Those suffering from anxiety, insomnia, depression and chronic pain and have tried many means to get some relief might have an alternative, drug-free option.
It's called Alpha-Stimulation Therapy, or Alpha-Stim, a clinically proven medical device about the size of a cell phone, that uses a unique form of cranial electrotherapy to create a calming state in the patient's brain. The treatment, which takes about 20 minutes per session, involves two electrodes being clipped to the earlobes with wires running to the machine giving the impression the patient is simply wearing headphones.
Lyster Army Health Clinic has been offering this therapy to their patients for several years now for help with coping with PTSD, anxiety, depression and pain.
"A small pulse is emitted that stimulates the alpha waves in the brain and that is what creates the euphoric effect many people feel while utilizing the therapy," said DeQuetta Sanders, Counseling Psychologist at LAHC.
"The thing about Alpha-Stim is it's cumulative. So, the more you use it, the better it works," explained Sanders. "Fifteen daily sessions is the typical protocol and after those initial sessions an assessment will be completed to determine the future frequency of sessions."
Sanders said a good candidate is someone who is most importantly open to this alternative therapy, with the acknowledgement that this is a supplement to their regular treatment and not a cure-all.
Master Sgt. Lynn Roberts has experienced relief from a myriad of symptoms once she started coming to LAHC for Alpha-Stim therapy. She has been utilizing the therapy in addition to her regular appointments about three times a week for a few months now.
"I started noticing results in about a week and a half," said Roberts. "I physically felt calmer and more relaxed. I was open to anything that might possibly assist with helping my anxiety and depression. It was a no-brainer to give this a try."
Roberts said the therapy has helped tremendously with her fear of flying as well.
"If someone is hesitant about the therapy, I would say that just being away from your typical daily environment is relaxing enough. You come here, relax in this quiet room in a comfortable chair for 15 minutes and just escape the day. Sometimes it brings you back to calm. I think everyone could benefit from this therapy."
Everyone will respond differently to any type of therapy, but for patients like Roberts, continued use has given her her life back.
Roberts said the LAHC Behavioral Health team has always been welcoming and comforting and gives people tools to help with depressions and anxiety.
"I feel better. It's just a natural calmness. It's so worth it."
Those interested in learning more or scheduling an appointment for Alpha-Stim Therapy at LAHC should call the appointment line at 1-800-261-7193.