Burning Nights CRPS Support is a UK national charity dedicated to raising awareness of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

Dr. Cooney Offers a Calmare Therapy Update


Dr. Michael J. Cooney _2015_headshotDr. Michael Cooney is a chiropractor just outside New York City who has been treating complex acute and chronic pain conditions for more than 30 years. In partnership with Dr. Robert Kelly, a pain management physician, they have successfully treated thousands of patients from around the world.

In 2011, without publicity or fanfare, Dr. Cooney, clinical director of Calmare Therapy NJ, USA, began offering Calmare Therapy to help his treatment-resistant patients. Little did he know he would soon be treating people from around the world, primarily battling CRPS / RSD.

In April 2015, Dr. Cooney was interviewed for Burning Nights and answered questions about Calmare submitted by readers worldwide.

Since then, the Mayo Clinic in the U.S. conducted the first CRPS / RSD clinical trial using the Calmare device and achieved results so resounding, they profiled some trial patient stories (links below).

Dr. Cooney offered to share an update with us:


Some years ago, we had an issue with some of our patients. Even after prescribing medication, physical therapy, chiropractic treatment or other non-invasive treatments–some people were still in pain. Over time, some were even further debilitated by the side effects of pain medication. In other words, traditional pain treatment didn’t work on these patients. Many of these patients had been referred to us by other physicians who were also not successful in helping them.

As a healthcare provider charged with helping children, teen, adults and seniors overcome pain in order to resume the highest quality of life possible, I had a responsibility to find a solution to help these patients who had already tried every treatment possible, including Ketamine, implanted devices, more surgeries.

Dr. Kelly and I looked long and hard for the best new alternative therapy which could treat different kinds of chronic pain—but without side effects, more pain or drugs. Eventually, we discovered Calmare scrambler therapy, invented in Italy, and cleared by the FDA here in the U.S. During our due diligence, we agreed we had finally found the comprehensive treatment solution we were seeking.

I obtained the professional training to use the Calmare MC-5A device and grew more excited with each passing day. I knew this technology would offer a new option to many patients who had run out of pain treatment choices. We tested the machine on some patients and immediately they saw relief, even after one or two treatments.

How Calmare Can Lessen Severe Pain

Scrambler therapy consists of a machine that looks somewhat like an electrocardiogram device. Leads are placed above and below the area of the neuropathy. Painless scrambled electrical signals are then sent to the brain that perceives them as normal, non-pain signals. Via this process, the brain is retrained (“scrambled”) to understand that there is no physiological reason for the pain. With CRPS / RSD specifically, the pain experienced by the patient is similar to phantom limb syndrome. The treatments do not cause any pain nor are there any reported side effects.

Dr. Charles L. Loprinzi, who was interviewed in January 2016 after leading his own successful Calmare clinical trial for the Mayo Clinic, explains, “TENS is thought to work through the gateway theory of pain relief, whereby normal touch sensations blocks pain sensations. But scrambler therapy, on the other hand, provides normal-self, non-pain electrical information via nerves which have received transmissions of chronic pain information.”

Dr. Loprinzi said that through a process called ‘plasticity,’ this is able to retrain the brain so that it no longer recognizes pain sensation in the chronic pain area.

Mayo Clinic Calmare Trial Patient Story: “Side-lined No More”

Post-Clinical Trial Interview with Dr. Loprinzi

An Unexpected Benefit – Calmare Helped People Battling CRPS / RSD

While the treatment was originally designed to help lessen post-chemotherapy pain, healthcare providers discovered that it could also lessen treatment-resistant pain for other neuropathic conditions including CRPS / RSD, postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) or shingles; diabetic neuropathy and post-surgical pain.

While I can only speak about the patients I have treated directly, we have seen a significantly decreased volume of pain in about 80 percent of the CRPS / RSD cases I have personally treated since 2011. Not only have patients achieved pain relief or remission, their physical symptoms–allodynia, open sores, skin discoloration–have also been diminished or resolved. Over time, some patients require follow-up booster therapy (generally 1 – 3 treatments) while others remain pain-free.

