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24/03/2010

Cranial electrotherapy stimulation

(NaturalNews) Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES) is non-invasive alternative therapy that involves passing very small electrical impulses (micro-currents) across the base of the skull. This is done by placing electrodes or clips on or near both ears. Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation alters the electrical activity of the brain and is being considered a safer alternative to drug treatments for conditions such as insomnia, depression, drug addiction, headaches and even ADHD.

Electrotherapy is not new to the world of healing. Ancient civilisations have recorded the therapeutic use of electrostimulation. Artwork in Egyptian tombs demonstrate the healing use of the Nile catfish, which emits an electric shock when touched. The Black torpedo (an electric ray fish) was prescribed by the Roman physician Scribonius Largus for relieving headaches and gout in 46 AD (his patients had to stand on a live fish).

A number of scientific studies have indicated that CES has many positive effects. The Harvard School of Public Health conducted randomised, controlled trials comparing placebo treatments with CES. The CES proved to be substantially more effective than placebo in alleviating anxiety, headache and pain. Further studies confirmed that CES increased the attention and concentration in patients while they completed a psycho-motor task. These findings could be valuable in providing non-drug assistance to learning-disabled children, such as those with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD).

How Does CES Work?

The pulsed electrical currents are believed to affect the limbic system, the reticular activating system, and/or the hypothalamus and to stimulate regions that control pain messages, neurotransmitter creation, and hormone production via the hypothalamic-pituitary axis.


The electrical current is believed to increase the brain's levels of serotonin, beta-endorphin, GABA and DHEA and to lower levels of cortisol and tryptophan. These substances influence the chemical activity of nerve cells in the nervous system.

CES stimulates activity in some neurological systems and decreases activity in other areas by changing the electrical and chemical activity of nerve cells in the brain stem. This produces increased alpha rhythms (electrical activity patterns in the brain) that are accompanied by feelings of serenity, relaxation and increased mental focus. This reduces agitation and the effects of stress, helps balance mood and controls sensation and perception of certain types of pain. Decreased delta rhythms suggest reduced drowsiness and decreased beta rhythms are associated with reductions in anxiety, ruminative thought, and obsessive/compulsive-like behaviours.





CES should not be mistaken for (ECT)electro-convulsive therapy also known as electroshock therapy used by psychiatrists to treat patients with severe depression. Shock therapy uses a current that is 1000 times greater than Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES).

The most common and recognised treatments with CES are for anxiety, depression and insomnia. It is also used to treat other conditions such as stress, headaches, cognitive dysfunction in head-injured patients, fibromyalgia and pain and has been shown to be effective with virtually no adverse effects.

The outcomes of the studies done indicate that Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation is a good potential substitute for drug therapy in the conditions noted above, especially where mainstream drugs may have undesirable side-effects including dependency (addiction). It has also shown positive results in the treatment of a variety of chronic conditions, including reflex sympathetic dystrophy and multiple sclerosis, and as part of the supportive treatment of alcoholism and drug addiction.

References

1. http://www.bmedreport.com/archives/...

2. http://www.depressiontreatmentnow.c...

3. Kirsch, Daniel, L. and Smith R. Cranial electrotherapy stimulation for anxiety, depression, insomnia, cognitive dysfunction, and pain. In Bioelectromagnetic Medicine. Paul J. Rosch, Ed. Marcel Dekker, New York, Pp 727-740, 2004

4. Plotnick, Stephen E. Finding hope: Alpha-Stim 100 may help clinicians yield better fibromyalgia treatment results. Advance for Directors in Rehabilitation, P. 82, May 2005.

5. Gilula, Marshall F., and Kirsch, Daniel L. Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation Review: A Safer Alternative to Psychopharmaceuticals in the Treatment of Depression. Journal of Neurotherapy, 9(2):7-26, 2005

6. Shealy CN, et al. Depression: a diagnostic, neurochemical profile and therapy with cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES). J Neurol Orthop Med Surg 1989;10:319-321

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