Alpha-Stim® Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Will I get immediate relief from my pain after the first
Most people do get very positive benefits after the first treatment.
Keep in mind though that everyone is different. You may require
several treatments before feeling the effects, or you may need to treat
yourself longer each time you use the Alpha-Stim. If you do not feel
any benefit after a week or two of use, call us. There may be a
better protocol for treating your specific case that we can guide you on.
We want to be your partners in your healing process.
Question: I have heard that it is a good idea to treat my surgical scars.
How do I do that?
Scar treatment is sometimes necessary in order for you to get a good
effect from Alpha-Stim treatment. Scars function as randomly-placed
resisters in your bio-circuitry. The Chinese knew this
thousands of years ago and incorporated it into acupuncture as the
Mother-Son Law. German physicians discovered it 50 years ago and call it
Neural Therapy. Neural Therapy is now taught in the United States. To use
the Alpha-Stim to treat your scars, place the AS-Trode™ electrodes on each
end of the scar and treat at about 300 microamperes at 0.5 Hz for at least
ten minutes per scar, at least four days in a row. You may feel a surge of
energy after you treat your scars. This may also increase your pain, as
breaking up bio-resistors will wake up your whole body, including your
pain. Treating your pain with the standard Alpha-Stim 100 pain treatment
protocols will alleviate your pain after scar treatment.
Question: Do I need to order earclips even if the pain is in my legs?
are used for CES (cranial electrotherapy stimulation), the registered
indications for which are anxiety, depression and insomnia. However,
anxiety, depression and insomnia are typically evident, especially in
chronic pain syndromes. Where the cause of pain may originally be in an
extremity like your arm or leg, the pain is perceived in the brain. Pain
is a complex central nervous system event and treating the site alone is
only addressing half the problem, and missing the most important half.
You may want to read abstracts of research on this that have been done
utilizing CES applications in the treatment of chronic pain syndromes like
severe spinal pain and fibromyalgia.
Question: Do I use the earclips before or after I treat my pain?
utilizing the CES application with the earclip
electrodes after treating with the probes or AS-Trode™ self-adhesive
electrodes with our pain protocols. The CES application is found to be so
effective that it may reduce or eliminate the pain prior to completion of
the pain protocol. This makes it difficult to ascertain whether you are
treating the correct area (this can be useful in determining more exact
physiology of the problem underlying the pain).
Question: If I use my Alpha-Stim more than 20 minutes twice a week, my
pain (or anxiety or depression or insomnia) will not stay gone.
Good. You have found the best way to use the Alpha-Stim for you. Many
people have found that some hiatus between treatments gets better results.
That is why we recommend using it every other day on a maintenance basis.
Question: Can I use the Alpha-Stim too much? If I use it too many hours a
day, or use it turned up too high, will it hurt me?
Since the Alpha-Stim works at a level of electricity similar to the body's
own bioelectricity, no known harm can come from its overuse. On the other
hand, it is always best to use it according to the directions provided by
your licensed health care practitioner, or the directions for use that
come with the device. Most people find that it is actually more effective
for chronic conditions when used every other day; just two or three times
per week. However, in acute conditions it may be used more than once a
day. It may be helpful for you to order our training video if you do not
already have it. If for some reason you do not get a positive clinical
response from it when used following our protocols, contact your health
care practitioner, or call our trained medical support staff at
1-888-378-4685 in the USA and Canada, or (513) 297-4975. Together we can often devise other, more
effective ways of using your Alpha-Stim for your specific needs.
Question: Can the Alpha-Stim be used along with drugs my doctor has
prescribed? Can it help reduce my need for pharmaceuticals?
Alpha-Stim is safe and effective for use in the treatment of its
registered indications, caution should be exercised when using CES with
certain types of drugs, such as medication for high blood pressure. As the
CES relaxes you, it brings your blood pressure down. If a drug then kicks
in and lowers it even further, it can become too low. It is easy to
regulate use of the Alpha-Stim but this is not so with drugs. Also, if you
are trying to get off of drugs you feel may be damaging to your health, it
is important that you do so under a doctor's supervision. Many drugs
cannot just be dropped but must be reduced gradually. The Alpha-Stim can
help accomplish this and is a safe, effective method, but drugs are not,
so caution must be exercised and, again, involve your doctor in the
Question: Some people tell me that if they turn their Alpha-Stim all the
way up when they are using the ear clips, they feel like they've just had
a double martini. Is that harmful?
We do not
suggest you keep the current so high that it causes unpleasant feelings.
Question: I have had depression for 20 years. Will I have to use the
Alpha-Stim every day for the rest of my life?
