Are all electrical treatments for addiction 'neuro-electric therapies'?
While the term 'neuro electric therapy' is increasingly used as a catch-all label for many transcranial electrical therapies, 'NeuroElectric Therapy (NET)' is actually the name conceived by Meg Patterson for the specific application of transcranial electrostimulation she pioneered and developed from the early 1970's.
NET is characterised primarily by:
There are critical distinctions between NET and the other forms of transncranial electrostimulation used in the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction. There are also significant similarities. These similarities and differences have been explored in terms of clinical application and expected outcomes in two articles in particular:
Patterson et al., 1993. 'Electrostimulation in drug and alcohol detoxification. Significance of stimulation criteria in clinical success' Addiction Research 1:130-144.
Patterson et al., 1994. 'Amelioration of stress in chemical dependency detoxification by transcranial electrostimulation' Stress Medicine 10:115-126.
What does NET do?
Taking addictive drugs alters the brain's bio-chemical
balance, resulting in feelings of euphoria or excitement or calm depending upon
the drug being taken. Eventually the brain becomes dependant on this supply of
drugs and when they're stopped, there is a period of complaint —pain and craving—while the brain gradually returns to its normal chemical balance again. These
symptoms are as a Withdrawal Syndrome, and they may last up to six months with
heroin, eighteen months with methadone use, and two years or more with benzodiazepines.
detoxification simply does not exist. NET provides withdrawal relief of between
50-75% for most patients. A minority experience relief of between 75-95%.
Is NET shock treatment?
No, no, NO!
As a clinical treatment NET has the crucial asset of having no known adverse side-effects. Nevertheless, until more research is carried out, pregnant women should not normally be treated with NET.
is only available to qualified health practitioners (doctors, nurses, and practitioners
of Eastern medicine). This is because NET is not a 'clean-up' tool or 'do-it-yourself'
detox, but part of an overall treatment programme.
If NET is as good as it is made out to be, why is it not better known and used more widely?
There is probably no single answer to this, but rather a combination of important factors.
1. The underlying mechanisms of effect of this modality are only gradually being revealed which still leaves significant room for scientific doubt.
2. The hand-operated technology used by Dr Patterson at the height of her fame in the late 1970's required six months supervised clinical experience with which to become adept—an impossible training span for busy clinicians. It took Doctor Patterson, family and friends and supporters, twenty 'wilderness' years to fund and develop clinical technology which could be simply applied and hence widely used.
3. The wide range of subtle energy electro-medicine treatment systems, applications, and technology can create considerable confusion, misapplication - and rejection. Create room too, unfortunately, for many who peddle worthless 'cure-all' technologies.
4. Last but not least, an achievable and large-scale abstinence-treatment option undermines the legitimacy of the broad-based and seemingly open-ended maintenance prescribing strategy that has dominated official Western drug treatment policy for the last two decades, a policy in which considerable time, monies, and reputations have been invested.
Using a search-engine for 'NeuroElectric Therapy' on the Web frequently throws up links to Robert Beck and 'Brain Tuner—NeuroElectric Therapy' stimulators. Is there any connection between these electrostimulators and Meg Patterson's treatment and technology?
'NeuroElectric Therapy (NET)' is the name conceived by Meg Patterson for the specific application of transcranial electrostimulation she pioneered and developed from the early 1970's, and described in her books, papers, and presentations. It is not a generic name, and it is seriously misleading to use it as such.
'Brain Tuner' was the name devised by Kathleen McAuliffe to describe Meg Patterson's treatment and technology in her 1983 OMNI article on NET (Volume 5, Number 4, January 1983). This name has been used without the author and Journal's permission for the series of Beck 'Brain Tuner' devices.
The clinical and scientific claims for these devices should not under any
circumstances be confused with the clinical procedures and scientific research
and outcomes published by Meg Patterson and her colleagues. Back to top
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