The Fisher Wallace Stimulator: A review

alternate treatments for depression

Seems like it’s always about meds. Aren’t there any creative “brain remedies” around? Well, there’s the Fisher Wallace Stimulator. And it’s touted as being effective in the treatment of depression, anxiety, and insomnia.

The Fisher Wallace Stimulator is cleared by the US FDA for at home treatment of depression, anxiety, and insomnia.

If a remedy has a reputation for providing relief for mood and anxiety symptoms, it’s Chipur material.

So now that I’ve hopefully piqued your interest, how ’bout a review…

How does the Fisher Wallace Stimulator work?

The Fisher Wallace Stimulator (FWS) delivers a mild electrical current to the brain. It’s important to understand that the FWS isn’t an electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) or transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).

Fisher Wallace Laboratories (FWL) uses patented radio frequencies to stimulate the production of serotonin, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA: our most abundant inhibitory – calming – neurotransmitter), endorphins, and other key neurochemicals involved in mood, anxiety, and sleep.

As a bonus, it’s also said to lower cortisol levels.

Conveniently, the FWS is used at home: 20-minute sessions twice daily for the treatment of anxiety and depression, once a day for insomnia.

There are no potential meds conflicts, and the only reported side effects are rare occurrences of mild headache, skin irritation, and dizziness.

The FWS is cleared by the US FDA for at home treatment of depression, anxiety, and insomnia. What does that mean? The FDA has determined the FWS to be substantially equivalent to another legally marketed device. FWL had to send a premarket notification to the FDA to secure such clearance.

A prescription is required to purchase a FWS.

Does it really work?

Well, apparently it does. And relief has been realized in 5-10 treatment sessions. According to report, positive results are seen more frequently with insomnia. Yet, a Columbia Medical Center physician says the FWS has been efficacious in 75-80% of the depression and anxiety cases for which he’s prescribed it.

Of note: FWL has some high-powered medical and science brainiacs backing the FWS, as well as planning research projects. They’re from Harvard Medical School, Columbia Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, the University of Maryland, and more.

FWL says the device should be used daily for 30-45 days before drawing final efficacy conclusions. And they’ll issue a full refund if you return the device within 60 days because it didn’t successfully treat your symptoms.

How to buy a Fisher Wallace Stimulator

Again, you’ll need a prescription. Once you secure one, head on over to the FWL website and get things rolling. A new FWS is $799. FWL typically has payment plans and special pricing available.

Keep in mind, many private insurance companies will reimburse a portion of the FWS purchase price. Be sure to check with yours.

That’ll do it

Chipur does all it can to keep you posted on remedies for mood and anxiety symptoms and disorders.

Naturally, I can’t tell you if a psychotherapy, med, supplement, or device will for sure work for you. But I can tell you if my gut says we’re dealing with a hack or con.

No such feeling with the Fisher Wallace Stimulator.

If you found this article relevant and helpful, there are plenty more in the Chipur archives. Peruse the titles.

  • HowMuchLongerShouldISuffer January 25, 2012, 11:02 am

    It is hard to get a prescription.  I had to literally beg my Pdoc to do some research. I went to the Fisher-Wallace website and locate my PDOC’s boss who had prescribed it before. I have to wait 30 days before to see if my meds will work.(they never do).

    • chipur January 25, 2012, 6:26 pm

      The quest for relief is so often needlessly blocked by stupid barriers. My heart goes out to you, though I that doesn’t do you much good…


    • wayne kuttner March 10, 2012, 9:39 pm

       Iam a nurse and willl send in my documentation to get some people the prescription all -gratis.emai me at

  • Paula January 26, 2012, 5:55 pm

    any new updates on effectiveness?

    • chipur January 28, 2012, 10:55 am

      Hi Paula…

      I haven’t any; however, you never know when someone else may chime in. Also, try doing a search on the chipur forum

      Thanks for the visit and the post…


      • newmama March 14, 2012, 1:17 am

        pls see my posts below Paula :) I use it twice a day on the lowest setting (1) and I really feel that it is helping.

