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North Chicago, IL, USA · Chicago, IL, USA


51-200 employees

founded in


Stella’s treatment is built on a new understanding of PTSD and its causes. Dr Lipov, the Chief Medical Officer at Stella, is credited with innovating the Stellate Ganglion Block ("SGB") as an intervention for trauma symptoms. After experiencing trauma, the way our brain functions may change in dramatic ways. In some cases, we become stuck in “fight or flight” mode - which can be observed in certain types of brain scans. It may be helpful to think about the sympathetic nervous system as being somewhat like an engine. Under normal conditions, we are in “neutral gear,” a relatively relaxed state not associated with feeling threatened. However, extreme stressors can shift and lock us into a higher gear, where we may remain for years or even decades. This state may involve “feeling constantly revved up and being unable to throttle down.” Common indicators of this altered biological state include symptoms like disrupted sleep, anger attacks, overwhelming panic, difficulties concentrating, a feeling of constantly being on “high alert”, and a strong startle response - in other words, the “hyper-arousal” cluster of post trauma symptoms. Stella’s adaptation of SGB involves injecting a widely available, commonly used anesthesia into a bundle of nerves in the neck, just above the collarbone. The injected medication has the short-term effect of soothing and “re-setting” the overactive nerves, operating in the same temporary way as the Novocaine administered by a dentist. To return to the earlier analogy, SGB seems to manually pop a “stuck gear” back into “neutral.”

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