Anyone use the Alpha Stim? I just got one..

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Wolverine, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. Wolverine

    Wolverine Member

    Hi all. I just purchased a 2nd hand (new condition) Alpha Stim SCS.

    See here: (commercial URL removed by moderator)

    I have read alot of different info online in different areas about it. It has said to help CFS and Fibro by improving neurotransmitter function and helping the nervous system.

    I used it last night for the first time, but on an extremely low setting (half way between 0 and 1, and there is 0-5 on the dial). I didn't feel anything big from it yet, but today I am very brain tired (am most days anyway though), but a little more today. Im not sure if it was the machine, or if i just took a little too much melatonin (which happens easily for me).

    I might take today off, then try the machine again tommorrow. Did anyone who used it get an initial tired type of reaction? Or know if this goes away with continued use?
  2. Waynesrhythm

    Waynesrhythm Member

    Hi Chris,

    I posted fairly extensivly on some of my alpha-stim experiences on the following thread

    a couple months ago. You may want to check it out if you have not already done so. Just part of what I wrote there was:

    ----- On a setting of 1 for about 30 minutes, I began to develop a headache. I decided to take a nap, and upon wakening, woke up feeling very nauseous and hung over. I used to take Klonopin, and it felt very similar to having taken too much Klonopin. This was actually a very hopeful sign for me, because I’ve considered whether I should go back to taking Klonopin because of concerns about the excessive neuronal firing.

    I tried it again the next day at a setting of ½, and only did it for 20 minutes. Again, it felt like too much. So I took a two day break, and then tried it at ½ for 20 minutes again. This time it felt just right. It felt good to all of a sudden feel calmer. I gradually worked up to a setting of 1 for up to 20-30 minutes at a time. I now generally do this 3-4 times per day; shortly after waking, just before an afternoon nap, and just before going to bed at night. -----

    Taking too much klonopin has a similar feeling to me as taking too much melatonin. So I think your experience could have been from the alpha-stim, and not necessarily taking too much melatonin.

    Even though the "hangover" was unpleasant, I suspected right away (and later realized it to be true) that I was on to something good, as I could get a calming, almost sedating influence into my body and neurological system without using drugs or hormones.

    I continue to do well with the alpha-stim and use it every day. I also don't leave the house without it. Navigating the outside world has been problematic (to say the least) for many years. Having the alpha stim gives me more confidence in doing so, knowing I can take a break at any time and hook up the clips. I often use it while driving as well.

    Best, Wayne[This Message was Edited on 12/05/2008]
  3. Wolverine

    Wolverine Member

    Ah that's very interestning JK, and thanks heaps Wayne for your experience with it.

    I'm pretty discouraged again today, as I used it last night and moved the setting up to 1 for twenty minutes. I woke lots of times through the night with a weird buzzing in my brain! But was very groggy each time and went back to sleep pretty fast. This morning i woke at random times to take my HC, but then didnt wake up till 2pm, and was STILL really groggy (and still am at 4pm, barely been out of bed at all yet). Yesterday I had a good day and felt rather alive and awake most of the day from midday to afternoon, no brain lag, more energy than usual etc. I had only been on the alpha stim the night before for three minutes at a setting of half. So it definitely leaves me hungover galore.

    JK: For reason above and todays massive hangover, I'm a bit scared to go any higher than 1, and especially worried to go for long periods like an hour or more.. I'd be worried i'd go into a full day coma!! I really hope I can get 'used to it' and hope im not just so super sensitive that i wont be able to use it :( expensive machine if that's the case. I hope I can experiment enough to get some benefit, I need some brain function!

    Wayne: thats cool that you worked it out. So far I've got the same reaction as you with the bad hangover thing so it seems. Did your hangover effect ever last all day like mine does? I hope I can gradually work up as you did, as I've had really high hopes from what i've read and family friends who have one etc.

    The hangover today is not as bad as the one the other day where i took a bit too much melatonin ASWELL as the 20min on the alpha. My brain was ruined that day. Not great today either but the heavy eyes sleepy feeling just isn't as bad. The waking up with buzzing brain in the night was a bit worrying too tho. I guess i may get used to it. I don't know if it's worth just going on it for a few minutes per day/night at first? I don't really know if that will give any / enough benefit.

    Thanks again guys.. ~Chris.

  4. fnx3

    fnx3 New Member

    I tried a similar machine that ran a very low current of electricity into my body & after about 7 sessions I realised that I was becoming significantly more fatigued & brain fogged than before I started. I then tried to work out why & discovered that I was probably "electrically sensitive".

    That is quite a major thing to run electricity directly into yr body especially when you have CFS &/or Fibro - I would be EXTRA cautious with it & EXTRA careful to monitor how you respond.
  5. fnx3

    fnx3 New Member

    Here is a link to a very informative website that I found when I was trying to work out what was going wrong for me:
  6. Wolverine

    Wolverine Member

    article there on electrical sensitivity. I'm not sure I have that as i've been a serious tech head for many years, and never feel different near PC's and other electro gadgets than i do away from them. I mean i'll get kinda brain lagged if im on the PC way too long at once, but same with any task at the moment.