    • BarbCat February 19, 2015, 1:47 pm

      I posted above to say that the Alpha-Stim (same thing) did not do anything for me and oh boy, I sure did want it to. Used it every day, sometimes twice, for about 6 weeks and other than a buzzy little tingle in the earlobes, no diminishing of depression or anxiety symptoms.

  • newmama March 6, 2012, 9:30 pm

    I am feeling better after about 10 days using the device twice a day for post partum depression/anxiety. I am also tapering off zoloft bc I had such horrible side affects. Thanks for posting about this. Also– my acupuncturist prescribed it bc my psychiatrist didn’t feel comfortable.

  • new mama March 10, 2012, 9:11 am

    Many people in my life are noticing the positive changes in me after 2 weeks of usage (including my psychiatrist and therapist :) After 15 + years of depression and anxiety– I am feeling very hopeful.

    • newmama May 26, 2012, 11:21 pm

      It has now been 3 months off of meds and using the FW device. I think it works well and am happy to have found something like this.

  • Wayne Kuttner March 10, 2012, 9:34 pm

    I am a nurse licensed in the Us  with a medical background and some clinical experience in Psychiatry and I will be glad to contact the Fisher Co.  and write the prescription, which is just faxing my license to the company, all for gratis.Only speak to me first about your situation. I will  see Mr. fisher this coming me at 718 261 2683 Wayne Kuttner

  • anonymous July 29, 2012, 4:14 am

    I’m the person who wrote in six months ago to point out what a pain it is to get a prescription for this device, and that the company underplays the difficulty, and in our case actually charged our credit card before receiving a prescription.  Well, here I am with an update:  it was worth the effort.

    My husband has been using the device for about five months now, and it helps enormously with his anxiety and depression.  He is 52 years old and has been horribly anxious for his entire life; it’s the “worry constantly” type of anxiety.  His mother had the same affliction.  Over the years he has had talk therapy and has been prescribed innumerable drugs, none of which worked for the anxiety (some helped a bit with the depression), and all of which had side effects (some of them quite horrible).  The device is actually *working* for his anxiety.  It is amazing.  No, he hasn’t become happy go lucky.  However the difference is striking.  He uses it every day  –  almost:  on those days when he doesn’t, things are much worse.

    My husband’s psychiatrists have been very happy to prescribe really heavy duty drugs.  They’ve even told him that he’d be a ideal candidate for ECT  –  except for the fact that he is an academic, and needs his brain for his professional life(!)  However, none of them would touch this device with a ten foot pole.  Horrible meds, sure (some of which READILY cause diabetes, obesity, hand tremors).  Harmless device, no way.

    I’m confident that we’re not being fooled by a placebo effect, since we have tried so many other things, with at least as much hope and expectation, but without success.

    Yes, it is expensive for most people.  They do have a money back guarantee of some sort.  In my husband’s case, it started helping well within the guarantee period, for what that’s worth.  It certainly wasn’t cheap from our perspective, however we were desperate.

    It has not helped at all with my husband’s insomnia.  Oh, well.

  • anonymous July 29, 2012, 4:24 am

    I should add that my husband has not stopped taking his antidepressants.  He is using the device in addition to his prescribed SSRIs, which he has been on for many years.

  • Nat September 3, 2012, 2:33 pm

    It works! I have been using this machine for 5 months now and I love it. I have fibromyalgia with chronic pain, severe anxiety and depression, and severe insomnia . The machine is helping with all those problems. I am not cured, but my quality of life has improved dramatically! I use it every other night at bedtime, but I used to use it every day for the first month. It took me several weeks of use to notice a difference ( that it was working). I almost gave up hope but then I started feeling better and kept getting better. I highly recommend this machine. I have been on every antidepressant/ bipolar med/ mood medication there is and experienced all the horrible side effects. This machine has given me zero side effects. It also tremendously helps with concentration and brain clarity. I am still on one medicine, a tryciclic antidepressant called desipramine.

