Lifestyle • 15 August 2022
Did you know that with the help of innovative technologies, there's now a completely natural way to treat anxiety, insomnia and depression without medication?
Introducing the Alpha-Stim AID Device. This wearable device calms and relaxes the body by sending tiny electric currents through earclips, increasing the frequency of the soothing Alpha waves in the brain. In new trials conducted by the NHS, 63% of patients saw an improvement in anxiety symptoms.
Although statistics can be impressive, in our experience it's also incredibly useful to hear about genuine experiences using the technology. We spoke to Victoria, one of our valued customers, about her Alpha-Stim journey to see what it was really like to use the device.
Tell us a little more about your background...
When I was asked if I would like to trial the Alpha-Stim AID Device I didn't dare to have too much hope. The AID is hailed as a "drug-free treatment that works" for anxiety, depression and insomnia, and having lived for as long as I can remember with all three, this sounded too good to be true.
I went into it with a faint kind of optimism; I wanted it to work but didn't want the disappointment if it didn't make me feel better. I am happy to say that following a full 10-week programme I feel much, much better than before. My moods have levelled, and when life starts to feel as if it may get back on top of me using the Alpha-Stim lowers my anxiety. I can think rationally about navigating through situations that arise without spiralling into a complete panic. I don’t get the shakes from the sheer thought of a meeting at work, I can do my weekly food shop without listening to loud music to drown out the noise, and I can even say that I get a good night’s sleep now.
What solutions had you tried in the past?
To give you some background on why I was asked to trial the device I’ll explain some of my background in dealing with my mental health. I’ve tried counselling sessions from the age of 11 – with very limited success. I was so worried that I would make my therapist feel bad if I told them I wasn't feeling better. I would lie about how low my moods were which in turn meant they would stop the sessions.
For years I had been on medications for anxiety and depression; Fluoxetine and Sertraline worked best for me. The tablets came with caveats, though. I experienced side effects like dissociation, dulling of emotions (the good as well as bad), and tremors to name just a few.
Earlier this year I stopped taking my Sertraline almost by accident. I was busy with work, my parents were ill, and I kept forgetting to book an appointment for a review with my GP. They stopped my prescription in the end, and I found myself going cold turkey.
This is where the Alpha-Stim came in. I was struggling – badly – when it was suggested that I give it a go.
How did you find the first Alpha-Stim treatment?
The manual is incredibly thorough which I was glad for, I prefer to know the rationale behind everything, so reading through all the technical points helped a great deal. There are also a whole host of clinical studies published online about the device which are an interesting read if you can stand the jargon. After reading as much as I could and going over the instructions twice, I unboxed everything. The AID comes with little pads which stick on to the ear clips, making it look like you’re wearing headphones. The device itself reminds me of the original Game Boy, it isn’t too big and it isn’t difficult to use. Perhaps the strangest part was applying the solution to the pads and then clipping them to my ears – it was cold and wet, but I realised I had used too much of the solution.
Alpha-Stim say that using the device for 1 hour at 200μA is a perfect starting point, so that’s what I did. Well… That’s what I did after I tried using it at 400μA. Curiosity got the best of me, but I soon learned that more is not necessarily better! Every person’s body is different, so the ideal setting for you is going to be different. I’ve learned that it’s a really good idea to start on 200μA and begin increasing the power until you feel slight vertigo (dizziness, like that swooping sensation you have in your tummy after being on a rollercoaster). You will absolutely know it when you feel it. At that point turn the device down by one setting and you’ve hit the perfect level.
I played chilled out music in the background and I sat for an hour, still as a statue, because I didn’t want to mess anything up. The best way to describe the way it made me feel is like being under the weight of a thick duvet; warm, weighty and comforting. If I had ever had the nerve to get a massage, I thought, then this is probably how my body would have been afterwards. The whole world had melted away, I’d managed to spent a whole hour not worrying. I could barely believe that it had gone so well so soon.
How did you feel after the treatment?
I slept like a baby. No, really. My long-standing friends call me a vampire because I’m always awake during the night. I’ve tried everything to improve my sleep but the concept of an "early night" has always eluded me. Podcasts, audiobooks, meditation, sleeping tablets, herbal teas… The list goes on. After my first treatment with the Alpha-Stim (at about 6pm) I found myself crawling into bed at 10:30pm. I slept through the night without waking up – a miracle in itself – but more than that I didn’t even have nightmares. I could have done a dance when I woke up the next morning!
From trial and error (and research) I’ve also found that the treatment time varies per person. You can’t over treat with the device, but you can under treat and it's not a good feeling. That nice heavy feeling I mentioned will subside when you’ve used the device for long enough, if you stop treatment too soon it can stay with you for days.
So how did you find the experience overall? Was it positive?
It works. It works! My anxiety was improved from the first treatment – the effects wore off after a few hours but the more I kept up with my treatments the longer the results stayed with me. My depression took longer to work on, but I have felt a significant improvement with this. In the middle of trialling the Alpha-Stim we had a bereavement in the family and I can’t imagine how I would have coped without the AID.
The Alpha Stim AID doesn’t require checkup treatments with my doctor, I don’t have any side effects, and I’m no longer stuck setting an alarm to remember to take a tablet every day. Now that I’m used to the device I can watch TV or potter around while using it (it comes with a lanyard to keep the device around your neck). It has become a part of my daily routine at this point and I’m so glad I was given the opportunity to try it.