How can SCENAR therapy nourish your soul?
SCENAR therapy is a digitally controlled, non-invasive form of complementary medicine that is based on stimulating and sensing nerve activity through the skin. The brain reflexively responds to the impulses that the SCENAR device generates, and it senses these responses as changes in the electrical resistance of the skin. By automatically adapting its stimulus signal to these changes, SCENAR is able to effectively reduce the pain signals reaching the brain, restoring balance to the body.
Because SCENAR may support pain relief and healing in a wide variety of applications, it is used by health professionals from many different disciplines. SCENAR therapy can be offered by physiotherapists, naturopaths and holistic medicine practitioners, as well as clinics specialising in the treatment of chronic pain.
SCENAR stands for ‘self-controlled electro-neuro-adaptive regulator’ and refers to the therapeutic device used to carry out the treatment. SCENAR has some similarity to TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) treatment, in the sense that it sends mild electrical stimulus through the skin.
Development of the SCENAR device began in the Soviet Union in the 1970s, where it underwent extensive testing and improvement before being used in clinical settings during the late 1980s. The device was trademarked in 1989 and entered production soon after.
A closely related Australian-made device called ENAR was developed and manufactured on the basis of SCENAR technology. ENAR is a simpler device that is most often used for pain relief, but because it uses the same ‘reflex biofeedback’ principle as SCENAR, it may also stimulate the release of hormones and neuropeptides that support long-term healing.
Benefits of SCENAR therapy
SCENAR is registered in 36 countries as a Class IIa medical device. In Australia, ENAR is approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, and Australian private health insurers may offer rebates for ENAR as a TENS-type therapy. Please check with your insurance provider for details.
ENAR therapy was compared to TENS and a sham treatment during a randomised controlled trial; the results suggested ENAR therapy may be significantly more effective in treating neck pain and disability, also improving quality of life, than TENS or the control measure.
Besides being used to alleviate chronic and acute pain, SCENAR may support the body’s natural self-repair processes by stimulating the release of neuropeptides, molecules that are beneficial for the healing of injuries. Another possible benefit of SCENAR is that as an intervention based on alternative medicine, it may help reduce dependence on pharmaceutical medication for pain management. It has been studied as a way of supporting pain relief in burns patients, and research suggests it may be more effective than TENS in treating neck pain and disability after whiplash injuries.
SCENAR therapy may assist in relieving symptoms related to:
- Back pain
- Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS/ME)
- Circulation and cardiovascular conditions
- Digestive and gastrointestinal issues
- Energy and vitality
- Foot, heel and ankle issues
- Headaches and migraines
- Inflammation and swelling
- Insomnia and sleep disorders
- Jaw, teeth and gum issues
- Joint issues
- Muscle spasm, tightness and cramps
- Muscle strain and injury
- Neck pain
- Nervous system and neurological conditions
- Pain relief
- PTSD and trauma
- Respiratory and breathing issues
- Scars, burns and wound healing
- Skin, hair and nail issues
- Sports injuries
- Stress and tension
- UTI and urinary conditions
What to expect from a SCENAR therapy session
Prior to commencing your SCENAR session, your practitioner will ask you about the health concerns you wish to treat, and explain how the modality works. The SCENAR’s electrodes need to be in direct contact with your skin, and the device will be guided gently over the affected area and other parts of your body. It is recommended that you don’t bathe or shower immediately before the treatment.
You might be wondering, “What does SCENAR therapy feel like?” The answer is that you will feel a mild tingling or stroking sensation, and you may feel as if the device is sticking magnetically to your skin. Depending on your condition, the SCENAR treatment may last anywhere from 15-20 minutes to an hour, and is believed to continue taking effect for several hours after your session. Some people temporarily feel worse after the treatment, but this is a normal return to equilibrium as the body responds to the therapy.
The more advanced models in the SCENAR range are intended for trained professionals, and will only be sold to practitioners with relevant qualifications. If you find the therapy effective, it is possible to purchase a simpler version such as ENAR device, which is approved for home use, and administer the treatment yourself.
Neither SCENAR nor ENAR are suitable for people with implanted electronic medical devices (such as a pacemaker), and these therapies are not recommended for people with epilepsy. The effects of this type of nerve stimulation on foetal development have not been studied, so as a precaution, it is recommended that you don’t use them if you are or might be pregnant.
As with any exercise or wellness program, please consult your medical professional before commencing SCENAR therapy. If you have an injury or other health issue, or any concerns at all, also speak to your therapist, who will be happy to address these and customise the treatment to your individual requirements.