Nurse Dianne Blackburn Discusses her Calmare Therapy Experience

Blackburn“I’ve had Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) for years. After an accident at work, I required back surgery (which turned into three) and after the last one, my left foot was insanely painful. It quickly spread throughout my entire body.

I have two spinal cord stimulators – one for my lower body and one for my upper body. I had a drug pump for years as well. I’ve had too many injections and blocks to even keep track of. I was in a wheelchair for years…

I originally had two Calmare treatments with chiropractor Dr. Michael Cooney (we’d gone up to visit with a friend from Australia who was having boosters).  Since it worked so well for me, hubby and I returned so that I could finish the full 10 sessions.

Since my 10-treatment Calmare Therapy treatments:

  • I’ve not had either of my spinal cord stimulators on (normally they NEVER were off as doing so would cause immediate swelling and increased pain)

  • I’ve taken no meds during the day for pain and greatly reduced the night and morning meds!

  • I can say – for me – this has been the most wonderful treatment and it has worked!!

  • I have had NO RSD pain thus far!

Feel free to send folks to me who’d like to know more about MY first-hand experience with Calmare!

And I love that I have two perspectives I can share – the personal — and from a nursing point of view!!

Non-invasive treatment that DOES help with RSD? I can’t tell you how wonderful it is has been!!”

Dianne Blackburn, Texas, USA

Clinical Trial Update and Overview

hand during treatmentTo date, there are at least 20 published reports on scrambler therapy that included results involving close to 1,000 patients in total.

These reports include clinical practice summaries, prospective non-randomized clinical trials and randomized controlled trials, including two trials that sought to double blind patients and investigators. In sum, the authors of 19 out of the 20 reports concluded that scrambler therapy was a beneficial treatment approach.

Calmare Patient Stories 

Should you wish, you can read and watch a plethora of patient stories who arrived at our clinic restricted to wheelchairs or other mobility devices, unable to work, go to school or even socialize.

They had “tried it all and done it all” up to the day they arrived at our clinic. Not surprisingly, many were initially skeptical (and who could blame them?) But nonetheless, they came to try Calmare Therapy.

Keep in mind, we have treated children, teens, parents, and grandparents, most with regular pain levels from 8-10 every day. And after 10 daily treatment sessions lasting about 35-minutes each, more than eight in 10 patients achieved a pain-free state or a reduction in pain to a degree that enabled them to finally get back in the game of life.

About Dr. Michael J. Cooney, D.C.

Calmare Certified Location LogoDr. Cooney is one of five Certified providers of Calmare scrambler therapy in the United States. He specializes in treating patients battling severe neuropathy as a result of CRPS / RSD, fibromyalgia, diabetes, shingles, post-surgical pain and pain after chemotherapy. He has successfully treated patients from the U.S., Canada, the EU,  Australia and Africa.

To contact Dr. Cooney at his clinic in New Jersey, 10 minutes outside of New York City, email him at CalmareNJ@gmail.com or call 001-201-933-4440. To learn more, visit www.calmaretherapynj.com. 

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  1. Sarah

    Can this help full body/widespread CRPS as well? And what is the typical cost?

    • Dr. Michael Cooney

      Hi Sarah,
      Thanks for your question. Yes, we frequently treat people battling full body CRPS. Please feel free to share your med history with me privately via email at CalmareNJ@gmail.com and I’ll be happy to give you my impression and discuss costs. Wishing you a low-pain day/evening. Dr. Cooney

  2. Iraida Lopez-King

    It sounds extremely promising. However my CRPS origin is in cranial nerve head due to TMJ surgery. It has spread to leg, arm, shoulder, thigh. I could say w/o a doubt from head to toes in my left side. Pain and edemas keep increasing and spreading. I wonder if other patients with the same root cause.

    • CalmareNJ

      Dear Ms. Lopez-King,

      Thank you for reaching out with this query. We have forwarded it to our clinical director Dr. Cooney directly, and will post his response as soon as we hear back. Wishing you a low pain day. Calmare Therapy NJ USA

    • CalmareNJ

      Dear Iraida,

      Thank you for your message and for reading my article. We have treated a few patients with similar experiences you have presented above. (It is not your typical presentation). To ensure your diagnosis is, in fact, CRPS, I would be happy to schedule a time for you to call in and discuss your medical history in more detail (privately). I am also interested in learning more about the areas of the spread and the timeline, please. I invite you to email us at CalmareNJ@gmail.com or call Calmare Therapy NJ USA directly (if you are in the US) at 201-933-4440. Wishing you a low pain day, Dr. Michael Cooney.