    • chipur September 3, 2012, 5:30 pm

      Hi Nat!
      Thank you so much for sharing your experience with chipur readers. Most of all, I’m glad you found a large measure of relief – well deserved, I’m sure. Keep on keeping on – and keep coming back!

  • Anonymous September 19, 2012, 7:29 pm

    Hi, I have severe depression and my doctor tried everything and the only thing that helped me was Nardil, now they have changed some chemicals in Nardil and it doesn’t work help like it used to. Would I be able to go on the FWL taking my meds? Nardil, lithium, clonazapam, and amantadine (due to trying abilify I got Parken Syndrome)?

    • chipur September 19, 2012, 8:36 pm

      Hi “Anonymous!”

      First of all, thank you for visiting chipur and participating. Your comment is appreciated – by me and all chipur readers.

      I’d like to address the Nardil issue for those who may not know what you’re referring to. Short version: I believe it was in 2003 that Nardil’s (an MAOI antidepressant) formula was changed, much to the disappointment of those for whom it worked so well. Word is the new formula just doesn’t cut it.

      Regarding using the Fisher Wallace Stimulator while taking your meds: From Fisher Wallace Laboratories FAQs…
      Can I use the device at the same time I am taking medication?
      Yes. The device does not have any contraindications with medication.

      So there you have it. Again, thank you for your participation…


  • Dave Staley January 28, 2013, 7:47 pm

    FYI-just want to let you know there is a 10% restocking fee and shipping and handling if returned, not 100%. Anyways I just received my FWS and am hoping for good results.

    • chipur January 28, 2013, 8:38 pm

      Hi Dave!
      Thank you for sharing the info. Please let us know how things go, okay?

  • Chad September 17, 2013, 5:02 am

    I can swear by the device and the incredible almost miraculous relief and change it brought my son. Results were undeniable after just one week.

    Sadly, I first learned of the device over a year before deciding I had nothing to lose and ordered it. I first pursued TMS and spent $12,000.00. No regrets. It defeated the clinical depression my son had been battling so quickly it angered me that not a single professional had even whispered that such a technology was available.

    After TMS, my son was still suffering from anxiety and had other debilitating traits. I spent another $20,000.00 for him to receive T.E.A.M. therapy in San Francisco for a month working with several of the best and most well reviewed cognitive behavioral therapists in the world. No regrets. The tools he was somewhat familiar with he became very proficient with and he came back with hope and began making some changes. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, after a few months, he was no longer doing the work that CBT requires and he regressed.

    My son once again suffered from insomnia often, followed by weeks where he was sleeping way too much and taking naps with no motivation to get with it. He once again had very clouded thinking, was forgetful, unreliable, impulsive and gambled away any money he could find. He was quite a mess and he couldn’t even see it.

    Thankfully, the only problem he wasn’t dealing with was the severe clinical depression that had left as a direct result of undergoing the TMS therapy.

    I spoke with my son, and he agreed to try the Fisher Wallace Device. I ordered it and gave it to him but he failed to wear it right away. After a few days of pressing him to use it, he did.

    All I can say is that after a week, he was like a new person. He began sleeping at night and was fully energized after just 6 hours. Suddenly, he was not forgetful. His head was not foggy. He became completely reliable and his work attendance went from 65% to 100%. Amazingly, he approached me and said it was as if the darkness was lifted and he could truly see the world the way it was.

    He remarked that he had actually thought he was doing pretty good and felt he had been fairly responsible and didn’t know why anyone was ever getting on him about things. But now that he had been using the device, he stated he could see what a mess he had become and completely understood why some of us had attempted to get him to “grow up”. He admitted that he probably did not deserve the tolerance and the patience extended to him and apologized for his behavior.

    I write these things to share with the world the fact that I too was thinking “too good to be true, always is”. I can only tell you that in this case, it is not.

    Read the story and history behind the device and how Wallace first learned of the device and was first a patient before ever becoming a part-owner of the technology.

