MIAMI, Fla. (Ivanhoe Broadcast News) -- Doctor Jose Rosell spent his life in medicine. He became a patient after suffering a stroke last may. "It was terrifying. I was very depressed -- extremely depressed, and I went to see a psychiatrist."
Instead of talk therapy or medication, Rosell found help with microcurrent electrical stimulation.
"It's really about increasing the ability of the body to function as it was designed," Janet Konefal, Ph.D., an acupuncturist at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Miami, Florida, tells Ivanhoe.
More than 100 studies show it helps depression, anxiety, sleep disorders and even pain. Electrical currents travel through electrodes and activate nerve cells in the brainstem, producing feel-good chemicals like serotonin and acetylcholine.
"It's not just for people who find themselves depressed or anxious, but it's for people who live a high stressful lifestyle and want to be able to keep doing it," Dr. Konefal says.
As a medical doctor, Rosell was skeptical, but he bought his own system and has been using it every day. "I felt good from the first treatment," he says. "From the very first day, I felt very relaxed."
Rosell's depression is gone, and his balance has improved so that he can walk without a cane. The treatment keeps his mind sharp and his spirits up.
The therapy is approved by the FDA, though it's generally not covered by insurance. The system can be bought for about $500 for home use or patients can use it in a clinic for less. Dr. Konefal thinks it should be tried before turning to meds, but patients with severe depression might need greater intervention.