
Yes. Dentists use Alpha-Stim® technology routinely, not only to treat dental anxiety, but also to control orofacial, temporomandibular and postoperative pain using probes or electrodes on the head. People can also use probes in treating a migraine. It is often best to keep the intensity turned down when treating on the head. It is not recommended to treat near the eyes. Using probes on the head may result in seeing the current in the form of flashing lights as the optic nerve converts the signal into light. Also treating around the mouth may cause a metallic taste.
I have experienced flashing lights when treating a headache with probes. Why?
Close proximity to the nerves governing the optic nerve can stimulate these nerves, causing a stroboscopic effect. This is not cause for concern. The flashing lights will go away when the stimulation is discontinued.
I have experienced a metallic taste in my mouth when treating a headache with probes. Why?
Close proximity to the nerves governing taste can stimulate these nerves, causing a metallic taste. This is not cause for concern. If the metallic taste persists, rinse your mouth out with water and it will go away.
What is the difference between treating with probes vs. self-adhesive electrodes?
The current density differs. Ten seconds with the probes equals about 10 minutes with the AS-Trodes™. Most patients prefer treating pain with the AS-Trodes™ because it is easier to apply AS-Trodes™ than treat themselves with the probes. Typically, treatment with probes may require help from a friend. However, the probes are faster to use and less expensive over time than treating with AS-Trodes™. Use of probes is also more practical if hair is present (reapply conducting solution frequently if hair is present). We suggest viewing the instructional DVD that comes with the Alpha-Stim M, the owner’s manual, and treatment protocols for more information.
How long should I treat with the AS-Trodes™? How do I know when to stop?
For most patients it is sufficient to treat for an hour daily for the first 2-3 weeks, then 3 times weekly or as needed. After the initial period of daily treatments, most patients get better results by treating every other day at most. Some patients with acute pain do need to treat with AS-Trodes™ for up to several hours at a time, particularly initially or for post-surgical pain.
When treating pain, how should I deal with body hair?
If possible, shave the hair in the area where AS-Trodes™ will be placed. Alternately, the probes may be used instead, and in that case it is not necessary to shave the area but use plenty of the Alpha Conducting fluid and reapply it often, as the hair will wick it away. Using AS-Trodes™ without shaving the hair will shorten the lifespan of the electrodes.
treatment for back pain, my back sometimes feels stiff. What can I do about that?
Stop treatment for that day. The stiffness will wear off soon.
Can you use ear clips and AS-Trodes™ at the same time?
You can but the manufacturer would generally advise to first treat the area of pain with AS-Trodes first and then do the earclip treatment. It is always best to evaluate the pain during each treatment with the probes or AS-Trodes™. Since CES can reduce or eliminate pain by itself, it may be impossible to determine if an adequate peripheral treatment has been completed if CES is done simultaneously or prior to using the probes or electrodes. With severe or acute pain, however, it is sometimes best to leave the AS-Trodes™ in place for an extended period, even 24/7, at a low intensity (1) and add CES once or twice a day.
Are there any special instructions when using the Alpha-Stim® post-surgery?
The manufacturer recommends using the self-adhesive electrodes when treating post-surgical areas and associated pain. The protocol recommends mild treatments (1-2 on the intensity dial) at 0.5Hz for one to several hours daily.
The pain relief effect that I am achieving with my patients does not seem to be immediate; it has been more often realized about 5 to 10 minutes later.
This is perfectly normal. Some patients may not get relief until the following day post treatment. Patients who respond slowly to anesthesia usually fall into this category. Please ALWAYS remember to do several treatment sets, not just a single one, when using the probes. A common mistake is to stop after administering a single set of 10-second treatments, which depending on the protocol is typically 2-4 minutes. One has to continue with these sets, and evaluate pain relief (0-10 scale) between sets, until there is either (1) no pain left, (2) patient feels stiff in the treatment area, or (3) you are not getting more pain relief by adding more treatment sets. The better the relief you get from a treatment (i.e. the stronger the initial suppression of pain), the longer the benefits will last from the treatment.
Can Alpha-Stim help me feel my numb feet again?
The manufacturer indicates that hyperesthesia (pain), hypoesthesia (numbness) and parasthesia (altered sensation) can be treated equally well with Alpha-Stim® technology. The manufacturer suggests that you use the Alpha-Stim® to treat numbness the same way as you would treat areas of pain. As an example, if your hands or arms are tingling or numb, you may take one pair of self-adhesive electrodes and put one electrode on each hand. This will run the current up one arm and down the other, and back. As another example, if you have an isolated area that is numb, you may place the electrodes on either side of the area of numbness, so that the current is directed through the area of numbness. You may use two pairs of electrodes in order to run the current in two directions. Please see our treatment protocols to learn how to treat specific areas on the body.
Product Information and Use
How are the Alpha-Stim® devices used?
The Alpha-Stim M and AID use ear clips for 20 minutes to an hour, anywhere from daily to 2 times a week to treat anxiety, depression and insomnia. The Alpha-Stim® M also treats pain with self-adhesive electrodes or probes on an as-needed basis.
What does the Alpha-Stim® M do? What are the differences in models?
The Alpha-Stim® M treats physical pain of all types with application of a patented microcurrent electrical therapy through the affected area. It also treats anxiety, insomnia and depression utilizing patented cranial electrotherapy stimulation applied through earclips. The Alpha-Stim® AID treats anxiety, insomnia and depression. The AID is simpler to use; the M model is more versatile given it can treat aches and pains throughout the body using self-adhesive electrodes or probes. The M model also comes with three frequency options rather than just the 0.5Hz, and it has two channel outputs rather than one, which allows one to treat pain with 2 sets of self-adhesive electrodes, or allows two people to treat with earclips at once. Put another way, the Alpha-Stim® M treats the body and brain, and the Alpha-Stim® AID treats the brain.
Why does the Alpha-Stim® M come with 3 different frequency settings?
For most people, and most conditions, the 0.5Hz frequency setting is best, resulting in longer residual pain relief that the other settings. If you are not achieving optimal results with the 0.5Hz setting please call us for tech support. The other frequency settings may lead to faster pain relief but typically the relief does not last as long. Always use 0.5Hz for earclip treatments.
Who can prescribe or order the Alpha-Stim® for patients?
In the USA, any practitioner who is licensed to diagnose and treat depression, anxiety, insomnia, or pain can order or dispense the Alpha-Stim®. This includes MDs, DOs, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dentists, chiropractors, naturopaths, physical therapists, acupuncturists, psychologists, licensed social workers, and other licensed mental health professionals.
How do I change the felt pads? And how often?
Remove the old felts after a treatment. Clean and dry the ends of the earclips. If there is glue residue or if you want to sterilize the surface, then you may use alcohol. Peel felts off the protective backing and attach them to the inside of each ear clip electrode, as originally packed. In a clinical setting, between patients clean the earclips thoroughly with alcohol prior to replacing the felts. The felts are intended for single use and cleaning the earclips and replacing felt pads after each use will help prevent discoloration of the metal on the earclips.

