Published in Port Charlotte, Florida, The Sun, Feeling Fit Section, page 19, February 16, 2003 issue:
Combining synergistic therapies often achieves pain relief
Dennis J. Lazar, RN, C.Psy., BCIA
From her face and her voice, I could tell that she was in pain. Port Charlotte resident Cathy Tankersley had been experiencing constant low back pain for more than five years following an auto accident. And she had gone through every treatment from surgery and injections to physical therapy, chiropractic and medication, all without success. While she had decided to try my combination of biofeedback and electrotherapy, she really didn’t expect it to help very much.
An initial surface electromyographic static and dynamic scan revealed a gross imbalance in her paraspinal muscles with the right side hyperactive. It was a typical picture of chronic myofascial pain syndrome.
Dennis J. Lazar, RN,
C. Psy., BCIA
President – Clinical Pain Management Products
I guided her though a range of motion and asked “On a scale of 1 to 10, rate your worst pain right now."
It was a 9, she said. Using two handheld probes, I applied a unique type of microcurrent in 12 vectors through the area of her pain using a device called the Alpha-Stim. “Now, go through the same movements and rate your pain again. Try to put your finger right where it hurts.”
As she turned and bent, I could see that her range of motion had increased dramatically. “I think it’s down to about 5. This is fantastic!”
I performed a second 12 placement treatment, zeroing in closer on the remaining pain source. “Try it again,” I instructed.
“I can’t believe it,” she exclaimed. The pain is gone. It’s the first time in 5 years. It’s a miracle!”
Because she was leaving for an RV vacation the following week, she decided to rent an Alpha-Stim unit to take with her. I provided her husband, Ron, with instruction on its application and gave them a video to reinforce what they had learned.
Dennis Lazar treats with Alpha-Stim
“Try it for a month,” I told them, “and when you come back, we can have a few biofeedback sessions to address your underlying muscle imbalance.”
The phone rang three weeks later. It was Cathy. “We want to buy the Alpha-Stim,” she said. Since I started using it, I haven’t taken a pill or had an adjustment. I feel great. In fact, in our second week on the road I went to the bathroom in our motor home while Ron drove down the freeway. I was standing at the sink when someone cut in front of us and Ron had to hit the brakes. I went flying into the shower/tub and wrenched my back.”
“I thought I was finished,” she said. “I told Ron that we’d have to find a chiropractor in the next town. I was really hunched over and in tremendous pain. But Ron suggested that we pull into a rest stop and try an Alpha-Stim treatment. He did it and it was a miracle. The pain went away. We continued our vacation. It’s wonderful!”
As a registered nurse therapist, certified in biofeedback, psychiatric nursing and electromedicine and a naturopath, I began providing biofeedback therapy in 1991 in partnership with a West Palm Beach M.D. who specializes in pain management. Shortly after beginning practice, I read an article in the American Journal of Electromedicine. The study showed that applying the unique waveform produced by Alpha-Stim technology combined with biofeedback, produced results better than either therapy alone. I quickly incorporated this into my treatment plans.
Over the past 10 years, I have successfully treated hundreds of workers compensation and auto injury patients suffering long term chronic pain as well as folks having migraine headaches, anxiety, panic attacks, phobias and other psychological problems. I work together with physiatrists, anesthesiologists, psychiatrists and chiropractors to apply these synergistic therapies where nothing else has helped.
Very briefly, biofeedback therapy involves monitoring of body functions and displaying them on a computer screen in such a way that the patient can learn to exert voluntary control. For instance, in lumbar muscle spasm, once a patient can see the problem muscle on the screen, he or she can learn to “zero in” on it and stop the hyperactivity. In migraine and vascular headaches, patients learn to sense a migraine long before it arrives. They quickly learn to dilate certain arteries which through their effect on the hypothalamus, abort migraines before they get started.
Through biofeedback, cancer patients can learn to control the side effects of chemotherapy and even target the immune system to attack the tumor. This is called psychoneuroimmunology and is often used as a complementary modality along with conventional cancer therapies.
Biofeedback provides a window on the inner working of the body and the mind. It empowers the patient to take control and become an active part of the health care team.
Microcurrent electrotherapy (MET) was conceived and patented by Dr. Daniel Kirsch who named his device the Alpha-Stim. This device, initially a 40-pound doctors’ office machine on a rolling cart, has been reduced in recent years to the size of a cell phone.
Its modes of action have been the subject of over 50 scientific studies, more than any other therapeutic device, and more than many drugs. It is cleared for marketing by the FDA for all types of pain as well as for anxiety, depression and insomnia.
But recent research has revealed much more. Physicians across the nation now apply it with great success to cases of fibromyalgia, RSD, ADHD, stress, drug addiction, carpel tunnel syndrome, and even multiple sclerosis.
The device contains two computer microprocessors which produce a complex and patented wave form which can be described as “a pharmacy in a wave form.” This is because the complex signal acts as a range of “ligands” to stimulate the body’s cell wall receptor sites.
Medications act on the body by stimulating chemical receptors. But all the medications ever produced are only capable of stimulating 2% of the body’s receptors. Many more receptors respond to electrical ligands or signals.
The Alpha-Stim stimulates these receptors with astounding results. One effect of treatment is an increase in adenosine triphosphate (ATP) within the cells by 500%. This dramatically accelerates the transport of nutrients into the cells and expulsion of waste products out of the cells. The result is relief of pain as well as healing.
Application of Alpha-Stim for pain is accomplished using two hand-held probes applied in such a way as to vector current through the area of pain. Also, when applied transcranially using two ear-clip electrodes, it addresses pain, anxiety, depression and much more, at the source.
The Alpha-Stim can be applied as an in-office treatment, on a rental basis for home use by prescription, and if it provides the expected relief, it can be purchased. Biofeedback therapy is provided in my office usually twice a week for a maximum of 12 visits and usually in combination with Alpha-Stim treatment.
Many of my patients do not arrive with high expectations. They have been through it all. Drugs, injections, surgery, and lots of therapy. When they get a level of relief that they really did not fully expect, they exclaim, “It’s a miracle.”
I expect miracles!
Dennis Lazar is Clinical Director of Clinical Pain Management, located at 24123 Peachland Blvd. in Port Charlotte, Florida.