No. When your
neurotransmitters are balanced and the depression is gone, you will only
need to use it from time to time when your life's circumstances suggest
that the depression might come back. Some people who have recovered from
anxiety or depression find it best to use the Alpha-Stim two or three
times a week for 20 minutes to prevent another episode. Others put it on a
shelf in the closet and only get it down when they feel out of sorts.
Question: I have a friend who wants to come off of his antidepressant
drugs. Will the Alpha-Stim help with that?
The Alpha-Stim will be a big help with that, but he should only come off
his medication under medical supervision. Some physicians who are
withdrawing hospitalized patients from such medications will withdraw them
very quickly, some even "cold turkey," while
using the Alpha-Stim an hour or more each day. That would be dangerous for
most persons who were not under constant clinical supervision. Physicians
usually encourage outpatients to come off their medication a little at a
time, reducing it by small amounts every four or five days, and using the
Alpha-Stim daily during that process. Withdrawal can take weeks or months,
done this way, but it is much safer, and the patients ultimately get there
in the long run, which is what they wanted to do in the first place.
Question: I get the best results if I use my Alpha-Stim for one hour,
three times a day, and at night when I go to bed. Am I using it too much?
If that is how
you get your best results, you have found the key to how you should use
the Alpha-Stim for your condition. Keep in mind that the procedure will
likely change over time as you continue to improve, and you may find
yourself using it for only 10 or 20 minutes a couple of times a week in
order to stay at your peak level of functioning.
Question: When I use the ear clips, I sometimes get light headed or even
dizzy. I don't like that feeling. Is it necessary to feel that in order to
get benefit from the treatment.
You do not
have to feel unpleasant feelings in order to get the benefits of
Alpha-Stim CES treatment. When you first put apply it, be certain you have
the current level set to "0", then gradually
turn it up until you just begin to feel slightly light headed or dizzy. At
that point, turn the current back down until the dizzy feeling goes away,
and continue to treat yourself at that level.
If you feel dizzy again, turn it down again, but never less than "1". With
the Alpha-Stim microcurrent technology, more is not necessarily better.
However, the lower the current the longer it will take. Generally, if the
current is set at less than "2", it will take more than 20 minutes. Some
people will need an hour or more, especially for the first few treatments.
Question: While I have heard about and seen people get an immediate effect
from treatment, I always feel better the next day after I use the
Alpha-Stim, and I need to use it for several hours at a time. I am not
complaining, because it does work well for my anxiety, but why don't I get
an immediate effect?
While it is true that most people get an immediate effect, in some rare
cases people have a delayed effect like yours. In most of the cases where
people get a delayed effect, they also have trouble with prescription
drugs. In all these cases we have found one thing in common. The person
who has a delayed effect from Alpha-Stim treatment also has a delayed
effect from anesthetics. Usually, when you receive anesthetic injections
from your dentist, you are sufficiently numb for the dentist to drill your
tooth in a few minutes. For some people, this can take one-half hour or
more. Usually the dentist will make a big deal about it because it is so
rare. If you have a delayed response to anesthetics, you'll probably also
have a delayed response to Alpha-Stim. You will
also need to use it longer.
Question: It says in the instruction manual not to use the Alpha-Stim
within three hours of going to bed. My friend uses hers when she goes to
bed at night. She says it helps her sleep better, and she puts it on again
if she wakes up too early in the morning and it helps her get back to
The Alpha-Stim relaxes your body and focuses your mind. If you are going
to bed thinking about a problem, the mental focus may actually keep you
awake. That is why we do not recommend using it just before going to bed.
However, some people can fall asleep with it on. It is like caffeine, some
people can drink coffee, tea, or soft drinks just before going to bed,
while others are doomed to staying awake all night if they have a sip of
caffeine after 12:00 noon. If the Alpha-Stim does not keep you awake, it
is okay to use it before going to bed.
Question: After treatment for my back pain, I sometimes feel stiff. What
can I do about that?
You do not
need to do anything. The stiffness will reside, and we're certain you
prefer it to pain. Stiff is a magical word meaning "stop" Alpha-Stim
treatment for that day. The stiffness will wear off soon.
Question: Should I take nutrition supplements and vitamins when I use the
The Alpha-Stim, when used on your body for pain cessation or control, does
this in large part by initiating the repair process in the injured
tissues. It does this by, among other things, increasing the amino acid
transport and protein synthesis in the area. It can not do this if the
necessary amino acids are not present in the blood stream when you use
your Alpha-Stim. Similarly, when Alpha-Stim CES is used, it will effect a
balancing of your neurotransmitters by stimulating the brain to make more
of those you do not have enough of, until their level has increased to the
extent they and the other neurotransmitters can mutually control each
other's production. The Alpha-Stim can not help your brain make
neurotransmitters if the building blocks for them are not present in the
blood stream. So it is very important to eat a balanced diet while using
the Alpha-Stim, and that includes the major
amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients. We think
everyone should take dietary supplements. You should also drink plenty of
water as it is necessary for electrical conductivity in your body.