    Read the Vincent Forras Story about his experience and his determination to help put the device in the hands of rescue workers suffering after September 11th

    Perhaps you will take a chance, like I did, and find a miracle like I did. A miracle like countless others have.

    Perhaps you will accuse me of being a paid shill. Perhaps you will still stubbornly think that the idea is too good to be true.

    However, before commenting on the Fisher Wallace device when you have no basis to form any opinion, I challenge you to spend your energy seeking knowledge from others that have used the device and seen or experienced the device.

    Otherwise, to have no knowledge and to mock or state negative things about the one thing that may exist to help people that are suffering is undeniably wrong. What a terrible disservice you are doing to plant seeds of doubt in the minds of those that are seeking relief from a device that was created by a team of two brilliant minds. Two men that were not only partners. but also brothers. Created by two brilliant minds that hold multiple Patents on highly sophisticated inventions, but ‘weren’t great marketers’ as Mr. Fisher has been quoted as stating.

    Perhaps it is an invention that has only recently been marketed properly after at least one of the original inventors passed away and the rights to the technology were purchased by two believers. Two believers that were determined to help people that are suffering and not satisfied with taking countless pills that may be lifelong and have possible side effects.

    I beg you to try the device if you or someone you love is hurting and suffering. I encourage TMS therapy as well as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as well. However, considering the convenience and costs and long term benefits, nothing comes close to the Fisher Wallace Device.

    With their 60 day money back guarantee, is there any real risk associated with trusting me or Mr. Forras, or Mr. Wallace or Mr. Fisher?

    I feel I owe so much to the invention and Mr. Fisher and Mr. Wallace for marketing the device. I feel very grateful and much indebted for the blessings their efforts have brought.

    That is why I have written this 100% honest testimony. I do hope it helps someone that is desperate.

    Thank you for reading my testimonial.


    • chipur September 17, 2013, 10:30 am

      Wow, Chad! Thank you for sharing such a detailed testimony. I’m so very glad your son has found relief. I will place a link to the article – with your comment, of course – on the Chipur Facebook Fan Page Thanks so much for your visit and contribution…

    • Mauro December 15, 2013, 1:39 pm

      The original inventor of the device was Saul Liss and it was known as the Liss Cranial Stimulator. Liss’ unit received FDA approval in 1991. Liss had a friend named Norm Shealy, who is an MD, and Shealy used it on his patients to great success. Here is an interesting testimonial by Shealy about the LCS:

      • chipur December 15, 2013, 3:46 pm

        Thank you for the contribution, Mauro. Video is well worth the watch…

  • npeden September 17, 2013, 1:09 pm

    This sounds wonderful if one can afford it. I am bipolar II and get activated into severe anxiety with SAD light. Any word on how this affects bipolar?

    • chipur September 17, 2013, 5:44 pm

      One of their testimonials is from someone who endures Bipolar II. Here’s a link Yeah, is kind of pricey, isn’t it? And I know it excludes many who could really use it. Here’s a link to the order page – never know what you might find in terms of “breaks” Sure appreciate your visit and comment. I’m thinking this is Nancy???

      • npeden September 18, 2013, 10:42 am

        Yes, I am Nancy. Found comments about both bipolar and PTSD which I have and there is a small research project at Beth Israel on bipolar patients. I think I will try it if I can raise funds. I would like to get off Ambien and Saphris which has given me a speech impediment. Thanks, Bill, for finding this. Fingers crossed.

      • chipur September 18, 2013, 12:08 pm

        Hi Nancy! Best to you as you pursue the treatment you deserve. I’m with you – I’d like to see you ease back on the meds. Please keep us posted, k?

      • npeden September 18, 2013, 12:26 pm

        Have appt. with psych the 24th. Will take info to him and see if he will fill out the referral. First need to find money. Will keep you posted now that I got on to this discussion area. Thanks again, Bill.

