View Full Version : Alpha Stim or other CES?


juneyam
07-28-16, 01:36 PM
Has anyone tried Alpha Stim or gotten neurofeedback sessions? Seems like it has a really high success rate compared to most meds, though not as widely used. I'm really interested in trying it except I'm not sure I want to commit $800 without knowing it'll specifically work on me. Also, if I do try it, I'm not sure if I should get the personal device to use on my own at home, or go to a neurofeedback practice and get sessions done there.

namazu
07-28-16, 03:03 PM
Has anyone tried Alpha Stim or gotten neurofeedback sessions? Seems like it has a really high success rate compared to most meds, though not as widely used. I'm really interested in trying it except I'm not sure I want to commit $800 without knowing it'll specifically work on me. Also, if I do try it, I'm not sure if I should get the personal device to use on my own at home, or go to a neurofeedback practice and get sessions done there.

Personally, I would be wary.

The Alpha-Stim device has not been approved by the FDA as a treatment for ADHD. The company was warned by the US FDA in 2013 (http://www.fda.gov/iceci/enforcementactions/warningletters/2013/ucm351179.htm) due to quality control issues and for making false/unsupported claims about treating medical conditions.

FDA has recently proposed reclassifying CES devices. (https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/01/22/2016-01173/neurological-devices-reclassification-of-cranial-electrotherapy-stimulator-intended-to-treat) This link has a lot of legalese and technical info. The gist seems to be that there's some (limited) evidence that CES devices may be effective in treating insomnia and anxiety, and probably a low risk of serious harm. However, the FDA also indicates that there are gaps in the evidence, that individual CES devices vary in ways that may affect how well they work and how safe they are, and that the use of these devices should be monitored by a physician.

That's all for insomnia and anxiety, though. (FDA notes that the use of these devices to treat depression is not adequately supported by research.)

I did a search of PubMed, a major database of the scientific literature, and there was (somewhat incredibly!) not a single published study (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=%22cranial+electrotherapy+stimulation%22+adh d)on CES devices and ADHD. If you're looking to treat ADHD rather than anxiety or insomnia, there's no scientific evidence that CES will do any good at all.

There has been some research on transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and ADHD (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=%22transcranial+magnetic+stimulation%22+adhd ), but TMS is a different technology from CES -- and the results for TMS have been mixed.

Biofeedback/neurofeedback is also different from CES, though some biofeedback clinics may offer CES or somehow use feedback methods in conjunction with CES.

I do think that these types of technologies may have the potential to help treat ADHD and other conditions; however, I feel that there needs to be more work done in well-designed trials to establish exactly what types of brain stimulation, where, how strong, how frequent, etc. before this stuff can really be called ready for prime time. Until then, explore your options, but beware of snake-oil salesmen.

BellaVita
07-28-16, 03:29 PM
I went to bio/neurofeedback sessions at a private practice for 4 years.

It ended up being a horrible experience - but that's because the doctor turned wacky and mean due to manipulation by my mother and broke several rules a doctor shouldn't break.

But the whole experience before things turned bad in the end, I guess it was at most relaxing but not very helpful. It didn't translate to real-life. Although it was kinda cool controlling things with my mind. (They hook up a bunch of wires to your head)

Also it's pretty expensive (I think it was $300/1 hr.)

juneyam
07-28-16, 08:25 PM
A friend/acquaintance took her son who has ADHD to neurofeedback for his focusing and had amazing results, so I'm intrigued. My son and I both have ADHD, I'm primarily inattentive, but I think my son's hyperactivity is very linked to his anxiety/sensory issues, so I wonder if we would be good candidates for successful treatment. But again, I don't want to plunk down that kind of money and am searching for more direct personal testimonials. I guess I need to wait until the science is more solidified on it for ADHD.

sarahsweets
07-29-16, 06:51 AM
A friend/acquaintance took her son who has ADHD to neurofeedback for his focusing and had amazing results, so I'm intrigued. My son and I both have ADHD, I'm primarily inattentive, but I think my son's hyperactivity is very linked to his anxiety/sensory issues, so I wonder if we would be good candidates for successful treatment. But again, I don't want to plunk down that kind of money and am searching for more direct personal testimonials. I guess I need to wait until the science is more solidified on it for ADHD.
Based on what Namazu said, maybe your friend is experiencing a placebo effect.

Unmanagable
07-29-16, 08:25 AM
A couple years ago, there was a practitioner of the Neuroptimal neurofeedback method who offered chances to try it through a bartering exchange of time vs. money.

I took advantage of the opportunity and it was life changing for me. I didn't notice any changes until after 6 sessions, and the changes were very subtle, yet very effective.

I noticed I'd stopped eating ice cream before bed, I'd stopped snapping people's heads off when I was frustrated, I was able to plan and actually follow through with more things than usual, I was no longer waking several times through the night without being able to get back to sleep, the depressive ditches were getting further and farther between, etc., etc.

The results I experienced were so incredibly helpful that my husband got me the personal device to use at home as a gift for xmas that year. It was pricey ($5,000), but also priceless.

I'm also able to help others who tried it with the same practitioner and experienced relief. She has since moved back to her hometown. Folks seek me out to continue a "booster" session every 6 months or yearly, as they feel they need it. Usually high stress or significant life events prompt a call for a session. It's also been a great bartering tool among other healers I work with.

It's different than the ones I'd looked into before, where you had to follow along with a specific program or an app of some sort, do homework, memorize stuff, and if you stopped at any point, you'd have to start over. It doesn't try to program your brain a certain way, rather it tries to clear your neural pathways to let your brain work as it should.