If you prefer to reuse the same felts a number of times before replacing please be sure to apply conducting solution to felt pads prior to each treatment.
Why are my earclips rusting?
A discoloration that may occasionally develop on earclips is actually a form of stain, not rust. It is produced as a “byproduct” of a chemical reaction between the current, conducting solution and natural skin residues or oil. This staining, if present, does not affect the efficacy and/or safety of the treatment. The amount of staining reported by patients varies widely among different people, mostly reflecting the amount and type of skin residue and, perhaps, the amount of conducting solution used during treatment.

One way to minimize the stain is to clean earclips and replace felt pads immediately after each use to keep the metal of the earclips dry and clean.
I cannot feel any current from my AS-Trodes™. What should I do?
For most people, the current is subsensory when applied on the body with probes or AS-Trodes™. Thus it is normal to not feel it. Or you may feel a very slight sensation.
How long do the AS-Trodes™ last?
The AS-Trodes™ may last 2-4 weeks or longer, depending on how often a patient uses the electrodes, for how long, and how clean and dry their skin is when applied. The manufacturer has gone to great lengths to research and procure the best possible electrodes for use with the Alpha-Stim®. The primary concern is efficacy. The adhesive gel on the AS-Trodes™ is the conductive medium ensuring 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, oil, or sweat on the skin, and cleanliness of the area where applied. To maximize the lifespan of AS-Trodes™, apply to clean, dry skin and sit or lie down during your treatment. When the gel begins to lose its ability to adhere properly to the skin, it is time to replace the electrodes, and you may order online at www.AlleviaHealth.com. It is more cost effective to order 10+ packs at a time if you continue using electrodes long term.
What kind of batteries should I use?
Please use high quality AA or AAA lithium batteries only for optimal performance.
Why can’t I use rechargeable batteries?
Rechargeable batteries do not discharge evenly. The waveform produced by Alpha-Stim technology is very specific and an unstable power supply may alter it thus affecting the results. In addition, the Alpha-Stim requires a well charged battery. Lithium batteries start out with more charge than a rechargeable battery and thus last much longer.
Can you use Alpha-Stim® technology with magnet therapy?
No. Electrical and magnetic fields interfere with each other so magnets can alter the Alpha-Stim waveform, rendering it ineffective.
Can Alpha-Stim® earclips be worn during an MRI procedure?
No, that is not recommended. However, it would be beneficial to use CES before MRI, particularly if a patient often experiences procedural anxiety.
I am planning on taking my Alpha-Stim with me on a trip next week. Will the airport X-ray machines cause any damage? Should I check it in or carry it through the security?
Alpha-Stim technology will not be affected by airport X-ray machines. Feel free to carry it on. If you are concerned security might ask questions about what it is, you may bring a brochure and receipt for the Alpha-Stim. We discourage checking your Alpha-Stim in your luggage to minimize the possibly of theft.
Side Effects and Contraindications
What are the side effects of using the Alpha-Stim®?
Adverse affects are usually mild and self-limiting. Adverse effects seen in approximately 4,541 patients in controlled, open, and uncontrolled conditions, and by physician survey and reasonably associated with the use of CES are dizziness (6 cases, 0.13%), skin irritation/electrode burns (5 cases, 0.11%), and headaches (9 cases, 0.20%). Prolonged CES treatment at higher than necessary level of current may cause dizziness or nausea that can last from hours to days: please keep it at a comfortable setting. Paradoxical reactions such as hyperexcited state, increased anxiety, and sleep disturbances are very rare but can occur. Well under 1% (0.35%) of patients experiences an increase in pain. If you have this experience please call for support. Often a washout period is helpful.
Are there any contraindications?
The Alpha-StimM and Alpha-Stim® AID may affect the operation of cardiac pacemakers (particularly demand type pacemakers). Do not stimulate directly on the eyes, or over the carotid sinus (on the neck beside the larynx). In addition, please note the following precautions: For external use only. Do not allow children to use or handle these devices without adult supervision. Do not operate potentially dangerous machinery or vehicles during, and in some cases, for several hours after treatment with the Alpha-Stim® M or Alpha-Stim® AID. Caution is advised in cases where other forms of analgesia (pain control) would not be used; such as to retain the beneficial aspects of pain for diagnosis or in cases where people may overuse pain-controlled areas. Safety of stimulation has not been established during pregnancy. There have been isolated reports of blood pressure being lowered by CES; while for many people this is considered desirable, care should be taken by those using the Alpha-Stim® M or Alpha-Stim® AID with high blood pressure medication.