      • chipur September 18, 2013, 6:01 pm

        You’re welcome, Nancy. Glad we’re here for you…

      • BarbCat February 19, 2015, 1:58 pm

        Ooooo, Nancy, Be careful.

    • BarbCat February 19, 2015, 1:58 pm

      Hi Nancy. I’m bipolar I and feel that the Alpha-Stim device, which is very similar to the Fisher, is not a good idea for bipolars. I think we have a problem with our electromagnetics and need to be wary of things that do beep-beep’s inside our skulls. Alpha-Stim didn’t hurt me (electroshock really hurt me!), but it didn’t help either. I’m going to hang on to mine for when I’m doing better, because I think it helps with sharpness, but sharp is the last thing I need when I’m having anxiety. I can’t do SAD lights either.

  • Megan September 17, 2013, 8:16 pm

    I read about this years ago. I forwarded the link to someone who was treating me at the time. Was it you, Bill? Anyway, on their site, they now have an official doctor you can call who will take your case history. Unfortunately, I can’t cough up the dough at the moment.

  • CD February 1, 2014, 3:28 pm

    It worked for 4 months and then stopped. So be prepared for a drop off of efficacy

    • chipur February 1, 2014, 4:21 pm

      Appreciate the heads-up, CD – and the visit. ‘Course, for some there may not be that drop off. Just saying…

  • lake February 13, 2014, 8:18 pm

    I tried both Fisher Wallace and its competitor, Alpha-Stim. I wound up keeping the Alpha-Stim because the ear clips clip onto the ear lobe and I found it more comfortable than the Fisher Wallace sponges which sit wet on the head, held in with headband. Besides the replacement sponges are spendy over time. Also I was happy to be able to rent the Alpha-Stim which allowed me to try it out without the full commitment to purchase.

    Another concern I have, as I am a scientist by profession, is that Fisher Wallace lists all manner of research that was done with the Alpha-Stim device, not Fisher Wallace. The two devices are as different as two different medications (the Alpha-Stim waveform is actually patented), and it is dishonest at best to list a bunch of research as though it was carried out with their product.

    • chipur February 13, 2014, 10:19 pm

      Sounds pretty dicey – a company citing research done with another company’s product. Hmmm. I appreciate your mention of the Alpha-Stim. Readers need to know about all available options. Here’s a link for those who’d like to take a peek Thanks for happening-by, lake, and providing the education…

      • BarbCat February 19, 2015, 2:02 pm

        Anyone who is bipolar – beware! I chose Alpha-Stim for just the reasons cited above (heard some dicey things about Fisher Wallace technology), but it did not help and on a few occasions, upped my anxiety.

      • npeden February 19, 2015, 11:36 pm

        I sent mine back and I can. no longer use my SAD light as,the blue light is stimulating (I think it raises my glutamate and makes men anxious. Maybe it is my bipolar genes.

        I now do just the opposite. I wear blue blocker glasses at night when I watch the blue light of tv.They fit easily over my glasses and are cheap on Amazon.

        I also use f.lux (free) on my pc and twilight on my android devices. I especially notice a relaxation response watching tv.

        I wish I could quickly give answer from genetics but it is too late to be messing with electronics and stimulating my brain.

        I learned of the blue blocker glasses from my geneticist and the screen summers from my friends on Google plus mthfr community. I think they lower glutamate, a stimulating neuro enzyme and precursor to glutamine an excititory neurotransmitter.

        So Barb I think Fischer Wallace is a no no for bipolar and other conditions.

        Stress causes mutations to express (epigenetics) so it is not for the highly sensitivities of someone like me,who has. Mthfr suit, the most,sensitive form of the mutation. Good call, BarbCat. Mine went back a long time ago.I,gave it a dedicated,try but I got,nuttin from Fischer.