  3. CalmareNJ

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful post Bonnie and I am truly sorry to read about all you have been through. I still have children in school here so I doubt there is a future for me in your beautiful country, unfortunately. I have no doubt that Calmare will eventually be introduced there, it’s only a matter of time. I wish you every success is your current CRPS treatment effort. Feel free to reach out to us privately at any time at calmarenj@gmail.com. With kind regards, Dr. Cooney.

  4. Bonnie Shine

    Oh how I wish you were in Australia, you have done miracle relief for Michelle Platchinda in Australia in my home town …I too through sub staining a work place Injury suffer from crps….I have now moved across the other side of Australia hoping to find someone to relieve me of what I suffer from every single day of my life…now all the secondary problems are killing me with pain and trying to deal with all the medication I take on a daily basis zaps the life out of a person …I have Physio treatment and chiropractic treatment each week just to try and survive my on going battle…on a “perfect” day my pain is around 6 – 7 out of 10 and when I have my bad days my pain goes off the scale and the pain generally takes my breath away…breathing becomes a chore to overcome….if I’m unsuccessful in Western Australia then my next option will be flying over to you….have you ever thought of opening a clinic here in Australia ….us who have been diagnosed with crps would be enternaly grateful…..

  5. Debra Gauci

    I just want to say thankyou for helping my friend Michelle platchinda get her life back you are a very special human xo

    • CalmareNJ

      Hi Debra,
      Thank you so much much for your kind words. Like everyone, we think the world of Michelle and so admire her choosing to fly across the world to try Calmare Therapy. She has done so much for the CRPS community and we admire her every single day. Wishing you a wonderful weekend, Dr. Michael Cooney

  6. Christy Murphy

    I have a friend who had an excellent response to the initial Calmare treatment. She signed up for 10 treatments, borrowed the money, and now after 5 treatments she is not having very significant relief. Pain returns within 12 hours of treatment. She does not want to continue the treatment. I am trying to help her research the Calmare – she does not have the time to do internet research. You state only 5 Dr.’s are trained to do the Calmare treatment. She is getting her treatment in San Luis Obispo, California – is there a trained Doctor in that area?
    Any help on this matter would be appreciated.

  7. Dr. Michael Cooney

    Hi Cindy,
    I am very sorry to read about your long RSD battle. You are not alone, first of all. We have seen many patients battling this disease for decades who are mentally and physically exhausted by all the treatments and medications they have undergone. I would be happy to speak with you. Please email me your med history calmarenj@gmail.com and let’s take it from there. Or, you are always welcome to contact me directly by phone at the office here in New Jersey, USA. I look forward to connecting soon!
    Kind regards,

  8. Cindy Grubb

    I have a will to be better. over 20 years I’ve battled rsd. I’m tired of fighting. no more injections, surgeries, experimental procedures or guinea pig plan for me. I would be willing to speak with you to see if I’m a candidate. you truly are my last hope

    • CalmareNJ

      Dear Cindy,
      Thank you for your thoughtful message. I can certainly relate to your frustration–we hear it almost daily–which is why we adopted Calmare back in 2011. Pills and painful treatments are not the solution to our chronic pain epidemic, to be sure. If you’d like to talk about your case offline, you can email us at calmarenj@gmail.com. We can chat via email or set up a phone conference for next week. Thank you and kind regards, Dr. Cooney

  9. Ireneb

    Just been reading this update from Calmare Therapy most interesting read I must say. Well done to Dr Cooney.

    • Dr. Michael Cooney

      Thank you for reading it Irene! Kind regards, Dr. Cooney

    • CalmareNJ

      Thank you very much for reading it Irene. We are working hard every day. Wishing you a wonderful weekend. Dr. Cooney.

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