Alpha-Stim® and Medication
Can the Alpha-Stim be used along with prescription medications? Can it help reduce my need for medication?
The Alpha-Stim is safe and effective for use in the treatment of its registered indications, and it has been helpful for many patients to reduce their reliance on medications used to treat pain, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Please talk with your doctor regarding any possible changes to your medications. Some patients use the Alpha-Stim in addition to taking medications, and others reduce their reliance on medications over time as they are using the Alpha-Stim. Physicians typically have patients back off their medication a little at a time, reducing it incrementally each week, and using the Alpha-Stim daily during that process. With many medications it is safest to cut back slowly/incrementally, not suddenly. Please always talk to your doctor about changing medication dosage. Please note that our staff does not advise patients on medication use.
Regulatory Status
Is the Alpha-Stim® considered investigational? Is your technology FDA approved?
Why haven’t I heard about Alpha-Stim®?
My doctor is not familiar with the Alpha-Stim®. How can I order this device?
Insurance Coverage
Will insurance pay for my Alpha-Stim device?

Will you file with my insurance?
Is the Alpha-Stim covered under Medicare/Medicaid?
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Technical information:

Description: Class IIa. Type BF medical device generating microcurrent pulses that are thought to reach the brain directly via ear lobe stimulation with 42% reaching the cortex through a perineural or vascular pathway via the auditory meatus. Frequency: 0.5 to 60hz. Output: 4.0 mA maximum. Waveform: Bipolar asymmetric rectangular waves, 500/a duty cycle. 0 net current. Average current density in brain tissue: 1 mA: 5-18 uA per cm. Electric field in brain tissue at 1 mA: 2.8 to 8 mV per cm.

Method of Action: Cranial electrostimulation uses microcurrent pulsed high frequency carrier waves (15,000 Hz) which utilizes the bulk capacitance of the body and a modulating bioactive frequency at low current levels to reestablish optimal neurotransmitter levels and functioning in the brain. CES differs from traditional transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) which is low-frequency (200 Hz or less), high-current (hundreds of mA) modality. Low-level electrical current interacts with cell membranes in a manner that produces modifications in information transduction associated with classical second messenger pathways, calcium channels and cyclic AMP. The activity/levels of MAO-B in blood platelets, CSF and plasma serotonin beta endorphin GABA concentration in blood. DHEA, 5-hydroxy-indol-acetic acid and enkephalins were all increased in experimental groups after 20 CES procedures. Cortisol and trvptophane levels decreased. Electrical engineering studies found that a small fraction of CES current actually reaches the thalamic area of the brain facilitating the release of neurotransmitters as noted above. A decrease in the latency of alpha-rhythm appearance at sleep onset has also been recorded with CES use evidencing reduced rigidity in the CNS stimulation process and enhanced activity of the alpha-rhythm generating systems.

Indications and Usage: In carefully conducted randomized controlled trials CES has repeatedly shown efficacy in treating mild to moderate primary or secondary anxiety and depressive conditions, normalization of central hemodynamics (systolic and diastolic blood pressure but not peripheral vascular tension) in Stage I hypertension, relieving headache pain (85%) and other types of pain conditions including pain resulting from dental surgery and cancer (35%), and especially in potentiating through centrally-mediated action the effect of analgesic drugs (fentanyl 176%-306%, morphine 174%-306%, alfentanil I 60%-2 15% and dextromoramide 267%-392%), or replacing them altogether and increasing the depth of anesthesia (In one study fentanyl use decreased by 31%.). and increasing attention and the ability to learn new tasks. To a lesser degree CES has been shown effective in relieving primary insomnia (particularly sleep-onset insomnia), mild depression, post-axonic spasticity, minimal brain dysfunction and mood changes subsequent to closed head injury (with corresponding decrease in the need to neuroleptic drugs). Efficacy of CES has been researched in regards to substance abuse recovery (including nicotine and opiate addiction) with mixed results.