      • BarbCat February 20, 2015, 3:38 pm

        Very interesting, Nancy. I’m wondering about my glutamate as well and am very interested in these blue blockers. I notice a huge correlation between my anxiety and sunlight. My anxiety goes way down once the sun sets. Reverse SAD? I know that blue light is stimulating and try not to use my computer at night. I’ve been on the triai of glucocorticoid receptors (GMs) and their role in anxiety in the hippocampus, which stress causes less of, and GMs are needed to down regulate cortisol and other stress hormones. I’ll bet my GMs are measly.

      • npeden February 20, 2015, 8:23 pm

        Wow barb can’t respond as I have no idea what GRs are.

        I am slowly reading Walsh’s Nutrient Power on healing the brain with nutrients, the future of psychiatry according to him. I looked him upon the web and did not find any bad reviews of him. The book does bug me cuz there is no index.
        Really dislike books without indexes. What are GRs??

      • BarbCat February 22, 2015, 1:04 pm

        GR’s are Glucocorticoid Receptors that are big players in the hippocampus that play a large part in the feedback loop that tells the hypothalamus to stop sending out signals to pump out more cortisol, the stress hormone.

        Problem is, that with too much chronic stress, the hippo gets dinged with the toxic byproducts of stress chemicals (also, fibromyalgia people, like me, are shown to have reduced hippocampus size). The hippo plays a large part in the HPA axis stress response.

        I’m just coming up with data about the process, but not much so far that tells of ways to deal with it, create more GRs and such. Glutamate probably has something to do with it since glu is part of the name.

        Back to Walsh, funny, I think my Nutrient Power does have an index and a glossary too.

      • npeden February 22, 2015, 1:23 pm

        Barb, can you check your nutrient power. Maybe I can contact him for a copy of it. I imagine it is pretty hard to keep up to date.

      • BarbCat February 24, 2015, 12:38 pm

        Nope, my copy does not have an index either, but it is the newest edition – 2014 – with updates re epigenome project findings. I got mine at his website Hope you’re feeling better.

      • npeden February 25, 2015, 1:20 pm

        I have the most recent too. Still dislike no index. Boo!

    • Boone White April 11, 2014, 11:19 am

      Dear Lake,

      After looking up on the internet, Fisher Wallace does have a patented technology, why did you say otherwise? Also, why can their device be used on the head, but Alpha Stim can not? I read on their website that they are the only CES maker that the FDA cleared to use on the head. Going through the earlobes seems indirect, not to mention all of the expensive accessories (ear clips, chemical gels,) that will only make Alpha-Stim more expensive in comparison. I notice you failed to mention that when you said the Fisher Wallace is pricey. After reading your comment, I almost decided to take Alpha-Stim over Fisher Wallace, but your comment leads me to believe you have a biased interest here. People like you have no place on websites like this.

      • chipur April 11, 2014, 5:30 pm

        Thanks for visiting and participating, Boone. Your frank comment is appreciated. I wanted to share this link to a forum board that might shed some light on the subject for whoever stops-by to read this piece


      • BarbCat February 19, 2015, 2:09 pm

        You’d think that applying it directly to the head would be more effective, but it takes a strong current to go through the bones and into the deeper brain regions. The earlobes are full of acupuncture points and the ears’ nerves are more directly related to specific parts of the inner brain. I think these products might work with unipolar depression, just not bipolar or anxiety.

  • Mauro June 26, 2014, 8:05 pm

    I find that the FW Stimulator is well worth the price. Significantly treated my depression within a week and also my sleep improved. I’ve tried many CES devices over the years and for depression the Fisher Wallace is the best of the lot. One tip concerning the sponge electrodes is to mix sea salt in the water you use to wet the sponges. FW does not mention doing this, but I found it difficult to attain good contact until I started using saltwater. Just wish I had found this device 20 years ago when it was sold as the Liss Cranial Stimulator.

    • BarbCat February 19, 2015, 2:03 pm

      I recall reading this exact promotion on the FW website.

