The Lifetime Pet Wellness Center offers Alpha-Stim Therapy as a rental option for owners seeking relief for behavioral maladies in their pets. The Alpha-Stim unit is a small iPod sized machine that can be used with gentle ear clips or rods applied to dogs or cats for 15-30 minute sessions, as directed by a veterinarian. We have seen the most success in applications for behavioral disorders including inappropriate house soiling, anxiety, aggression, OCD and related behaviors.
Alpha-Stim is an electro-medical product that was originally developed to treat anxiety, depression and insomnia in human patients as an alternative to pharmaceuticals. Alpha-Stim can be used for both Microcurrent Electrical Therapy (MET), or for Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES).
MET assists with acute and chronic pain, such as sprains, trauma and disk disease.
CES helps with upper motor neuron dysfunction, depression, pain and anxiety, such as separation anxiety, nervousness, obsessive compulsive disorders, cognitive dysfunction, and sympathetic dominant state.
The autonomic nervous system includes both the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, where the sympathetic area is responsible for the glands and organs that protect the body against attack, popularly known as the flight-or-flight response system. When stimulated, these nerves direct more blood to the muscles and brain, as well as increasing heart rate, blood pressure and adrenal gland function in preparation for action. Constant stimulation of the sympathetic state can cause nervousness, stress and feelings of panic, and can lead to wear on the body, even leading to weight loss and GI upset. CES applications work because the low level current fuels the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic system, stimulating endorphin release and re-balancing neuron firing patterns. By stimulating the parasympathetic system, CES can help bring balance to the autonomic system, creating feelings of calmness, increased focus, decreased stress, stabilized mood, and increased control of sensations, thus normalizing the overall firing patterns and supporting homeostasis.
Alpha-Stim Therapy is FDA approved and has been used in humans since the early eighties. At higher levels, Alpha-Stim applications may cause a mild tingling sensation and can increase sleepiness or dizziness, but does not result in the adverse side effects that may accompany pharmaceutical drugs. Alpha-Stim may not be effective in animals with long hair, and may require shaving application points for best results.
For more information on Alpha-Stim application in pets, visit Dr. Frick's website.