    Putting current through the brain however is probably a fair bit different than using electrical equipment that eminate EMF's.

    I have a reply back from the company saying that if you undertreat with the Alpha Stim, you can get very tired and groggy (i.e. too low a setting for too short a time). However, im not confident enough to up the power and stay on it an hour to see if I 'brighten up' instead of getting even more heavily fatigued. The lady seemed pretty certain that one wouldn't get the severe sleepiness if you treat long enough / high enough currency.

    I'm still not ready for that though, so i've just been increasing my time on it very slowly. The last few nights i've just done it on a setting of one, and am up to 8 minutes. This produces some calm, and I'm not hung over the next day. So i'm really going to stick with it and try make it work as i have hope on the machine, i think if i can get used to it it will provide alot of benefit, as it has for the guys above.
  7. Didoe

    Didoe New Member

    Hi to all
    I hope all those still using alph stim stop by with some updated feedback on whether you are still using your unit and how you feel.
    Wayne wrote a note suggesting alph stim as an option because I applied for deep brain electro therapy and havent heard anything as an applicant.

    Here's my concern, everyone sounds like they have do be their own physician with this machine, trying one current, stopping, continuing et etc. There doesnt sound like a solid protocol exists-and there may be one, I went to the website and when you reach a point of interest in obtaining serious info you are directed to find a practitioner (which does not mean an M.D.)

    I was also confused as to whether US citizens are required by the FDA to have a prescription to get an alpha stims???

    There are 3 types of machines available on their website-
    some patients have chronic pain either causing or as a result of depression,
    does this mean investing in 2-3 different machines and tracking varying electro currents in treating pain, depression, anxiety??? Even if trained, I cant imagine running into the practicioners office 2-3x a week to deal with a host of damned chronic problems that my rhuemi seems about to throw up her hands in defeat...even she said, you're dealing with alot...well yeah so it took years to get this messed up, so dont expect to fix it in 2-3 yrs with all respect...

    any input is really appreciated
  8. daboysone

    daboysone New Member

    I think I have one plus a tens unit, maybe I should bring them out of hiding and try them again. Is the alpha stim one that you clip to your ears? Mine is and when I turn it on it gives little electrical stimulations that actually make me dizzy if it's turned on too high. I was wondering if you could tell me of a place where I can buy new tens patches and the little round sticker like ones that goes on the ears with some type of drops that I need to apply to the patches before clipping onto my ears? Hope you feel better and rest well. Thankyou for any info you can provide on these devices. Let me know if you feel better after more time with them. M
  9. Wolverine

    Wolverine Member

    Yeah there doesn't seem to be a one size fits all with the units. Im super sensitive to so many things, seemingly including brain electro stimulation! I was getting extremely grogged out for about 20hours after using it even at the setting of 1! I had to go down to 1/2 setting at about 3minutes, which i didn't feel was doing alot. I think you have to work up to at least 20 mins. I stopped for a while due to dealing with other quite serious issues, but have been planning to start back up soon. Most people can probably tolerate more than me with the machine, but you have to experiment to find your own tolerance/benefit levels. I beleive once you get used to it and find your level/time, it is often beneficial for many, as i've heard first hand.

    In Australia we don't need a prescription and can just buy the units. I bought mine off ebay alot cheaper than they sell for originally.
  10. Wolverine

    Wolverine Member

    Yes the Alpha stim is the one you clip on your ears - and yes if you turn it up too high you will get immediately dizzy. Some people can tolerate the maximum level without dizziness some how, we're all different!

    The round stickers (ear clip pads) and conduction solution can be bought off ebay. There is one store named Allevia Health which sell all the bits for it - just go to ebay and search 'alpha stim' - it comes up in the stores section. (If you are in the US of course).
  11. gongee

    gongee New Member

    My acupunctrist introduced me to the Alpha stim. The first time I used it I was calmer but also everything looked clearer. I thought I was actually on to something, but from that time on each time I tried it, no matter how low the setting, I would have very bad dizzy spells. I finally just gave up on it.

    I do believe it can help but I just wasn't one of those people.

    Take care,

  12. soulight

    soulight New Member

    I have tried AS . It was recommended by my sleep health specialist . I have sleep apnea and circadian rhythm disorder.

    The unit was loaned to me to see what I thought of it . I wasn't told how to use it or what it was for . I could have asked , of course , but I was very foggy at the time and I just thought" great , I would like to feel better in any way possible" .

    It made my head buzz . I slept over 12 hours. I thought that if I cranked it up to the highest setting , I would feel the best , thinking more is better. The thing is , It did help my moods a little . I was less cranky . But is that what it is for ? It did nothing for pain and I did not like the sleepiness. Can anyone tell me what it really is supposed to help with ?

    thank you
  13. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    Here's a site where you can read comments from some folks who tried Alpha Stim.
    The comments, like the above posts, are from several years ago.

    [This Message was Edited on 11/27/2011]
  14. luigi21

    luigi21 Member

    whats the best unit to use for fibro the scs or the scs AS100?