      • Chipur February 19, 2015, 2:59 pm

        Hmmm. Those sly dogs…

  • annalise parent July 2, 2014, 8:19 pm

    I believed in this so strongly, I really wanted it to work, and it did for a while. After 7 months or so it stopped. I tried to use the F.W. every day or once or twice a week, nothing worked for my silly brain. I am not depressed and in good health, I just do not sleep well. I am very active, play tennis, dance, weigh 120 pounds and am 5.3 ft. tall..After a night with so little sleep I just do not feel well.

    • Chipur July 3, 2014, 12:25 am

      Ah, those silly brains of ours! Sorry you have sleep woes, Annalise. Thinking you’ve gone the supplements/herb route? How ’bout cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBTi)? Thank you for visiting Chipur and commenting. Hoping you find relief…


      • Anna Pritchard July 11, 2014, 4:20 pm

        Hi Bill,
        Thank you for your wonderful website. I was researching TMS for the depression I have been experiencing for many years and learned of the FWS. I have learned a lot from your writers. I just wondered, if you wouldn’t mind sharing, if you, yourself have ever used the Fisher Wallace Stimulator and if so, if you could tell us what your results were. Thank you so much for your help to many people.


      • Chipur July 11, 2014, 9:57 pm

        Hey, Anna – glad you stopped-by and posted a comment. I have never used the FWS. In a way, wish I had so I could offer my personal opinion. Alas, that is not the case. Thanks for stopping-by, Anna. Please continue to check-in…


      • Dr. R July 12, 2014, 1:01 am

        I am a psychologist wanting to prescribe one of these devices to my patients, assuming it works. I don’t know whether to purchase the FW or rent the Alpha Stim. Someone made the point that the research listed on FW was actually done with Alpha Stim technology. I had noticed this as well in doing my own research. It seems FW is way better at marketing but I’m not convinced they have the superior device. Also I could see my patients being more comfortable using a device with earlobe clips than a device with a band wrapped around their head. I just don’t know. But I have a current patient that is so depressed and her psychiatrist wants to do ECT. I really don’t like ECT side effects especially done on a 20 year old college student.

      • Chipur July 12, 2014, 9:51 am

        Thanks for your visit and participation, Dr. R. I’m impressed by your care for your patients. I sadly wonder at times if that’s the exception anymore, not the rule. Not much to add, given your due diligence. I will say I’m with you on avoiding ECT if at all possible. That said, in super-tough cases I believe it may be indicated – and I don’t believe it’s “hack” science (say, like lobotomy). Thank you, again, for your help here. The more comments we have available, the better for all…


      • BarbCat February 19, 2015, 8:38 pm

        Hello Dr R. I’ve used Alpha-Stim after doing research on the two products. I’m bipolar and noticed that it sometimes worked and sometimes did not. My goal was too smooth anxiety. A few times it escalated anxiety. However, I tried it again today after many months away and it seemed to lift my spirits nicely. I think that with bipolar, you have to be cautious with using any electromagnetics. I had 4 electroshocks and almost crawled out of my skin. Bottom line, any type of anxiety disorder can be activated with EMs.

      • BarbCat February 19, 2015, 6:11 pm

        Bill, can you please post the link to that book?

      • Chipur February 19, 2015, 6:19 pm
  • ellee July 26, 2014, 9:30 pm

    Thank you for this review.

    I am wondering what your take on the difference between the Alpha Stim and the Fisher Wallace Stimulator. Has one been found to be more effective than the other? I have the Alpha Stim already. If the F.W.S. is more effective then I will have to look into that.

    I hope that I didn’t miss another comment about this. If I did sorry and thanks!

  • ellee July 26, 2014, 9:38 pm

    I just ready through the rest of the comments. Looks like a few other people mentioned the Alpha Stim. If you or any one else has any other information, that would be great. Otherwise, sorry for the repeat question- next time I will have a little more patience!

  • Lisa October 1, 2014, 6:35 pm

    My mother tried this device for a month and got a constant mild head ache. She also said she could not concentrate on daily tasks and it made her dopey.