Question: What kind of food should I eat in order to get all the things
necessary for body or neurotransmitter repair?
care practitioner is your best local source of information regarding what
is required and how best to find it. You can also get helpful information
from your local health food store. In general, you should eat natural,
preferably organic whole foods, at least 40 percent raw fruits and
vegetables. To optimize digestion, do not mix proteins and carbohydrates,
eat fruit alone one-half hour before, or two hours after other foods, and
avoid white sugar and white flour. You should also avoid artificial
sweeteners, especially if you suffer from headaches. You can safely use
Stevia or Xylitol
for sweetening, available at your local health food store.
Question: Is it normal for my ears to turn red after I have used the
stimulation can cause skin irritation and it is usually mild and self
limiting. This is more prevalent in fair skinned people or those with
sensitive skin. If a problem persists, consult your medical professional
or try an alternative method of application such as applying the AS-Trode™
self-adhesive silver electrodes to the mastoid process (the bony area
behind the ears), or even the shoulders. The stimulation can dilate the
vascular system in the area which will turn the skin red.
Question: How long do the electrodes last? Mine aren't sticky any longer.
Can I tape them to my body?
Electromedical Products International, Inc. has gone to great lengths to
research and procure the best possible electrodes for use with the
Alpha-Stim. We are concerned primarily with efficacy and you should be
too. The adhesive gel on the electrodes is the conductive medium insuring
proper contact and distribution of the electrical signal with the body.
There are many variables which cause this gel to lose its effectiveness
including humidity, amount of hair or sweat on the skin, and cleanliness
of the area where applied. When the gel begins to lose its ability to
adhere properly to the skin, it is time to get new electrodes. Trying to
extend the life by taping them to the body may be inviting limited or
negative results. Always use fresh electrodes applied to a clean, dry skin
surface and only use AS-Trode™ brand silver electrodes designed for use
with the Alpha-Stim.
Question: Will insurance pay for this?
Many plans that cover durable medical equipment will pay for the
Alpha-Stim. However, many plan administrators and case managers are
unfamiliar with Alpha-Stim technology and, since it is broadly classed
along with cheap TENS devices, they assume it is just another TENS. If a
claim is denied, it is important to work with your doctor and insurance
company to educate them on the benefits of this technology. Alpha-Stim is
supported by more clinical studies than many drugs and is proven
efficacious for its registered indications. Some insurance carriers have
mistakenly classed the Alpha-Stim as an investigational device. We can
provide them with clearance to market this technology by regulatory
agencies in Europe (CE mark) the USA (FDA), Canada, and other countries.
As this technology may be new to your insurance carrier, it is important
not to take "no" for an answer. Your doctor knows the validity of this
technology or would not have prescribed its use in your case. It is
cleared to market and deserves proper reimbursement. As a manufacturer, we
have limited clout with the insurance carriers. However, the more doctors
and patients who request proper reimbursement for this valuable
technology, the more inclined they are to listen. In the end, this
technology will produce significant savings for the insurer over drugs,
surgery and secondary and tertiary problems caused by other types of
Question: Is this covered under Medicare/Medicaid?
Typically, these programs will want you to rent for a few months to
demonstrate efficacy, after which they will only pay a nominal amount. For
financially distressed patients we offer Quality Assured Previously Owned
units at a reduced cost (Note: Quality Assured Previously Owned units have
been quality tested and replenished with all new accessories and are
subject to availability. However, they only come with a One Year instead
of a Five Year Limited Warranty).
Question: Why doesn't my doctor know about this?
educated in institutions largely funded by pharmaceutical companies with
multi-million dollar (and larger) budgets. These large companies have the
resources to continue to educate doctors after they graduate, serve their
internships and go into private or institutional practices. Smaller,
innovative device companies such as EPI have had to build awareness
through word-of-mouth and participation in medical conferences not
dominated by pharmaceutical interests. It is not the doctor's fault that
these new technologies take longer to become known. It is the nature of
healthcare in the US and the nature of the medical profession which is
necessarily cautious in adopting new methods of medical intervention.
Also, more and more, patients are taking charge and taking responsibility
for their own healthcare and their doctors about technologies such as
Alpha-Stim which offer unprecedented efficacy without the negative side
effects of drugs. Eventually, doctors will utilize technologies such as
Alpha-Stim as a first line of defense, especially in treatment of chronic
disorders where the long term effects of drugs can cause secondary and
tertiary problems, sometimes worse than the ones originally treated.
Doctors that are on the cutting edge of the will seek us out, but many
need to hear about the benefits from patients who are willing to take
charge of their own well being.