You might have heard the term Scenar when researching tinnitus treatments, but what is this type of therapy?
Scenar (Self-Controlled Energo Neuro Adaptive Regulator) uses electro-stimulation to force the body to begin healing itself. Some people who have used this type of therapy call Scenar a “tinnitus cure.”
Apparently, this was originally created by scientists working on the Russian space program in the 1970s. They believed this type of energy therapy would help the astronauts cope with travelling into space.
How the device actually works is a bit confusing and at times hard to understand fully.
Essentially, Scenar works by direct contact on the skin and sends electrical impulses to the nervous system. This is supposed to stimulate the body’s healing process and provide pain relief.
The device sends an impulse, the brain reacts and sends back its own response, which the Scenar device then interprets. Based on the brain’s response, the device modifies its next impulse back to the brain. This is called active reflex biofeedback and the device and brain continue to communicate until equilibrium is achieved.
During this time, the brain will tell the nervous system to generate “neuropeptides” which are biochemicals used to help repair your body. You’re basically retraining your brain how to heal your body, in a sense. However, because there are so many different causes of tinnitus, it’s unclear how one device could cure this condition.
Founded in 1980, the company RITM OKB ZAO claims to be the inventor and patent holder of Scenar devices and technology. Their website also states that RITMSCENAR OKB, collectively, hold the exclusive rights to import throughout the United States, a series of non-invasive electro neuro-regulation devices (sold under the brand name RITMSCENAR).
Is Scenar the cure for tinnitus?
Currently, it’s important to note that there is no known cure for tinnitus. Much more research and clinical trials are needed before a suitable cure is found.
However, can Scenar treatment be beneficial for tinnitus symptoms?
Can be used to help treat any type of pain or physical dysfunction
Can treat both acute and chronic conditions
Quality of life and sleep patterns can be improved
Uses the body’s own healing capabilities
Encourages the body to self regulate
Active reflex biofeedback means fullest healing can be achieved
Is non-specific and can be used regardless of your diagnosis
No possibility of overdosing
Little or no side effects
Methods based on 25 years of clinical research
It’s vital to realize that these benefits are listed from a company that offers the service, so naturally they will be biased. It’s also disconcerning that while these positive benefits of Scenar are listed, the website doesn’t include research or data to explain these benefits. In fact, it’s hard to find real scientific research that links using Scenar and experiencing reduced tinnitus symptoms.
While some websites do mention these devices being used as pain relief, it’s unclear what type of pain. Do they mean headaches, or something more serious?
Scenar Reviews – What are the customers saying?
As with any tinnitus treatment, users have gone online to see what others think of this type of treatment. Can this Scenar device for tinnitus really produce positive results, or is it another ineffective tinnitus treatment?
On a message board for Action on Hearing Loss, one user wrote: “I have been having Scenar treatments for 3 months with Chris Mortensen in Narrabeen, Sydney, Australia. He is a teacher as well as a therapist and very knowledgeable. After having encouraging success with about 15 sessions, I decided to purchase a scenar and get training from Chris to use it properly. This is making a big impact on reducing the tinnitus – its more than halved! Once you know how to use it and how often it’s pretty amazing. Don’t give up, go and get professional scenar treatments and then decide if you need to purchase one – don’t just buy one and give it a go, you need some knowledge on how to use it.” – Vicki
Another user on a different forum wrote: “I wouldn’t suggest that anyone buy a Scenar. There are absolutely no studies that show that scenar is of any help at all in treating tinnitus. I have asked the top tinnitus researchers in the UK and none can recommend this treatment. Aside from that, sticking a probe of any kind in you ear is dangerous!”
Members of the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) posted their own opinion regarding Scenar as it had become a popular topic on their forums:
“We found that from the limited research that has been done into Scenar treatment, none of this research has indicated that it has any impact on tinnitus. Also the manufacturers are clear in their instructions that the product should only be used externally on the skin and as with any product, should not be inserted in the ear canal. RNID can’t recommend any treatment until proper peer-reviewed studies have been carried out. Therefore we can’t recommend Scenar.”
Professional Treatment or At-Home Care?
It seems that Scenar can be done with a professional at a clinic, such as a physiotherapy practice that offers Scenar, or it can be done at home. A few companies that distribute Scenar devices seem to also offer personal one-day training on using the device appropriately. One company offers 10-4pm training in the UK for £95. “The aim is to give a general understanding about the potential of the device and how it can be easily utilised by anyone. The workshop will give guidance and advice as to which settings to use to give the best possible results in particular situations and for specific conditions.”
Of course, the benefits of seeing a professional for this type of treatment ensures that you’re in safe hands. Depending on whether your insurance provider will cover this type of treatment, you may need to pay for each session with a professional at a clinic.
Otherwise, you can buy a personal Scenar device, some selling online from $400 – $600 USD. Of course, you’ll need to read up on how to use the device properly so you don’t make any condition worse. You may also need to pay for an in-personal training course if you’re able to find one locally.
The list included the Scenar devices along with many others such as the Life System, Bodyscan, Mitosan Therapy, Biomeridian and Magnagraph.
McKenna writes: “This list is not exhaustive, and there are even more devices on the market. The sale and use of untested medical devices is a national problem. States can chip away at it through actions under their consumer protection and medical licensing statutes, but the FDA is the most effective regulator in this area. We encourage you to ban the manufacture, distribution and use of these dangerous devices, to step up enforcement against those who are taking consumers’ money and risking their health, and to generalize your approach to include more than just one device. We pledge to work with you in this endeavor and are happy to share our thoughts, research and the testimony of the experts we have consulted.”
Since the letter was published, the FDA has concluded that two Scenar devices have received approval for use in post-surgical and post-traumatic pain management. As you can imagine, that doesn’t necessary include for use in tinnitus treatment. In addition, it’s recommended that Scenar devices should only be used by a professional, or for personal use at the discretion of a medical doctor.
Currently, it’s inconclusive as to whether this type of energy therapy can help reduce tinnitus symptoms. While some users report positive outcomes with managing pain, it’s not clear why or how this links to proper research on the subject.
Far more information is needed on Scenar and it’s potential link to “curing” tinnitus. Until then, it’s recommended that you speak to your healthcare professional about Scenar and whether it could be right for your individual situation. It’s also ideal to see a professional rather than trying out this product at home. While there does seem to be some positive results with Scenar and sports injuries or pain management, there is very little literature about its use against tinnitus.
Quiet Mind is a blog dedicated to turning a critical eye to tinnitus treatments and supplements. So many don’t work and are overhyped, we’re here to shed some light on some of the scams and successful products that claim to stop the ringing.