NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — If you suffer from anxiety, insomnia, depression, or chronic pain, but don’t want to take drugs to treat your problem a battery-powered device used by the VA to treat veterans may be the answer.
For about 5 months now, Therese Walsh has been coming to Dr. Safdar Chaudhary’s practice at least twice a week. She doesn’t come for pills or invasive procedures, just a soothing 20 minute session with Alpha Stim.READ MORE: Who Is Cuomo's Possible Successor, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul?
“Well, I’ve battled depression, alcoholism, and ADD most of my life. So I’m 28 years sober, so for 28 years I’ve been trying different therapies,” she told CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez.
The therapy is called cranial electrotherapy. It uses electrodes applied to the ear lobes to transmit low voltage waveforms across the brain.
“So I knew that there’s a medical methodology of medicine helping the neurotransmitters or an electrical based shifting of the brain’s functioning. I wouldn’t be convinced if my patients were not getting better,” Dr. Chaudhary said.
The system attaches to a patient’s ears.READ MORE: Gov. Murphy Reflects On All He And People Of New Jersey Have Learned During The Coronavirus Pandemic
“From the first second I tried this. It hit my ears. I instantaneously feel it. It’s like a little blink and I feel the energy of it,” Walsh said, “It’s just a natural euphoric calmness. Not a high per se, but you feel really relaxed. It helps me sleep.”
Right now, it’s FDA cleared to treat anxiety, insomnia, depression and pain. But what would it feel like in someone without those conditions?
“Oh my goodness, it’s sort of a blanket of calm that goes down through my extremities,” Kym Gable said.
Everyone responds differently of course, but for patients like Therese, continued use has given her her life back.
While some doctors think Alpha Stim’s effects may be due more to a placebo effect than brain modulation, there have been a number of clinical trials supporting the device’s effectiveness.MORE NEWS: Former Aide Refuses To Accept Cuomo's Apology Amid Sexual Harassment Probe; Gov Stays Silent To Reporters' Questions
Either way, there don’t seem to be any serious side effects. So it may be worth a try, but you will need a doctor’s prescription.