Contraindications: Do not use this product if you are pregnant or lactating without first seeking advice from your physician. Do no use if you have a cardiac pacemaker (particularly demand type pacemakers) or other implanted bioelectric equipment without first consulting your physician. There have been isolated reports of CES treatment lowering blood pressure so care should be taken while using CES in conjunction with high blood pressure medication.

Dosage and Administration: Instructions for Use
After you have received initial instructions and a practice session on the CES unit with your therapist you will be able to self-administer treatment in the waiting room during hours when our office is open and a doctor is present. You will find the CES unit in the white case beside the couch in the waiting room. Here are your general instructions for use of the CES unit.

PRECAUTIONS: Optimally CES treatment should be applied in early hours after awakening and while in relaxed and quiet environment. Do not use CES within three hours of bedtime. Exercise caution when driving or operating machinery for one hour after treatment. Do not apply electrodes directly over the eyes or the carotid sinus area (upper side of the neck below the ear and behind the jaw). Do not sleep during CES treatment.

SETTING UP THE CES UNIT: Check settings by making sure “CH1” switch is set at “0.5 Hz”. “CH2” should be set at “CH1” position. “Intensity” should be set at “0” when unit is first turned on. The CES unit will have soft felt pads on each of the ear clips. Tear open one of the alcohol wipe packets and use the wipe on both of your ear lobes. Then put a few drops of saline nasal spray on each of the felt pads and place the clips just like earrings on your left and right ear lobes.

TO BEGIN THE CES TREATMENT SESSION: Once you are all ready to begin. Depress the “Power” button once and the countdown timer at the top on the CES unit will begin to count down from 30-minutes. Get into a relaxed position and begin to gradually turn up the “CH1 Intensity” level (green dial on upper left-hand side of unit) to highest comfortable level. This is usually the point at which the tingling or pulsing feeling on your earlobes begins to become uncomfortable and generally in the 2 Hz range. (Do not go but not go above level S on the dial.) The pulsing feeling that many people experience in their earlobes is normal and means the machine is working correctly. There is no way that the CES unit can be harmful to you so you can relax and enjoy the session. It is fine to read, mediate, and listen to music or just rest. Try not to fall asleep during the CES session, but it will not hurt you to do so. if you have arranged double 60 minute session simply set the CES unit timer accordingly or turn the “Power” button off and back on again after each 20 minute session.

FREQUENCY AND DURATION: Optimal CES treatments are 30 minutes two times daily for the first three weeks but one 60 minute session may be substituted. In some studies 40 minutes I time per day, five days per week has been found to be adequate. After first two weeks of daily treatment application may be reduced to maintenance level ranging from one 20-minute application every other day to one 20-minute application every three days. Treatment should not be discontinued as ineffective until 2 weeks of twice daily applications have been completed.

FOLLOWING CES TREATMENT: Use caution in operating a motor vehicle or other potentially dangerous mercenary until you get used to how you feel after CES treatment. We suggest you take it easy and avoid stressful situation for at least an hour after CES treatment. Try and move slowly, taking your time and breathing calmly and deeply into your abdomen. We also suggest you drink at least 2 full glasses of water in the first hour after CES treatment. Make a note of any unusual or interesting phenomena you experience and discuss these with your doctor at your next session or before is necessary.

COMBINED USE WITH MEDICATIONS: Cranial Electric Stimulation can be used in conjunction with analgesic, psychoactive and vascular medications. In general CES tends to potentiate, or cause an increase in, the effectiveness of these medications. Medication dosage should thus be closely monitored and reduced is necessary. The following technical information about the CES can be shared with your prescribing physician who may also request copies of research articles from our office. Medication for high blood pressure should be monitored carefully as it may need to be reduced.

SPECIALIZED TREATMENT NOTES: Anxiety: CES can be used on a preventive and, or emergent basis.

Insomnia: Reduced frequency of treatment needed (20 minutes once daily tapering after two weeks to 3 treatments weekly). Optimal treatment time during circadian rise immediately preceding sleep (e.g. 4-7 p.m. if bedtime 10:00 p.m.) Primary treatment affect is in Stage 4 (delta) sleep. Ambiguous REM occasionally occurs during treatment Headache Treat headache as soon as possible after first warning signs and not later than one hour after onset. Patch electrodes should be placed on alternate sides of temple. Can be used in conjunction with analgesic and vascular medications.

Clinical Effect In: Response to CES treatment is very individual. Treatment effects tend to be cumulative. Relief for anxiety conditions, insomnia and attentional problem is normally experienced by the second treatment with stable recovery by the seventh treatment. Mild depression and mild chronic pain conditions generally remit by the end of the tenth day of treatment. When brain neurotransmitters are back in balance no further improvement will be noticed. Maintenance treatments are sometimes needed at 2 to 3 twenty-minute sessions per week.