    • Chipur October 1, 2014, 6:55 pm

      Thanks for visiting Chipur and commenting, Lisa. Well, not surprising that the device would work very well for some, and not so hot for others. So many variables to consider, I suppose. Sorry your mother had a rough go, and hoping she’s found other remedies to bring her some relief.

      Please visit again, k?


  • Borei Hoshech February 17, 2015, 10:29 pm

    I’ve been using it twice a day for 29 days now (to treat depression), and don’t feel any better. I’ve been using it at level 2; I may go up to level 3. I don’t have any bad side effects, though, either.

    • Chipur February 18, 2015, 4:05 pm

      Appreciate the info, Borei. The more input we can present here, the better for all who may stop by looking for answers…

  • BarbCat February 19, 2015, 1:44 pm

    I have an Alpha-Stim which is the same, from what I understand, The session felt like a nice tingling in my earlobes, but unfortunately, I didn’t notice any alleviation of symptoms from depression or especially anxiety. If you’re considering buying one, please Google for the best price. I got mine new for $250 instead of $650. Don’t remember where, though.

  • bhleroy April 5, 2015, 11:29 pm

    In Canada, neither the FW nor the AS are approved for any mental condition except insomnia!

    • Chipur April 6, 2015, 4:36 pm

      Go figure, right? Thanks for the visit and update, bhl…

  • Robert Lockwood August 24, 2015, 12:53 am

    I used the Fisher Wallace instrument for over two weeks as directed and received no change in my condition. Depression, sleeping problem.

  • alC May 28, 2016, 1:21 pm

    Re: Price, Fisher-Wallace also sells the stimulator at a discount for individuals with lower incomes (and far more folks coping with mental illness live below the poverty line.) Specifically, the customer service agent told me they provide a $100 discount for Medicare & Medicaid patients. They do so because those programs DO NOT cover this purchase.

    My state (MN) administers Medicare & Medicaid under different names, so the NY-based agent initially gave me incorrect advice, since he assumed my plan was another private insurance company. Medicare & Medicaid WILL NOT reimburse you for this device. (In fact, client service agents for my state-administered plan had no bloody clue, had never been briefed, had no references prepared in their system. Twice, after I described the device, they assumed it was a TENS unit & told me it was covered. Good thing I was unwilling to eat months of interest waiting for a reimbursement check.)

    I know plenty of folks feel uncomfortable talking about money issues, but Net Worth does not determine a soul’s value. If financing a FW stimulator is hard for you, applying for health care aid through your county might be worthwhile, even for a couple months. Would you put in 90 minutes of light effort to earn $100? See their official FAQ’s under “is it covered by insurance.” You can also call toll-free or chat 7 days a week until midnight.

    My psychiatrist applied for a grant & purchased a few FW stimulators so that his clinic patients with limited incomes could do a 60-day trial. For my medication-resistant bipolar II disorder, the stimulator allowed me to eliminate Latuda & Fetzima from my 3-drug cocktail. That change will save my government plan over $13,000 per year! Considering how frequently patients stop taking their psychiatric drugs (or skip doses) because they can’t handle the side effects, the cost of the stimulator offers negligible risk for massive reward–even if it only works a LITTLE BIT. Most folks with long-term mental health issues have thrown away thousands of dollars worth of covered meds we couldn’t tolerate. Wellbutrin, the FW device, better sleep hygiene & regular exercise are making a phenomenal difference. Meditation could improve my anxiety even more, once I learn a method I like.

    • Chipur May 28, 2016, 7:36 pm

      Dang, alC, what a great comment. I sure appreciate your visit and participation. I say it time and again – I can only do so much via content. It’s the comments that allow the article to stay alive – and fresh.

      Meaningful information/tips here, readers. What a psychiatrist! Expends time and effort to apply for a grant and purchases a few FW stimulators so cash-strapped patients can give it a go. And how ’bout this? “…Net Worth does not determine a soul’s value.” And there’s so much more.

      Thank you, alC. Your comment was a pleasant surprise on a lazy Saturday afternoon…