Saturday, June 2, 2007

Brain Wave Therapy for Meth Addicts

(MG) One of the great joys and pleasures of the internet is access to newspapers across the country and around the world. Here's an June 2, 2007 article from the Billings Gazette that offers some hope for meth addicts (and others).

At the Rimrock Foundation, addictions treatment patients are using "cranial electrotherapy" a
"method [that] uses a device called an alpha wave stimulator to send a certain radio frequency through the brain" at a frequency which "lulls the brain's neurons into their most relaxed waking state, called the alpha brainwave state ...
a pleasant place to be" and is naturally achieved "in the moments after you wake up but before you become fully alert" according to Jon Gjersing the nursing director.

People whose brains have been damaged by drug use or other trauma can lose their ability to slip into alpha's meditative mode, and that can prevent them from functioning well day-to-day. It can also block recovery efforts.

Cranial electrotherapy guides the brain into alpha and seems to help it remember how to get there again on its own, said Mona Sumner, Rimrock Foundation's executive director.

"It's almost like this targets the injured part of the brain and starts to promote healing," Sumner said.

"This particular intervention has been probably one of the most effective things we've seen," she said. ...
"It's basically like turbocharging your efforts at meditating" ...

A typical session lasts 20 to 30 minutes, and patients undergo the therapy two to six times a week.

Results are almost immediate, with antsy patients suddenly able to sit still and anxious ones able to relax. Gjersing has seen the therapy ease tremors in people with Parkinson's disease, restore balance and strength to people with multiple sclerosis and reduce discomfort for chronic pain patients.
For recovering meth addicts, the treatment can eliminate all-consuming cravings for the drug ...
Methamphetamine harms the reasoning part of the brain, and it can take up to two years after drug use stops for the brain to regain regular function.
At the very least, the therapy enables meth addicts to function better during those months when their brains are stabilizing.

Alpha wave stimulators can be purchased for a few hundred dollars and used at home, but getting one requires a prescription from a doctor.

(MG) I can't see Big Pharma being happy with these results, but they sure sound encouraging to me ... especially the applications to Parkinson's M.S. and chronic pain patients.