Adverse Reactions: Generally well tolerated. Some persons may experience initial anxiety related to novelty of the CES procedure and, or pulsating feeling generated by electrodes against the skin. Other adverse reactions: Dizziness (0.15%), skin irritation (0.12%), headaches (0.22%). Rare paradoxical reactions such as hyperexcited states, increased anxiety, and sleep disturbance have occurred. Some CES studies have demonstrated a exacerbation of preexisting depression in some individuals. No impairment of consciousness or reaction time has been reported in clinical studies. No studies have been conducted on long-term use of this product. If you suspect that an herb or other supplement is making you sick, call the FDA’s MedWatch hotline at 800-332-1088 or contact the agency via it’s website at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

Known Interactive Effects: CES treatment may interact with over-the-counter, herbal, hormonal, or enzymatic medications prescribed for the treatment of psychological conditions including anxiety, depression, or insomnia including drugs which affect brain serotonin levels or for pain and other neurologic conditions. In such situations close supervision by psychological or medical personnel is recommended.

Warnings: The information above is provided for educational purposes and may not be construed as a medical prescription or as a substitute for the advice of your physician. Do not use this product without first consulting your physician especially if you are pregnant or lactating. You should regularly consult your physician in matters regarding your health and particularly in respect to symptoms and conditions which may require diagnosis or medical attention. Reevaluate use of this product after 6 months.

Q. What is the history of CES?

A. At least two millennium ago, physicians used electric eels to relieve pain. Experimentation with low intensity electrical stimulation of the brain was first reported by Drs. Leduc and Rouxeau of France in 1902. Research on using what is now referred to as cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) for treatment of anxiety began in the Soviet Union during the 1950’s, its primary focus being the treatment of sleep disorders, hence its initial designation as “electrosleep.” Treatment of insomnia was soon overshadowed, however, by psychiatric application for depression and anxiety. Since then, it has been referred to by many other names, the most popular being transcranial electrotherapy (TCET) and neuroelectric therapy (NET).

East European nations soon picked up CES as a treatment modality and its use spread worldwide. by the late 1960’s, animal studies of CES had begun in the United States at the University of Tennessee and what is now the University of Wisconsin Medical school.

These were soon followed by human clinical trials at the University of Texas Medical school in San Antonio and the University of Wisconsin Medical School. More studies have followed. At present, the number of human studies stands at 103. In addition, there are 18 experimental animal studies, all of which attest to the safety of CES.

CES has been an international treatment modality for more than 50 years. Thousands of people worldwide continue to receive its benefits. The most extensive work on CES continues in Russia at the Pavlov Institute in St. Petersburg. But by no means is its use restricted to that part of the world. Current estimates are that there are between 50- 100,000 units in use globally. From a broad reading of published literature, no negative effects or major contraindications have been found from the use of CES to date, either in the U.S. or other parts of the world.

Q. Who could benefit most from the use of CES?

A. First and foremost, those suffering from stress in the form of depression, anxiety, and insomnia who seek an effective non- pharmacologic alternative. Secondly, those suffering from illnesses where stress constitutes a prime symptom.

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, stress-related problems account for 80-85% of all visits to medical offices. Research indicates that 80-85% of all diseases are caused by stress which plays a major role in aggravating up to 90% of all illnesses and some part in the development of every disease, from cancer to the common cold.

It has been estimated that 80% of the populace of the United States react to life adjustment problems with the “flight” or “fight” anxiety reaction. And that a similar percentage of our hospitals are filled with persons who have channeled anxiety released energies into their bodies resulting in psychogenic illnesses.

Among those illnesses are: substance abuse withdrawal syndrome (alcohol, street drugs, nicotine, prescription drugs), chronic fatigue syndrome including fybromyalgia, pre-menstrual syndrome, attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity, migraine and tension headaches, TMJ dysfunction, chronic pain, pre-competitive and performance anxiety, panic disorders, tic dolereaux, bruxism, stress induced asthma, hives, gastrointestinal disorders, ulcers or gastritis, and irritable bowel syndrome, to name a few.

We would underscore, however, that CES is not a cure for these illnesses and does not represent itself as such. But by successfully addressing the anxiety, depression, and insomnia underlying these disorders, it can play a major role in the healing process.

Q. Is CES then only for the “sick” and the “stressed-out ?

A. You don’t have to be “sick” or “stressed-out” to use CES and realize its benefits. CES is a life-enhancing instrument of potential value to everyone. Its uses are wide ranging. Some people use it as an adjunct to meditation practice each morning. Others during peak stressor moments that hit unexpectedly in the course of a day. Who hasn’t experienced those times when we are about to “lose it?” Putting the unit on in these situations even just briefly–perhaps for as little as ten minutes– can help curb that anxiety and serve as a reminder that one needs to be with ones self in a different way.

CES also represents a significant affirmation that you have the power within to change your mental state and that you are willing to take active steps to create the time and the space to do so.

