VitalStim Therapy/Electrical Stimulation
Electrical stimulation, also known as VitalStim Therapy, can increase the effectiveness of swallowing exercise.
VitalStim Therapy administers a small, carefully calibrated electrical impulse to the swallowing muscles through electrodes attached to the skin. The electrical current stimulates the nerves that make the muscles contract. By applying this current during exercise, electrical stimulation can cause a greater number of muscle fibers to contract during the exercise which in turn can make the therapy more effective.
The use of VitalStim in swallowing treatment is well supported by clinical research. Numerous studies have shown that using this equipment during swallowing exercise can improve the effectiveness of therapy. A summary of the research can be read here (VitalStim research summary).
Jen Carter has extensive experience and knowledge with using electrical stimulation as a therapy tool and has treated hundreds of patients with VitalStim. She has worked as a clinical specialist for VitalStim and was a resource of information about this therapy for medical professionals and fellow speech pathologists. In addition to treating patients at the Carter Swallowing Center, she also teaches the VitalStim certification course.
Swallow therapy is painless and effective, especially as practiced by Jen Carter. You will find no more capable hands to return you to normal. I can’t recommend the Carter Swallowing Center enough.-Lynn B.
We are eternally grateful for all the help Jen has given us. Without her abilities, knowledge, and skills with the VitalStim Therapy we are certain that my husband’s condition would have digressed and he would have a feeding tube now. We simply cannot thank her enough for working with us to achieve the results we have seen. She is a knowledgeable, kind, gentle, and understanding professional.-Diane J.