February 27, 2003




Timothy C. Short, Psy.D.



Melbourne, Florida



Timothy C. Short, Psy.D.




pain, depression




Timothy C. Short,  Psy.D.
Licensed psychologist
1611 S. Apollo Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32901
1-321-724-2444   Fax 1-321-952-4131
February 27, 2003

How I Got Interested

I would have never thought that I would be telling this sort of story or that I would become a proponent of a specific medical intervention but I have to share my experiences with the Alpha-Stim 100.

My wife is totally disabled. Following an injury seven years ago she was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.  This illness has expressed itself with depression, impaired concentration and memory, fatigue, intractable pain and debilitating migraines. During the course of her illness we have tried everything. In the spirit of brevity I will not be specific but believe me when I say everything. 

October of 2002 a patient of mine, also with fibromyalgia, offered to loan me her Alpha-Stim 100.   She had received it several years ago while attending a pain clinic in Washington state and found it beneficial.

I accepted the loan of the Alpha-Stim with ambivalence.  As I mentioned we have tried everything.  There are three ways of applying the Alpha-Stim.  Electrodes that clip to the ears, electrodes with adhesive that can be applied to the skin, and electrodes attached to a plastic pen like structure, which are designed to be moved from point to point.  My patient included some protocols for all three modalities.  The electrodes produce a small pulse of electricity and which is called Microcurrent Electrical Therapy (MET).

The Alpha-Stim sat around for several days.  Actually I had accepted the loan more as a courtesy than an experiment. One evening my wife began to complain of a migraine. The usual procedure was for her to then take a Zomig.  Wait 30 minutes and, in almost all cases, then take an Imitrex injection, lay down for a couple of hours and get up with a “bruised head.”

On that night I used the Alpha-Stim. I used the probes and followed the protocol for head and neck pain. The treatment consisted of ten second applications of the probes bilaterally to several points on the head, neck and shoulders.  The total time was about three minutes. My wife sat quietly while I followed the protocol, I must say with ambivalence, fully expecting to be sent for the Zomig and the Imitrex.

Three minutes later I asked how she was and her reply was, “much better. I’m back to my usual level of pain.”  She later noted that she went from a nine to a two. I was still ambivalent…. Placebo effect?  The great healing hands of the old husband? Nurturing? I wasn’t sure but I was interested.

We had the same results with two subsequent migraines (at least weekly occurrences). About that time my wife began using the ear clip application once a day for 45 minutes.  Currently she uses the clips twice a day for 20 minutes each time.

In November we asked our physician to prescribe an Alpha-Stim. He rolled his eyes, commented that it was “harmless,” and wrote the prescription.  We returned to our physician in early February.

We told him that my wife had not filled a prescription for her migraine medication since October.  She still has her Imitrex and Zomig from that October prescription.  She reported no migraines for the last twelve weeks. She also noted that she felt less depressed, has more energy and improved concentration.

I have watched her return to cooking, an activity that she had been unable to organize or accomplish for several years, increase her activity with her grandchildren and house chores all while demonstrating an improved mood and affect. Her concentration improved and family members began to remark that mom was, “more with it.”  Use of pain medication decreased. Now I was really interested and so was my physician.

We continued to use the Alpha-Stim as mentioned above. We seldom have to use the probes for head pain but we are using applications for back and leg pain prn. I have even begun using the ear clips myself for 20 minutes every other day and find them to be relaxing.

Exploring the literature increased my interest.  There is research showing benefits in the treatment of pain, anxiety, depression, insomnia, fibromyalgia, substance abuse inpatient treatment, MS etc. etc. I have used the ear clips to treat anxiety and depression with some of my patients and have found mild to marked benefits reported.  In patients who are suffering from chronic pain use of the ear clips is usually accompanied by an increase in energy, mood and in most cases a reported decrease in pain.  The concomitant conditions of chronic pain, anxiety and depression would seem to argue that reduction in one area could well be expected to bring about improvement in another.

Of course the Alpha-Stim 100 does not help everybody, nor does penicillin for that matter, but I am very interested in seeing that this method of treatment be made available to appropriate patients and that physicians learn of this treatment modality. Several of my patients are being prescribed the Alpha-Stim by their physicians usually with the same eye rolling that our family physician used at the beginning. I look forward to their input and working in conjunction with them using the Alpha-Stim. By the way, I have loaned our family doc an Alpha-Stim and he was delighted. He’s experimenting, and learning as I write.

I have a busy practice but I have also decided to become an Alpha-Stim Distributor.  I have never been much of a businessman, which is perhaps one of the distant reasons I became a psychologist, but I want this technology available in this area. I, with my staff, will supply Alpha-Stims, information, materials and support.

The best thing I can say is that my wife is better, not cured but markedly better. Better than the Paxil, Zoloft, Effexor, Zanaflex, Oxicodone, Acupuncture, physical therapy, herbs, supplements, support groups, message, chiropractic, Imitrex, Zomig, Maltrex had ever accomplished in combination or by themselves.  We still use some antidepressants and pain meds but have plans for the reductions of both.  No migraine medications in almost twenty weeks! No migraines!  Depression markedly improved!

Thanks for your time.  I hope that I did not go on to long, it’s just that I have watched the decline of my wife and lived with her disability for seven years now, so I am a real sucker for IMPROVEMENT!

Tim Short, Psy.D.

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