Why buy Alpa-Stim CESultra Fisher Wallace Stimulator
Well it comes down to whom you believe. Each company states it is the best. But they all use the same frequency that all the FDA approved research was completed to get approval. So way buy one over the other. It is very intersting to do the research. CESultra retails for $379, Alpha-Stim is $799 and the Fisher Wallace is $699. Please help but looking at the below data and give me feedback what you find. Enjoy, W Patrick Martin, MA, LMFT
Frequently Asked Questions taken for all over the internet so I still need to clean it up but here it is
Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES) Alphastim Vs. CESultra
All units have the same FDA approval due to using the same internal frequency. Why buy a Alpa-Stim VS. CESultra or even the Fisher Wallace Stimulator®. Well all are FDA approved and have Clearance. They all use to same patented waveform that shows potential use in more then just depression, anxiety and sleep as it is currently approve. I find the difference is in quality and features of each unit. The CESultra which is what I utilize for my family and my patient’s primary of the Alpha-Stim as I have a long history if reach and trust in the company who manufactures Alpa-Stim as you will be getting a very reliable and durable product. My name is Walter Pat Martin, MA, LMFT. In 1999 I requested to review pilot studies for my PhD program I was considering utilizing the CES technology to help children with ADHD improving quality of life and improvement in focus and decrease impulsivity. I was delighted to get overnighted from the owner out of Texas a 100 page box full of all the research he had on the subject and pilot studies. So I have only the highest level of respect for the manufactures of Alpha-Stim.
FDA Clearance (Fisher Wallis)
The Fisher Wallace Stimulator®, previously branded the Liss Cranial Stimulator®, was cleared by the FDA in 1990 for the treatment of depression, anxiety, insomnia and chronic pain – the longest tenure of regulation of any wearable neurostimulation device on the market.
The safety and effectiveness of the Fisher Wallace Stimulator® has been proven in multiple published studies, including a clinical trial conducted at Mount Sinai Hospital and published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease in 2015. The device is also used by top substance abuse clinics such as Phoenix House where it increased patient retention by 50% in a 392-subject study conducted in 2012.
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.
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.
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 CESultra or 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.
Side Effects and Contraindications
What are the side effects of using the Alpha-Stim® or CESultra?
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.
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? No Most Insurances Do Not Cover.
Will insurance pay for my Alpha-Stim device?
Will you file with my insurance?
Is the Alpha-Stim covered under Medicare/Medicaid?
Will private insurance pay for Alpha-Stim® supplies?