英国《每日电讯》报 焦虑症、抑郁症和失眠症有了更有效的治疗方法。来自美国的Alpha-Stim SCS（中文名：安思定物理治疗仪，下简称安思定），针对焦虑、抑郁、失眠等问题可以起到有效的治疗作用。
I am sitting at home with two electrodes attached to my earlobes. Electric currents are passing into my brain and down my spinal column. I feel like Frankenstein's monster.
To the casual observer, it might appear that I am being subjected to torture. In fact, I am attempting to quell my predisposition to anxiety, which I have managed to elevate beyond the realms of mere psychological symptom into a complete lifestyle. Electricity, it seems, could be the answer - the new Valium, if you will.
The machine is called Alpha-Stim SCS. It is a small device with two wires that clip on to your ears. It uses “cranial electrotherapy stimulation” - 50-100 microamps of electricity (a microamp is a millionth of an amp) - to increase alpha brain waves. These waves occur at the frequency of about 8-12 cycles per second, or hertz, compared with the “normal”, or beta, state of 13-25 hertz, which is the state in which most of us spend our working days. Alpha waves induce relaxed, yet alert, states that, it is claimed, calm the central nervous system.
Twelve million people around the world have used Alpha-Stim over the past 20 years. The American military have used it for five years. Its applications are astonishingly wide. It has been found to be effective in the treatment of anxiety, stress and depression, addictions, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and insomnia.
“Money,” says Dr Daniel Kirsch, its American inventor, on the phone from Texas. “I started the company in 1981 with $25,000. I don't have the capacity of huge pharmaceuticals to market this product to every doctor in the world. But we have more research papers on Alpha-Stim than any therapeutic device in the world. This is what happens when a scientist rather than a businessman starts a company.”
What happens when you switch the machine on, however, is much less predictable. The accompanying leaflet warns that you may feel “heavy, groggy, lightheaded or nauseous”. This can last, it says, from five minutes to the entire duration of the 20- or 60-minute session.
I switch it on. Immediately, there is a prickly sensation in my earlobes, as if, every second or so, a teasel is brushed against them. Moments later, giddiness takes over at a level precisely equivalent to three cocktails on an empty stomach. The dizziness persists for the full 20 minutes. Afterwards, I don't feel relaxed, yet alert. I feel drowsy.