This one picks up where you left off in the ongoing sessions and doesn't have to be done as frequently once you start seeing and feeling the improvements.

If it's simply a placebo effect, no worries here. I'll still take the relief I feel now over how I used to feel, any day. I'm pretty sure I spent the same amount of money the machine cost in the combined medication attempts and appointments in the 5ish plus years I was seeking help through the more widely accepted and insurance approved avenues.

I'm not well versed enough in scientific explanations/research to make it all make acceptable sense to the more academically geared brains, all I know is it worked(s) wonders for me, as did my drastic dietary changes, and my life flows a lot smoother than it did prior to doing both. There's still a lot of uncomfortable and surprising bumps in the road, but I can more gently navigate them now.

Cyllya
07-30-16, 04:52 PM
It looks like all the blinded placebo-controlled studies of using EEG neurofeedback to treat ADHD have found that it's not better than the placebo. (Not entirely sure what the placebo is, but it seems they use some kind of fake neurofeedback activity.)

However, I couldn't find as much info on using biofeedback to treat anxiety and such. There's not much evidence that it's effective for those conditions, but there's also not much evidence that it's not effective, so it might be worth a shot if you've exhausted other options. Besides EEG neurofeedback, there's also HRV (heartrate variability) biofeedback.

nuvisys
08-15-16, 11:44 AM
It looks like all the blinded placebo-controlled studies of using EEG neurofeedback to treat ADHD have found that it's not better than the placebo. (Not entirely sure what the placebo is, but it seems they use some kind of fake neurofeedback activity.)

However, I couldn't find as much info on using biofeedback to treat anxiety and such. There's not much evidence that it's effective for those conditions, but there's also not much evidence that it's not effective, so it might be worth a shot if you've exhausted other options. Besides EEG neurofeedback, there's also HRV (heartrate variability) biofeedback.

Unfortunately, I do not know how someone with add/adhd feels. For those who have it, why dont you try to hear the tones on Youtube? Just punch: isochronic tones for add/adhd. This 'brain entrainment' where you induce your brain to respond to the specific freqs. Endorphine release for stressed bodies (serotonin/melatonin). Better still, research how certain freqs can relieve your stress, anxiety and depression.

My CES device is so cheap (not more than usd50, up to usd 150 if with many features like timer, etc). I use CES and brain entrainment. Definitely, no pills for me unless necessary. (vitamins and nsaids). CES devices should not be so expensive, unless the doc is associated with AMA, FDA or Big Pharma.

sarahsweets
08-16-16, 12:36 AM
Unfortunately, I do not know how someone with add/adhd feels. For those who have it, why dont you try to hear the tones on Youtube? Just punch: isochronic tones for add/adhd. This 'brain entrainment' where you induce your brain to respond to the specific freqs. Endorphine release for stressed bodies (serotonin/melatonin). Better still, research how certain freqs can relieve your stress, anxiety and depression.

My CES device is so cheap (not more than usd50, up to usd 150 if with many features like timer, etc). I use CES and brain entrainment. Definitely, no pills for me unless necessary. (vitamins and nsaids). CES devices should not be so expensive, unless the doc is associated with AMA, FDA or Big Pharma.

Why does it always fall back to Big Pharma?

Little Missy
08-16-16, 08:27 AM
Why does it always fall back to Big Pharma?

I LOVE Big Pharma. Without it I'd be dead. Literally.

Little Missy
08-16-16, 08:50 AM
Unfortunately, I do not know how someone with add/adhd feels. For those who have it, why dont you try to hear the tones on Youtube? Just punch: isochronic tones for add/adhd. This 'brain entrainment' where you induce your brain to respond to the specific freqs. Endorphine release for stressed bodies (serotonin/melatonin). Better still, research how certain freqs can relieve your stress, anxiety and depression.

My CES device is so cheap (not more than usd50, up to usd 150 if with many features like timer, etc). I use CES and brain entrainment. Definitely, no pills for me unless necessary. (vitamins and nsaids). CES devices should not be so expensive, unless the doc is associated with AMA, FDA or Big Pharma.

Do you find this to be a problem in the Phillippines?

Cyllya
08-22-16, 11:57 PM
Unfortunately, I do not know how someone with add/adhd feels. For those who have it, why dont you try to hear the tones on Youtube? Just punch: isochronic tones for add/adhd. This 'brain entrainment' where you induce your brain to respond to the specific freqs. Endorphine release for stressed bodies (serotonin/melatonin). Better still, research how certain freqs can relieve your stress, anxiety and depression.

My CES device is so cheap (not more than usd50, up to usd 150 if with many features like timer, etc). I use CES and brain entrainment. Definitely, no pills for me unless necessary. (vitamins and nsaids). CES devices should not be so expensive, unless the doc is associated with AMA, FDA or Big Pharma.

To clarify, CES is cranial electrotherapy stimulator, not the same as isochronic tones.

Thanks for mentioning isochronic tones though, it reminded me of binaural beats, which is another kind of brain entrainment. I tried binaural beats before and it was kind of pleasant but not really all that useful. I looked up isochronic tones, and apparently they're supposed to be more effective but it's newer and researched less. Generally if something is supposed to affect my neurotransmitters (or brainwaves or any brain physiology) to such an extent that it could have any significant effect on the symptoms of a neurodevelopmental disorder, I rather it's something that's been extensively studied. That's why I like Big Pharma: they study things. Still, I'll probably get desperate enough to stack