"The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs...
and will make your bones strong;..."  Isaiah 58:11

Microcurrent, Alpha-Stim Therapy

The Alpha-Stim® 100 is distinct in that it is based on the concept that the biophysics underlying the body’s biochemistry also plays a significant role in regulating all of life’s processes. Doctors are taught that there are about 75 trillion cells in a human body, each having an electrical potential across its cell membrane, similar to a battery. Alpha-Stim’s proprietary waveform works by moving electrons through the body and brain at a variety of frequencies, collectively known as harmonic resonance. This normalizes the electrical activity of the nervous system and brain as measured by an electroencephalogram (EEG).

Postulated mechanism of Alpha-Stim CES

Brain on AlphaThe exact mechanism by which Alpha-Stim produces effects is not fully known. However, based on previous and ongoing studies, it appears that the Alpha-Stim microcurrent waveform activates particular groups of nerve cells located at the brainstem, a site at the base of the brain that sits atop of the spinal cord. These groups of nerve cells produce the chemicals serotonin and acetylcholine, which can affect the chemical activity of nerve cells that are both nearby and at more distant sites in the nervous system. In fact, these cells are situated to control the activity of nerve pathways that run up into the brain and that course down into the spinal cord.

By changing the electrical and chemical activity of certain nerve cells in the brainstem, Alpha-Stim appears to amplify activity in some neurological systems, and diminish activity in others. This neurological ‘fine tuning’ is called modulation, and occurs either as a result of, or together with the production of a certain type of electrical activity pattern in the brain known as an alpha state which can be measured on brain wave recordings (EEG). Such alpha rhythms are accompanied by feelings of calmness, relaxation and increased mental focus. The neurological mechanisms that are occurring during the alpha state appear to decrease stress-effects, reduce agitation and stabilize mood, and control both sensations and perceptions of particular types of pain.

These effects can be produced after a single treatment, and repeated treatments have been shown to increase the relative strength and duration of these effects. In some cases, effects have been stable and permanent, suggesting that the electrical and chemical changes evoked by Alpha-Stim have led to a durable re-tuning back to normal function.

What scientific research has been conducted?

The efficacy and safety of Alpha-Stim is backed by more than 50 research studies. Most of the studies were double-blind placebo controlled and were conducted at major US universities. 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.

What about clinical results?

Alpha StimPost-marketing surveys show that more than 90% of pain patients achieve clinically significant relief with Alpha-Stim, even when conventional intervention has failed. In a survey of 47 physicians reporting on 500 patients, Alpha-Stim treatments produced clinically significant results (at least 25% improvement) in 92% of patients for pain management, 94% for anxiety, 90% for depression, 93% for stress, 79% for insomnia, 90% for headaches, and 95% for muscle tension. Nearly half of the patients in all categories had 75 to 100% relief.

Furthermore, a survey of 2,500 patients who used Alpha-Stim technology for 3 weeks or more reported similar results. Of 1,949 pain patients, only 7% had less than 25% improvement, 32% had fair improvement of 25-49%, 38% had moderate improvement of 50-74%, and 23% of patients experienced 75-100% improvement. Combining the survey results from 723 patients reporting anxiety, depression, stress, chronic fatigue, and/or insomnia, only 8% had less than 25% improvement, 24% had fair improvement of 25-49%, 33% had moderate improvement of 50-74%, and over one-third (35%) experienced 75-100% improvement.

The degree of improvement in the patient's symptoms was recorded for multiple indications for which CES was prescribed. Similar to pharmaceutical studies, a level of improvement of at least 25% was considered clinically relevant.

CES vs. Antidepressants: an analysis of treatment efficency

The following analysis compares the efficacy of leading selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (Effexor, Serzone) with that of cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES). The cited drug efficacy information is based on the data reported to the FDA by the manufacturers of the respective brands as part of their new drug application process 4. CES efficacy data come from studies 5-12 submitted to the FDA by the manufacturer of the Alpha-Stim, Electromedical Products International, Inc. as part of a regulatory 515(i) reclassification process for CES.

The results of this comparison suggest that CES may represent a stronger modality for the treatment of depression than antidepressants given its high average effect size (63%), which can be interpreted as the additional amount of clinical improvement beyond the benefits (effects) of placebo.