Many use CES as an assist to their creative work or in high stress situations. CES quiets the mind, making it especially helpful in preparing for examinations or as an accelerated learning tool, such as when memorizing blocks of material. For the athlete readying for competition, it helps create the state of relaxed awareness helping them enter the zone of maximum performance. Each person finds for themselves how to best incorporate CES into their daily routine

Q. Can CES be used as a sleep aid?

A. The 100 Hz CES unit can be used at bedtime. But the .5 Hz CES needs to be employed differently.

Because of the increased alertness resulting almost immediately from its use, some patients may find it difficult to fall asleep immediately after a treatment. Accordingly it is recommended that the .5 Hz CES application be done at least three hours before going to bed. But by no means does that mean that it is contraindicated for insomnia.

One thing CES users often report is an increase in vivid dreaming. This results from compensation for lost REM sleep. As your sleep pattern begins to normalize–within the next two or three nights–it should become less frequent.

Q. Does CES work for everyone?

A. No. But it is known to be significantly effective for about 95% of the people who use it.

Q. What can I expect ?

A. Most people will experience a relaxation response almost immediately after treatment begins with a CES unit. Immediately after a CES treatment, patients usually report feeling relaxed and sometimes inebriated for the first few minutes. This is a pleasant and very comfortable sensation. After several minutes to hours, the light-headed feelings usually disappear, the relaxed state remains and a profound sense of alertness is achieved.

This relaxed/alert state will usually remain for an average of 12 to 72 hours after the first few treatments. With regular use it is possible for the patient to habituate to this preferred state of consciousness. Some patients describe the CES experience as analogous to having a type A mind in a type B body.

During the treatment some people will notice a subjective change in their body weight. You might feel heavier at first and then lighter, or you may simply feel lighter initially. You could feel slightly worse during the heavy cycle, and this feeling could last for days unless extra treatment time is given. Therefore it is important to continue the treatment for a few extra minutes if you should feel heavier at the end of the allotted time, even if it has already been twenty minutes or more. Continue for at least two minutes after you feel lighter. Although this is quite common, not everyone will be aware of these weight perception changes.

Q. What long range changes should I expect?

A. Sleep patterns should begin to normalize within the first day or two, with less and shorter periods of awakening during the night, faster onset of sleep after going to bed, and a greater feeling of being rested upon awakening the following morning. Depression and mood swings become less, as does irrational anger, irritability, and poor impulse control. By the second week, cognitive processing is visibly enhanced. Mental confusion due to stress begins to subside as the ability to focus and concentrate on work becomes easier and more efficient. The ability to recall information and accelerate learning also begins to return to normal pre-stress levels as concentration and memory improve.

Q. What is the suggested length and frequency of treatment?

A. For the 100Hz unit the recommended usage is 30-45 minutes once or twice daily for the first month after which the frequency may be reduced to two or three times weekly once symptoms are reduced or eliminated entirely. The 0.5 Hz unit recommended usage is three times a week for twenty to forty minutes, although there are some who will benefit from a more frequent daily treatment. There are also some who will achieve the full benefits within ten minutes. Some dentists use it instead of nitrous oxide during dental procedures that last for hours .You yourself determine how to best incorporate CES into your daily routine. It can be used on waking in the morning and/or on going to bed at night and/or in response to stress situations. Individuals undergoing psychiatric treatment or rehabilitation for substance abuse often benefit from more frequent and prolonged application.

Those suffering from severe anxiety and extremes of compulsive or addictive behavior may find it necessary to use it more frequently, perhaps several times daily. When symptoms of depression or anxiety have lessened or disappeared, it is still important to have access to the unit as a tool for relapse prevention on an as-needed basis. It is helpful to work in close conjunction with your physician/healthcare professional to determine the role CES plays in your overall treatment program.

Q. Can you overuse the unit? / Are there any adverse effects from doing so?

A. You can’t really overuse it. There have been no reported adverse effects from more frequent use. The objective of CES is to return neurotransmitter activity to pre-stress homeostasis. Once attained, CES has no additional effect. Serving as a training wheels of sorts, CES helps you reprogram yourself. Rather than learning to rely on the unit, you learn instead how to refine and expand the art of self-regulation. CES teaches you to become more sensitively attuned to yourself and better understand your body and its needs.

Along the way, you will intuitively come to know when CES is needed and when it is to be put aside. You alone will become the determinant of use, as regards both frequency and duration.

During its usage, you will experience periods of relative calm and a sense of control. You may even succumb to a bit of self- congratulations. Seemingly, your CES unit appears destined for the bottom of a drawer. Life being what it is, however, just as you are ready to celebrate for successfully negotiating your personal terrain with skill and dignity— Voila! New challenges appear from nowhere,–a veritable curveball from Hell. CES can help move you through those difficult transitions. Keep it handy. Incorporate it into your daily regimen.

The continuing use of the unit allows for further refinement of stress management skills at newer and higher levels of complexity.

