Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I purchase a device?
Is the Fisher Wallace Stimulator® regulated by the FDA?
Yes. Our device received multiple 510(k) clearances in 1991 which allow us to market the device for the treatment of depression, anxiety, insomnia and chronic pain. Click HERE to read the FDA definition of Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation on the FDA website. Our technology should not be confused with Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) or Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS).
How does the device work?
The device delivers mild electrical stimulation to the brain through sponge electrodes placed above the sideburns. When used on the head, the device has been shown in medical studies to stimulate the production of neurochemicals, such as serotonin, GABA and endorphins, which are responsible for improving mood and sleep and suppressing chronic pain.
When used on the body to treat site-specific pain (the Chronic Pain Treatment Kit includes body straps to secure the electrodes and a special instruction manual), the electrical stimulation influences the way peripheral nerves signal pain, reducing the sensation of pain.
Can I use the device at the same time I am taking medication?
Yes. The device does not have any contraindications with medication.
Drug therapy has not helped me - could this device work in my case?
Yes. The device can work for patients who have not found success with medication.
Can I return the device for a refund if it doesn't help me?
Yes, you may return the device for a refund within 60 days after you receive it. We charge a $69.95 restocking fee to cover the costs of used disposables (sponges, headband, carry case) and device testing and processing.
What does the electrical stimulation feel like?
The electrical current is so gentle that many patients do not feel it at all, while some may feel tingling at the sponge contact sites. Mild optic nerve stimulation may also occur, which may produce the sensation of flashing light in the corner of the eyes - this is normal and harmless.
How does the Fisher Wallace Stimulator® differ from Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)?
The Fisher Wallace Stimulator® and TMS are both non-invasive brain stimulation technologies that treat depression and other symptoms by stimulating the brain's production of neurotransmitters. However, there are significant differences between the technologies:
1. A series of TMS treatments typically costs $8,000 - $12,000 and is not covered by insurance. The Fisher Wallace Stimulator® costs $595 - $715 and is often reimbursed by insurance companies.
2. TMS uses high-powered magnets to induce an electrical charge in the brain. The Fisher Wallace Stimulator® does not use magnets – instead, it uses two AA batteries to deliver a gentle electrical current at patented frequencies via sponge electrodes placed underneath a simple headband. Therefore, our device may be used safely at home.
3. The FDA has only cleared TMS for the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder. The FDA has cleared the Fisher Wallace Stimulator® for the treatment of depression, anxiety, insomnia and pain.
4. TMS is administered in a doctor’s office, one reason why it is so expensive. The Fisher Wallace Stimulator® is designed to be used easily by patients at home. Our device is portable and weighs less than six ounces.
5. Despite the high cost, TMS comes with no guarantee of effectiveness. By contrast, you may return the Fisher Wallace Stimulator® for a refund if it does not successfully treat your symptoms within 60 days of receipt.
If the Fisher Wallace Stimulator® does not reduce your symptoms of insomnia, anxiety, depression and/or pain within 60 days of receipt, you may return the device for a refund.
How does the Fisher Wallace Stimulator® compare to other Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES) devices?
The nation's top doctors recommend the Fisher Wallace Stimulator® for the safe, at-home treatment of insomnia, anxiety, depression and pain. Our device was cleared by the FDA in 1991 and causes no serious side effects. We offer discounts to patients with Medicare and to those who have served in the Armed Forces. Insurance companies often reimburse patients for the purchase of our device when it is used to treat pain. The Fisher Wallace Stimulator® gently stimulates the brain's production of neurochemicals responsible for improved mood, sleep and pain suppression. In multiple published studies, our technology has been proven to reduce insomnia, anxiety, depression and pain at rates that surpass drug therapy. You may return your device for a refund within 60 days of receipt if it does not successfully treat your symptoms.
There are many differences between the Fisher Wallace Stimulator® and other Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES) devices on the market:
1. The Fisher Wallace Stimulator® generates a mild electrical current using patented frequencies unique to our device. The frequencies are responsible for stimulating neurochemical production.
2. The Fisher Wallace Stimulator® is the only CES device that the FDA has cleared for use directly on the head with sponge electrodes.
3. It is much easier and comfortable to use our device than earclip and patch devices, which require expensive accessories and gel.
4. Fisher Wallace is the only CES manufacturer with a world-class Medical Advisory Board comprised primarily of board certified psychiatrists.
5. The Fisher Wallace Stimulator® is completely manufactured in the USA, to a quality standard much higher than those of our competitors.
6. Fisher Wallace offers a 60-Day return & refund policy on all devices. Our competitors offer only 30-Day return policies.
