Scrambler Therapy Session: the breakdown.

Written by Rebecca Chalupsky on Scrambler Therapy.
14th January, 2020.

By this stage, if you have been following my blog posts, you may be asking yourself: “So what does a Scrambler therapy session actually involve – what happens during the treatment?”

First things first, as a disclaimer, your therapist will ask you many questions about your pain. We apologize. We know you have probably spent much time and effort learning to keep thoughts of your pain away from your attention. However, your therapist needs to know where your pain is and the intensity of it in order to provide you with the best opportunity for successful Scrambler Therapy.

Here is a simple step by step breakdown of a single Scrambler Therapy session:

  1. Welcome – at your first session, your therapist will welcome and introduce you to themselves and the Scrambler device. The therapist will then ask you questions about your sleep, activity and pain levels.
  2. Your therapist will then ask you “where is your most painful area now?”
  3. Once the most painful area is identified, your therapist will ask “how would you rate the level of pain in that area out of ten?” (zero meaning no pain and ten meaning worst pain imaginable). If it is too hard to ascribe a number, your therapist will try using other methods with you to rate your pain intensity.
  4. Your therapist will place the electrodes at points surrounding (but not within) the painful area identified and gently turn on the Scrambler device. 
  5. You will begin to feel the sensation of the Scrambler message. It shouldn’t hurt or be uncomfortable. Many people report that it feels similar to a TENS machine or a vibrating massager. It can be described as a buzzing or “bubbly” feeling on the skin. The sensation will become more intense and noticeable as your therapist turns up the signal of the Scrambler message.
  6. Your therapist relies strongly on your ability to explain what you are feeling as they increase the signal.
  7. Once your therapist has adjusted the signal to the correct level for you, they will ask you to rate your pain in that area again. What your therapist does next depends on the pain score you report.
    a. Pain score of 0-1/10, YAY! The electrodes are in the correct position and at the correct level for you. Your therapist can then repeat this process with your next most painful area (if you have one).
    b. Pain score is reduced but is not as low as 0-1/10. Your therapist will add another set of electrodes to reduce the pain to a score of 0-1/10.
    c. Pain score is unchanged. This means that the electrodes are in the wrong location. Your therapist will switch off the Scrambler message, change where the electrodes are and repeat from step 4.
  8. Once the electrodes are all on and at the correct signal levels, the fun can begin! Depending on how long the electrodes took to set up, you may have up to 30mins of ‘scrambling’ remaining. While the Scrambler machine does its magic, your therapist will give you choice regarding how you can spend the remainder of the time.
  9. While you have full choice over how you spend the remaining time, we recommend getting as much out of the session as possible. Your therapist will discuss your therapy goals with you and assist you, where possible, to achieve them. If you don’t have any goals in mind, your therapist will help you plan.
  10. Once the Scrambler session is finished, the signal automatically switches off and your therapist will remove all of the electrodes.
  11. Your therapist will again ask you for a pain score. You can expect your pain to return if this is your first session. However, you can expect your pain to take a longer time to return after each following session. Everyone responds differently, but if you don’t notice any reduction in your pain after the third session, your therapist will recommend concluding Scrambler Therapy.
  12. You can then leave the clinic and engage in whatever you would usually spend your time doing. Avoid overactivity and be mindful that you may be more tired than usual.
  13. At the start of your next session, your therapist will be very interested to know how you went throughout the evening. They will then repeat the same process as yesterday. Even though your painful areas may be the same, this does not mean that your electrode placement will be the same or that your pain will respond in the same way as it did at the previous session.

I hope this gave you some insight into what a Scrambler Therapy session looks like. If you have any more questions or would like to get started, feel welcome to contact us at or 04511 178 880. Alternatively you can click on the ‘getting started’ tab in the menu bar above. We look forward to meeting you!

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Scrambler Therapy Session: the breakdown

COVID-19 Update

We hope you are safe and well, and coping with all the changes to our lives that have occurred due to COVID-19.  We would like to let you know that we are here to support you, and are continuing to provide occupational therapy services. We have temporarily ceased any clinic-based consultations in order to reduce any risk to our clients and our staff. All of our staff are now currently working from home.  Our preference is to provide OT services as much as possible via telehealth.  This means either telephone or online consultations.  This is the best way to still provide services and remove any risk of infection.  We understand however, that for some of our clients, this is neither suitable or possible. Where telehealth is not appropriate, and an occupational therapy service is essential, we are continuing to see clients in their homes or in the community. We do this with all the physical distancing and hygiene precautions in place.
We will contact you prior to your appointment to see if it is possible for us to provide your service via telehealth. If it is not possible and we are planning to come to your home, please let us know if you or anyone in your household are unwell with any symptoms of COVID-19, such as a fever, cough or sore throat.
We care very much about our clients and staff and we would like to reassure you that we are doing our best to keep surfaces and our hands clean and will maintain a safe physical distance during home visits.  This means we will not shake hands when we greet you, and will only use direct hands on contact when essential.

If you are well and we come to see you at home or in the community, please:

  • Maintain a 1.5 metre physical distance where possible.
  • Wash or sanitise your hands before and after appointments where possible.
  • If you need to cough or sneeze, please use a tissue and dispose of it or cover your mouth and nose with your elbow.
  • Refrain from having additional family members/carers with you if possible as the less people in contact with everyone the better.
We know that at this time some of our clients may be finding it particularly difficult with increased isolation, anxiety or a reduction in their usual supports and services.  We would like you to know that if this applies to you, please reach out to us to ask for help, and we will try our best to help you access the support you need.

We sincerely appreciate your understanding of the above. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.  

Best Wishes
The Lifeworks Occupational Therapy Team