Talking with Healthcare Practitioners About Using Alpha-Stim

Alpha-Stim technology offers healthcare practitioners working with patients dealing with anxiety, insomnia, depression* and pain a safe, drug-free treatment option. In the last few years, we’ve sat down with some experts who tried Alpha-Stim and then incorporated it into their practice. We asked their thoughts on the technology, what encouraged them to choose to make it part of their routine practice, and the benefits over other treatment modalities. 

Below are a few excerpts of healthcare practitioner experiences with Alpha-Stim M and Alpha-Stim AID from recent webinars where these individuals presented their experiences. 

*Alpha-Stim is FDA cleared for anxiety, insomnia and pain only, with approval for depression outside of the United States.

What Two Healthcare Professionals Say About Using Alpha-Stim with Patients

Using Alpha-Stim for Improved Mental Health

Whitney Erickson – Family Nurse Practitioner & Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Currently provides outpatient care for adults 25 years and older and is dual certified through the American Nurses credentialing center as both a family nurse practitioner and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner enabling her to provide well informed integrated care to individuals who often struggle with higher complex, full morbid mental and physical conditions.

“Most people outside of the medical and mental health professions underestimate the intensity of anxiety that has taken over the US. According to the anxiety and depression Association of America. nearly 40 million adults in the US suffer from anxiety disorders… Most common symptoms I see in my personal practice headaches, heart rate and rhythm variability, difficulty concentrating, and gastrointestinal distress. Inherently, I’ll have a couple clients few times a week sprinting back and forth from the restroom. Someone clutching their chest complaining of chest pain. Treatment for somatic symptoms typically involves addressing the underlying psychological issue. 

But what if we’re not sure what’s going on? Do we always need to reach for psychotropics during times of uncertainty? Or could we be more harmful? Hence, not all clients are created equal. Not all cases are created equal. Not all of our patients want to pursue medication management. Traditional treatment for anxiety, therapy, medication lifestyle changes. What if we can offer more right now? In the moment? What if it’s easy? For both you and the patient? It’s usually easy for someone but not both. Did I mention low to no side effect burden?…I can attest to it personally. With the right treatment, we can help significantly reduce and sometimes eliminate anxiety, leading those under our care to healthier, more fulfilling lives. I’ve applied Alpha stem during acute anxiety, panic attacks and reduce the duration as well as the unpleasantness that follow suit.”

Erickson also then talks about meeting patients where they are and that instead of pushing more intense modalities before a patient is ready, that Alpha-Stim can offer these patients with poor readiness a gentler but effective option: 

“But what happens when we don’t meet our clients where they are? What if we push in the end a modality like EMDR to quickly when their readiness is poor? Now we’ve sent them packing more traumatized and when they arrived, and it may take us days, weeks, months, sometimes even years to recover that. What if you could start with a more gentle, a more benign solution to facilitate those challenging conversations? I use alpha stem all the time during sessions just to more delicately facilitate progression to have those conversations without ramping up the anxious trauma response, or mine.”

Alpha-Stim and Rheumatology in Internal Medicine

Dr. Devon Charlton, specializes in rheumatology and is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, UPMC Regional Orthopedics

“So as many rheumatologists will attest, we don’t deal with just autoimmune cases. However we see a large variety of conditions with multiple domains and medicine covered. Sometimes these are overlapping with rheumatological conditions that retreat and sometimes are really the end of the road for a lot of these patients who are trying to make sense of their symptoms, and simply looking for outside-of-the-box thinking when it comes to pain relief… But I really want to focus on the scope of FDA indications for this device pain, anxiety and sleep disorder, poor sleep. So I thought we’d go through some scenarios within the clinic that I normally see where I’ve really found this device helpful. And on a side note, I did use it on myself after a label tear in my hip. And with pain from that postoperatively and with my sports and other things I like to do. So I’ve tested it on myself before really using it on everybody else but within the clinic.

So we see a lot of centralized pain syndromes, we see a lot of amplified musculoskeletal pain syndrome, we see a lot of fibromyalgia, you know, Complex Regional Pain disorders. So a lot of this is mixed into the consults we get. And even in patients we’re already seen for other things and rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, etc. These can overlap on top of that, too. So we see a lot of mechanical pain patients, a lot of advanced softer arthritis, general osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, TMJ tension, headaches, etc. We see a lot of post-surgical patients with prior trauma-related pain. We see the bread-and-butter inflammatory autoimmune diseases that rheumatology is known for. And then on top of this, we see a lot of concomitant mood disorders, a lot of patients with anxiety, insomnia, [and] then we see a lot of chronic fatigue and altered sleep patterns from a lot of the associated conditions I recently mentioned.

So, a couple of patients stories that come to mind after going through all those different scenarios. So one of the patients came to me and had psoriatic arthritis. So we were treating that and kept having chronic discomfort in the right foot. And the X-rays didn’t show anything there, the lab work was totally fine. She was on adequate therapy to treat her underlying issue, yet she still had foot pain, and it did not go away, and it did not match her exam. So I did. I used the Alpha stim M, which has the probes, and it also has the CES. So you’re doing the microcurrent, and you’re also doing the cranial electrotherapy. So I did the electric current microcurrent therapy on the foot. That following week, she had three to four hours, of a pain-free foot for the first time in a long time. So that was kind of my eyes open to the possibilities of using Alpha-stim. 

A lot of our fibromyalgia patients have chronic fatigue, widespread pain disorder, and more really central pain, there are a lot of neurological processes going on. And I found that using the device whether in the office at the time of the visit, or after the visit, patients have had a positive response to it. And one patient bouncing off the table with severe [pain], anxiety, frustrated by everything, everything hurts, nothing’s working. I said hold on, I want to try something with you. I went in, hooked up the device, and this time I did the CES on him. While he was doing the whole visit, it was like flipping a switch it calmed him down. He was able to relax, so we could get through the visit, go through his history, and figure out what was really going on. And he really enjoyed the enjoy the experience. So it was another interesting example of patients who have used it during their CPAP and who couldn’t tolerate the CPAP to treat their sleep apnea, which was also one of the drivers of their central pain syndromes.

Same thing with psoriatic arthritis patients, I’ve had patients with a lot of chronic fatigue, despite treating their joint pain in the back pain and their skin and sleep issues. And they just could not find a solution to this barrier. And I found that using the Alpha-Stim in the office and outside the office on a routine basis has really helped manage such symptoms, in these patients.

So it’s again and again with patients in the office, that I’m finding interesting nuances and how to how to overcome these barriers that typically in rheumatology, we’ve had very difficulty doing, you know, we treat the disease, we treat the target, we got the inflammation under control, the disease seems fine, but we can’t get past these, what we sometimes called type two symptoms such as lupus patients, or chronic fatigue and RA or psoriatic arthritis, you know, chronic pain despite really no measurable inflammation on exam or for lab work or even imaging. So it’s been a very interesting experience thus far enough. I’ve been using it for at least a couple of years now. Not only myself and friends of family, but in all these patients.”

How to Start Prescribing Alpha-Stim

If you’re thinking about trying Alpha-Stim in your own practice, learn more here with our resources for healthcare professionals. Alpha-Stim is easy to use with patients, both in the clinical and office settings, as well as by patients themselves at home. Alpha-Stim can be prescribed both in-person in a qualified healthcare clinic or office setting, as well as via telehealth appointments.

A prescription for Alpha-Stim is only required in the United States and it is available over the counter outside of the United States, making it easy for patients to access this device and easy for you to prescribe. Learn more about prescribing Alpha-Stim here.

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