7. Over 1000 board certified psychiatrists prescribe the Fisher Wallace Stimulator®, more than any other CES device.
8. Only the Fisher Wallace Stimulator® is being used at Harvard hospitals, such as Massachusetts General Hospital.
How does the Fisher Wallace Stimulator® differ from Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS)?
Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES) devices such as the Fisher Wallace Stimulator® are cleared by the FDA for the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, depression and pain.
Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) is not cleared by the FDA for the treatment of depression, anxiety, insomnia or pain. tDCS was FDA approved in 2004 for Iontophoresis, which is a noninvasive method to deliver medicine or other chemicals through the skin with external patches and a small electrical charge. Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) is not typically an at-home treatment modality, and as a result, can be very expensive because it often requires office visits and doctor supervision during treatment sessions. Insurance companies will not reimburse patients for purchasing or using tDCS for “off label” uses such as the treatment of depression.
How does the Fisher Wallace Stimulator® differ from Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)?
The Fisher Wallace Stimulator® and ECT both deliver alternating current to the brain for therapeutic effect, but at vastly different doses. The Fisher Wallace Stimulator® provides very gentle stimulation therapy designed for daily home use without doctor supervision - it does not cause a seizure or serious side effects. ECT, while often effective, is performed in a hospital while the patient is under anesthesia and is designed to induce a seizure. ECT often causes memory loss. Following are more differences:
1. ECT delivers 800 – 1000+ mA of electricity, which causes a seizure.
The Fisher Wallace Stimulator® delivers 1 – 4 mA of electricity, which does not cause a seizure. In fact, the Fisher Wallace Stimulator® is recommended for treating substance abuse patients who are prone to seizures.
2. ECT is administered when a patient is under anesthesia.
The Fisher Wallace Stimulator® delivers such a mild current that patients typically wear it while reading a book, on the computer or watching TV. The stimulation from our device is rarely perceived and is not uncomfortable.
3. ECT delivers a large amount of electricity in a single dose.
The Fisher Wallace Stimulator® delivers a gentle amount of electricity on a daily basis.
4. ECT typically costs $30,000 and, while effective initially, its effects wear off.
The Fisher Wallace Stimulator® costs $495 - $715 and the effects do not wear off when the device is used on a regular basis.
5. ECT is indicated to treat severe depression.
The Fisher Wallace Stimulator® can be used to treat temporary or situational depression as well as chronic, severe depression. Our device has also been cleared by the FDA for the treatment of anxiety, insomnia and pain.
Is there anyone who should not use the Fisher-Wallace Stimulator?
People having cardiac pacemakers of the demand or sensing type should be aware that actions of the pacemaker may be inhibited or otherwise interfered with by this device. Please consult your physician if you have a pacemaker.
If you have metal of any kind or medical devices located inside your head (such as shrapnel or shunts), you should consult a physician before using our device.
The safety of using CES devices during pregnancy has not been established, although ECT (Electro Convulsive Therapy) is cleared for use with pregnant women. Please note that the device has been prescribed by many doctors for the treatment of postpartum depression.
How soon do patients experience benefits?
Many people report positive changes during or shortly after the first 5-10 treatment sessions. Results in treating insomnia are typically experienced faster than in treating depression and anxiety. The device should be used daily for 30-45 days before making a decision regarding effectiveness. While level 2 is the recommended starting dosage level, the device may be used safely at level 3 and 4, should level 2 not produce positive results after 30 days.
When being used to treat chronic pain (on the body), the device often reduces symptoms within a few treatment sessions.
What activities can I do while I use the Fisher-Wallace Stimulator?
Resting quietly is best, but one can engage in activities such as reading, watching TV, using the computer, or talking on the phone during a treatment session.
Are there any side effects?
When used cranially to treat insomnia, depression and anxiety, 1 in 500 patients report a mild headache upon using the device.
One in 250 patients may experience an increase in wakefulness immediately after using the device. If this occurs, the device should not be used within three hours of bedtime.
Although not a side effect, improper use of the device may result in minor electrode irritation - this can occur if the sponges are not thoroughly wet before use. Please watch the instructional video and read the instruction manual thoroughly before using the device. People with very sensitive skin may find that the sponge electrodes, even when wet, cause a slight irritation to the skin - but this is very rare.
Where can I buy a Fisher-Wallace Stimulator®?
Fisher Wallace Stimulators® are sold through our website. In the United States, the device must be recommended by a healthcare practitioner licensed in the state in which he/she practices: Doctor, Nurse, Acupuncturist, Chiropractor, Massage Therapist, Physician's Assistant, Psychologist, may all prescribe the device. Prescriptions and recommendations from practitioners may be faxed to (800) 657 - 7362 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
More questions? Please call or email us at (800) 692-4380 or email@example.com. Voicemail and emails are responded to promptly during regular business hours, M-F, 9 am-5 pm, EST.
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