Q. Is CES difficult to use? /How much technical skill does it take?

A. Most CES units are user friendly. After having put on either the electrodes or the earclips and inserted the leadwire into the jack, it’s all very simple. CES units either feature an on-off knob that also controls the amplitude (turning it to the right increases the amount of current) as in the 100 Hz devices. They use a button that turns the unit on and a side wheel that increases the amplitude (The Alpha Stim in addition displays the amount of micro-current being used from 1-6, each numeral representing one hundred microamperes). Start with a low current and gradually increase it. If the current is too high, the patient may experience a stinging at the electrodes, dizziness or nausea. If any of these symptoms occur, simply reduce the current and the symptoms will immediately subside. After a minute or two, try increasing the current again, but always keep it at a comfortable level. It’s ok to feel the current providing it is not uncomfortable.

Q. How does CES work?

A. As is the case with numerous medications, including aspirin, the exact physiological mechanism by which CES works is not fully understood and is still the subject of research study. It is hypothesized that CES acts by direct stimulation of the brain in the hypothalmic area with specific electronic frequencies. Such stimulation causes the brain to manufacture various neurohormones that effect ones moods and emotions as well as ones cognitive capabilities back to a level of pre-stress homeostasis. For a more detailed hypothesis see “The Biolectrical Mechanism” under Research.

Q. How does electromedicine such as CES differ from Western drug medicine?

A. Western drug medicine relies primarily on chemistry to heal and control pain. Microcurrent electrical therapy (MET) is based on the concept that the biophysics underlying the chemistry also plays a significant role in regulating bodily processes. Using waveforms at a level of current similar to the body’s own, MET bridges cellular communications helping reestablish the normal electrical flow.

The concept of a bioelectrical control system is common to every form of healing ever developed in recorded history, except for drug medicine. The Chinese named bioelectricity chi; the Japanese called it ki, the Indians referred to it as prana, and the Russians, bioplasma. There are 75 trillion cells in the human body, each one having an electrical potential across its cell membrane, just like a battery. Though acknowledging this fact, Western medicine does not yet fully appreciate the natural healing powers of the body or the bioelectrical systems that control them. .

Q. How is the current transmitted?

A. The traditional 100Hz unit utilizes pre-gelled electrodes that snap on or attach to the end of leadwire that plugs into jack of the unit. The Brain Tuner (BT-5 and 6) employs a stethoscope shaped device that sits beneath the ears.

The 0.5 Hz unit (Alpha Stim) uses “ear clips” with felt electrodes that adhere to the clips. Saturate the felt electrodes with saline solution and then apply them to the superior aspect of the earlobes as close to the jaw as possible.

Q. Under what circumstances is CES best used?

A. CES units generally come with a built-in belt-clip allowing you full freedom of movement. This allows you to use it just about anywhere and under a variety of circumstances, except those noted under the contraindications. You can do it at home while watching TV or at the office while doing your paperwork. Though of course you might not care to go out jogging with it on, but then again you might. But CES is more than an aside. It is also a reminder of the need to create inner quiet and reroute your mental traffic. You don’t want to contribute to it further by treating CES as yet one more thing to do, squeezed in between other frenetic events in your life. Though you need not interrupt your usual activity for CES, its results are generally enhanced by setting aside a special time for its use alone.

Q. How safe is CES?

A. CES has an unblemished safety record. For a more detailed analysis of that record see “safety” under the research section.

Cranial electrotherapy stimulators are generally limited to less than one milliampere (mA) of current. The Alpha-Stim 100 is an example of a CES device that employs very low intensity electrical current pulses (up to 600 microamperes). To put this into perspective, it takes one-half of an ampere to light an ordinary 60 watt light bulb. To truly compare the work done per second by these two different currents, we must multiply the currents by the respective voltages that drive them. The product current x voltage is a measure of the rate of generation of energy, and is referred to as the power output. By definition, when a device outputs 1 ampere of current with a 1 volt driving force, the power output of the device is 1 watt. Therefore for the Alpha-Stim 100, the maximum output is (600/1,000,000)amperes x 9 volts = 0.0054 watts, or about 11,000 times less power than the light bulb. Many people do not even feel this amount of current.

This is current amplitude similar to that in the human body. The sole source of the current is a nine volt battery. Because the current is alternating, it sends bipolar current between the electrodes instead of unidirectionally, as would be the case with direct current. Hence there is a net cellular polarization of zero to the user. This is a safety factor of major importance.

The Alpha-Stim in particular uses a very broad band of frequencies collectively known as harmonic resonance. This insures that the right frequency will be delivered to reestablish homeostasis within the bioelectrical system. The other frequencies pass harmlessly.

Q. Is CES discomforting?

A. CES is not to be confused with either ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) which uses a much greater amount of electricity to induce traumatic shock, or aversion therapy both of which are based on discomfort. With CES you should experience no discomfort whatsoever. The most that will ever be felt is a mild tingling sensation. If at any time the sensation proves too strong, the amplitude should immediately be reduced by a simple turnoff the knob or twist of the dial.

Research shows CES to operate effectively at both lower and higher levels of stimulation as well as below the sensate threshold. accordingly, the patients may turn the amplitude to the point of sensation; then turn it down slightly below that point leaving it there during the session. You may also increase or decrease the amplitude at will without impairing the efficacy of the treatment. Your own comfort always dictates the setting of the treatment.

