Q: What is CES? Why haven’t I heard more about it?
A: CES stands for Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation. A low power electrical current stimulates the brain to restore and re-balance the various neurohormones. This has been shown to give especially great results for anxiety and insomnia. However, CES has been a relatively unknown and underused technology due to the fundamental Western bias in favor of pharmaceuticals.
Within the last ten years, however, we have come to better understand the connection between brain function, neurotransmitters, and electrical stimulation. As our knowledge of this area continues to expand and new research findings emerge, so too will the popularity and increased usage of CES.
Q: Is CES safe?
A: CES has an excellent safety record. Published literature in the U.S. and abroad reports virtually no negative side effects or major contraindications from its use. The National Research Council has deemed CES to be “a non-significant risk modality.” It is registered and regulated by the FDA as a generally safe device.
Because the only source of current for CES Ultra is a common nine-volt battery, its intensity is limited to 1.5 milliamps – what you would use to operate a small toy or penlight. Even the unit’s maximum intensity has been shown to be safe.
Q: Do I need a prescription to get a CES Machine?
A: Yes, a prescription consult is included with your kit. Please place your order and a representative from Dr. Diane will call you.
Q: How does it work?
A: The CES Ultra is used by attaching leads to the ears to pass the current through the head. The current is very low and most practitioners report feeling nothing. Like aspirin and many other agents that affect the brain, CES’ exact physiological mechanism is unknown. Researchers believe that CES works by indirectly stimulating tissue in the brain’s hypothalamic area. This causes the brain to manufacture various neurohormones, restoring its state to pre-stress homeostasis and encouraging a state of calm in the whole body.
Q: How is the current transmitted?
A: You have two options: You can either place pre-gelled electrodes below each ear (after plugging the electrodes’ wires into the unit’s jack), or you can attach ear-clips, fitted with conductive rubber electrodes, to your earlobes.
Q: How is the CES Ultra different from other CES units?
A: The CES Ultra stands out as one of the most user-friendly and cost-effective CES machines on the market. It has one frequency setting at 100 Hz (100 electrical pulses a second), the most well researched and effective frequency for increasing serotonin to relieve anxiety and insomnia.
There are “underground” instruments on the market, particularly on the Internet. Contrary to their anecdotal claims, most have no scientific evidence behind them. Many are nothing more than low-cost pulse generators of dubious quality and have not been fully evaluated for either efficacy or safety. They are not registered with the FDA. Many are billed as “for research purposes only,” and cannot legally be called “medical devices” or make any medical claims.
Q: How does CES differ from Electro-Convulsive Therapy (ECT)?
A: CES and ECT both deliver alternating current to the brain for therapeutic effect, but at vastly different doses.
The CES Ultra provides very gentle stimulation therapy designed for daily home use without doctor supervision – it does not cause a seizure or serious side effects.
ECT, while often effective, is performed in a hospital while the patient is under anesthesia and is designed to induce a seizure. ECT often causes memory loss.
Q: What is the experience like to use the CES Ultra?
A: Most people find CES a pleasurable experience. The most you will ever feel is a gentle tingling sensation that you can control with a simple turn of the knob. Increasing or decreasing the amplitude does not affect how efficient the treatment is for you. Research shows that CES operates effectively at both lower and higher levels of stimulation, even at a level so low that you can’t feel a thing. A common approach is to turn the amplitude to the point of sensation, turn it down slightly below that point, and leave it there for the remainder of the session. Your own comfort level always dictates the amplitude.
Q: Is CES user-friendly?
A: Yes. The CES Ultra is very easy to use. All you need to do is;
- Attach the ear-clips to your earlobes or the electrodes to your neck just below your ears,
- Insert the lead-wire into the unit’s jack,
- Turn the unit on and dial it to the desired amplitude,
- Set the timer to the desired length of treatment.
Q: What immediate results can I expect?
A: Many people experience results during or almost immediately after treatment. Others notice a response after several days. This relaxed-but-alert state usually remains for an average of 12 to 72 hours after the first few sessions. With regular use, it’s possible for the patient to habituate to this preferred state of consciousness. The device should be used daily for three to four weeks before making a decision regarding its effectiveness.
Q: How does CES affect sleep?
A: CES has been approved and has well-researched benefits for the treatment of insomnia. Within the first day or two, you should notice that your sleep patterns begin to normalize, with fewer and shorter periods of awakening during the night. You’ll enjoy going to sleep more quickly after you retire for the night and a greater feeling of being rested when you awake in the morning. CES users often report an increase in vivid dreaming, resulting from compensation for lost REM sleep. Buts sleep patterns normalize — within the next two or three nights — this should become less frequent. Please note: Individual results may vary.
Q: What additional long-range changes should I expect?
A: CES Ultra users report that depression and mood swings become less frequent, as do irrational anger, irritability, and poor impulse control. You’ll find mental confusion due to stress begin to subside. Your ability to focus and concentrate on work will become easier and more efficient, with visibly enhanced cognitive processing. Most find that the CES Ultra helps the body to calm and stay in a state of relaxed alertness. Anxiety tends to have less ability to take root and unbalance us. As these changes take place, CES users report greater ability to enjoy the day and quickly, effectively respond to stressful situations with ease.
Q: When should the CES be used?
A: You can use the CES Ultra when you awaken in the morning, prior to going to bed at night, and/or during the day in particular situations. You can use it both as an adjunct to meditation each morning or during stressor moments that occur unexpectedly in the course of a day – those times when you “lose it.” Using the unit in those situations – even for as little as ten minutes – can help curb anxiety. In addition to activating actual bio-electrical changes, it can serve as a reminder that you can be with yourself in a different way – a positive affirmation that you have the power to change your emotional state and are willing to create the time and the space to do so. Ultimately, each person finds for him/herself how best to incorporate CES into one’s daily routine.
Q: Where can CES be used?
A: The CES Ultra is about the size of a cell phone. Clients report using it just about anywhere and under a variety of circumstances. You can use it at home while watching TV, doing the dishes, or at the office while poring over a report. CES should be treated as more than just one more task, squeezed in between others, it is an important reminder of the need for inner quiet. Though you need not interrupt your usual activity for CES, its results are generally enhanced by setting aside a special time for its use alone.
Q: What is the suggested length and frequency of treatment?
A: During the first month, the recommended usage is 30 to 45 minutes once or twice daily. Once symptoms are reduced or eliminated entirely, the frequency of treatment may be reduced to two or three times weekly. Individuals undergoing psychiatric treatment or suffering from severe anxiety and extremes of compulsive behavior often benefit from more frequent and prolonged application. When symptoms of depression or anxiety have lessened or disappeared, it is important to have continuous access to the unit as a tool for relapse prevention on an as-needed basis.
Q: Are there any contraindications or side effects?
A: Do not use if you have a cardiac pacemaker.
The electrical signals may cause the pacer to malfunction, leading to serious injury or death.
Do not use while driving or operating hazardous machinery.
Do not place ear clips or electrodes over skin lesions, new scars, cuts, eruptions or sunburn.
All persons who:
- Suffer from any mental disorder or psychiatric illness,
- Are currently using any drugs (prescription or recreational),
- Are under the influence of alcohol,
- Have serious head injuries, epilepsy, brain tumors, or strokes should not use the Oasis Pro unless under the supervision of a qualified health care provider.
Q: What research is there as to the effectiveness of CES?
A: Meta-analyses yielding positive results from the use of CES have been conducted at the University of Tulsa and the Harvard University School of Public Health. No significant negative side effect has ever been seen during a study or follow-ups of up to two years later. Studies show significant efficacy, even compared with medications, especially in the areas of anxiety and insomnia.