Q. What is the relationship between CES and nutrition?

A. There is a synergistic relationship between nutrients and CES. Think of the brain as a car battery, some cells of which may not be fully functioning. To achieve that end one needs both water and the trickle charge–This is analogous to the brain, amino acids and the CES. The brain uses amino acids as the raw materials, the building blocks or precursors with which to build its neurotransmitters. It is necessary for these amino acids to be present in the bloodstream in adequate amounts for the maximum impact/benefit of CES to be realized. These precursors, if present will be taken up and synthesized into neurohormones much more effectively when CES is added. These neurotransmitter precursor amino acids can be taken orally as food supplements.

To experience an even more dramatic impact of CES, it should be done in conjunction with amino acid supplements, especially in those areas in which one is deficient. Ideally, you might first test to determine the nature of the neurotransmitter deficiency and then develop a regimen supplementing your diet with specific amino acids known to be precursors to them.

Q. Are there any contraindications?

A. There are no known contraindications for use of CES. However, there are circumstances in which its safety has not been tested. Accordingly, CES should not be used without on-going clinical supervision by severe depressives and those known to be epileptic, pregnant, or those using implanted electronic devices such as cardiac pacemakers or insulin pumps.

There have, however, been instances where under such supervision CES has been employed successfully and where CES has been shown to reduce both the frequency and severity of seizures.

Because of the feeling of induced relaxation that results while using CES, though, this relaxation response does not in any way impair reaction time, it is recommended that CES not be used while operating dangerous or complex equipment or while driving.

CES treatment may result indirectly in increased blood flow to the brain. Hence its possible contraindication in recent hemorrhagic stroke patients. This same effect can cause brief increased blood flow beneath the electrodes behind the ears. This redness should not be cause for concern. This is an extremely rare occurrence. It is not a burn response and will go away shortly after the CES treatment is finished if it occurs at all.

Perhaps three persons out of one hundred report a slight headache when using CES. This is usually alleviated by simply turning the current down. If the headache should recur during ordinary use, cease using the unit and consult with your health care professional.

As with the use of any medical device, the physician/licensed practitioner should be informed of any medication or neurotransmitter blockers the patient is taking as well as the employment of cardiac pacemakers or other electronic devices as mentioned above.

Q. What research is there as to the safety and effectiveness of CES?

A. There are approximately 1,000 articles on CES therapy many of which are listed in four reviews put out by the Foreign Service Bulletin of the United States Library of Congress. This is in addition to the wealth of physiological and bio-engineering data on electrosleep and electroanesthesia in animals. As of this writing there are more than 100 research studies on CES in humans and 18 experimental animal studies. The efficacy of CES has been clinically confirmed through the use of 28 different psychometric tests. The significance of CES research for treating anxiety has also been reconfirmed through meta-analyses conducted at the University of Tulsa and at the Department of Health Policy and Management , Harvard University School of Public Health. The full body of research can be accessed at this website.

Cranio-Electro Stimulation (CES) is a non-invasive brain stimulation that applies a small pulsed electric current across a person’s head. This small electrical stimulus which is applied laterally across the cranium stimulates endorphins, serotonin and norepinephrine neurotransmitter production.

 

In this video, Dave discusses Cranio-Electro Stimulation devices.

 

As far back as the first century, the Greeks and Romans used the electric eel, a variety of the “Torpedo Fish” for electrical stimulation. The electric eel was used well into the 19th century, even after the invention of electronic stimulation devices. First century writings record placing a live torpedo fish under the feet of a person suffering from gout to ease the pain. There are also reports of placing these fish on people’s foreheads to treat headaches.

Current interest in Cranio-Electrical Stimulation (CES) was initiated by Robinovitch, who in 1914 made the first claim for electrical treatment of insomnia. In 1958, the book Electro-Sleep reflected the first serious works on CES. This book inspired research in Europe and in Eastern Bloc countries, as well as in South America, Asia and finally the US. Because the CES equipment used was bulky, inconvenient, and unreliable, CES, like the electric eel, was abandoned in favor of drug therapies.

With the invention of the transistor in the 1960s, small, low-power and reliable CES devices were developed. By 1975 several companies in the US and Europe were manufacturing CES devices for public use. During this time, research on CES was quite active and scientific papers were published.

Most studies to date have shown CES as a reliable method to reduce anxiety and improve cognition in recovering alcoholics. Additional studies have shown CES to be an effective tool in reducing situational anxiety and improving IQ. Situational anxiety includes many things, such as seeing a dentist, writing exams, driving in busy traffic, job stress and so on.

Research to date is incomplete on the effects of using CES at various frequencies, citing both low and high frequencies can be effective for improving learning and reducing anxiety and pain. Many people who used CES along with AVE, have reported that they experienced deeper relaxation for prolonged periods of time. In addition to enhancing entrainment, CES increases neurotransmitter production. These neurotransmitters are necessary for information processing, memory, energy level and physical well-being.