A lot of sufferers of depression and anxiety aren’t interested in traditional treatments that could come with nasty side effects. Plus, once you’re on an Anti-depressant, it’s really hard to get off. That’s why so many are turning to this non-invasive treatment known as cranial electrotherapy stimulation. Health professionals call it CES for short.
While this therapy directly affects the brain, no incisions are required. CES treatment is administered by a device that sends a small electrical pulse across a person’s temple. This electrical current is not strong enough to cause any significant risk to a patient’s health. Although one side effect that some have noticed maybe memory loss.
Not Just Used By Mental Health Professionals
A common misconception is that this therapy is only used to treat people who suffer from anxiety or depression. Cranial electrotherapy has actually shown to improve a lot of conditions. A doctor may use this therapy to help a long time sufferer of Insomnia. Your Insomnia would have to be pretty bad before this method would be chosen over a traditional sedative. Or, you may want to choose this method to treat the condition simply because of the small list of side effects. Insomnia medications can do a lot to the body.
Chronic pain can also be managed through cranial electrotherapy. You may want to go with this plan of a treatment since so many chronic pain medication is habit-forming. Also, they can do damage to your liver and other organs over time. Organ damage can eventually lead to premature death. There is no side effect of cranial electrotherapy stimulation that could possibly lead to this.
Approved By The Food And Drug Administration
The food and drug administration has given its stamp of approval to cranial electrotherapy stimulation. This can secure you in the knowledge that there is no significant risk involved in getting this type of treatment. The FDA has concluded that there is significant information to suggest that electrotherapy stimulation is both safe and effective.
Who Can Administer Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation?
The technology that performs this procedure has been classified as a Class III medical device by the food and drug administration. This means that only licensed healthcare practitioners can use the device to perform treatment on other people. In some locations, you can get a prescription to purchase the device yourself. Here’s a quick list of practitioners that are allowed to perform this therapy in the United States.
- And occupational Therapists( That Have A Electropherapy License)
Since This Is A Physical Procedure, It’s Best To See Someone Medical
You may be tempted to have this procedure performed by an occupational therapist or a psychologist. The reason behind this temptation could be that they charge less, or that they have more free-appointment hours. This may not be the best choice for yourself though. It’s okay to seek out therapy from these individuals, but they are not medical professionals. This is a medical procedure that is best carried out by someone who is at least a Nurse Practitioner.
Considering This Treatment For Your Child?
Children can suffer from anxiety and depression just like adults. Unfortunately, there haven’t been that many studies were done on the effects of cranial electrotherapy stimulation on a child’s brain. Remember that a kid’s brain is different from adults. It’s still developing. It may be best to wait for the research while choosing another method to treat your child’s depression or anxiety.
Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation Is Usually The Last Resort
There are many reasons to choose cranial electrotherapy stimulation over drugs. However, it is still being used as the last choice by a physician. Typically, it is performed on patients that do not respond to treatment. If you have tried a multitude of anti-depressants, but still seem to be gloomy, this is a treatment plan your doctor is likely to suggest.
Other practitioners may be quicker to use this form of therapy. If you let your physician know that you’re into a natural alternative, he may suggest this. However, there are other natural treatments that aren’t as severe or costly to try first. Exercise has been known to increase endorphins, which could lead to a decrease in depression.
Is It Safe For Pregnant Women?
If you’re pregnant, you still need to find a way to manage your depression or anxiety. It’s going to be a lot more difficult since most anti-depressants are known causes of birth defects. However, there are some medications that are safe for pregnancy.
As far as cranial electrotherapy stimulation and pregnancy go, not enough studies have been done to prove that it can be safely administered during pregnancy. If your physician is suggesting this, make him well aware of your pregnancy. If something goes wrong, and he knew about the pregnancy, it’s a clear malpractice case because of the lack of research on the subject. Remember, you always have a right to refuse treatment if you are not a danger to yourself or others.
Some States Allow In-home Use
The machine that performs this therapy can be purchased for roughly $2,000. If you have a prescription for the device, it’s likely that your insurance will cover some of it. You do not have to have a professional administer this treatment in some locations. You do, however, have to have a physician, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner write you a prescription. This is the only way to purchase the device.
Few people decide to buy the device. It’s rather unorthodox, even in locations where it is allowed. Most see a licensed medical professional perform this procedure. Considering the risk of memory loss to patients who have had excessive exposure, it’s best to have it done by a professional.
You, Will, Need Multiple Treatments
Your cranial electrotherapy stimulation will have to be a standing appointment. The effects of this therapy are temporary. Most patients have depression symptoms that remain after this therapy wears off. Your physician will let you know when the appropriate time to come back and see him is. It will most likely be every few months, to every six months. You need to keep therapy consistent if you want it to help you.
Where Is This Procedure Performed?
In most locations, this type of therapy is performed in a hospital. Usually, a mental hospital. However, there are clinics that also offer the procedure. This may be more convenient and more comfortable. Whether you will need to go to a hospital or not will largely depend on the rules for your state. It may also depend on the physician’s preferences. Some prefer to only do this in a hospital.
Will I Have To Be Awake For This?
This is an absolute misconception that was started by really tacky horror movies that feature asylums. Patients are no longer forced to be awake for any electrical/therapy procedure. You will be given a sedative. Most patients have no memory of the therapy after it happens. Although cranial electrotherapy stimulation can cause no physical harm, it may cause pain when being applied. If you are using an at-home device, it’s likely that you will have to do it without sedatives. Tell your physician if you are experiencing discomfort.
How Does This Therapy Alter Brain Activity To Relieve Depression Or Anxiety?
This is still largely unknown. All we do know is that it does. Because it has not yet been fully explained scientifically, there are still many skeptics. Some physicians believe it works by a sort of “jump-starting” the brain. The same way that you would jump-start a car. Others believe it’s more like pushing a “restart” button on the brain.
The mechanisms for the positive effects on the brain that this device produces may not be completely known. However, it has been shown time and time again to produce these positive effects. Read testimonials by others who have received this treatment already. This is a pretty common procedure, so there is a lot of patient’s talking about it. These testimonials may help secure you in the fact that this is an effective treatment for your anxiety and depression.
This Treatment May Help Patients Who Suffer From Chemical Dependencies
A lot of patients who have been long time drug addicts say that this has helped liberated them from the habit. The substances that this procedure has been known to kill cravings include several street and prescription drugs, tobacco, and alcohol.
Since this therapy helps individuals relax, and treats conditions like Insomnia, it’s an excellent choice for people having to go through drug withdrawal. It can be dangerous to give a person chemical medications during this time. There is no danger in performing this type of therapy though. It has no interaction with any known drug. The only thing it can possibly do is benefit the patient.
What Patients Typically Experience
Most patients experience no pain during the administration of this treatment, even without the use of sedatives. If the idea of being shocked does not bother you, it’s best to receive this treatment without sedation. You will likely experience a tingly feeling on your earlobe and scalp during the procedure. This will go away right when it’s done.
Many patient’s experiences a sense of euphoria during and after the procedure. Some may become so relaxed that driving and operating other machinery could be dangerous. That’s why it’s not recommended that you do this shortly after treatment. Many patients also notice a new sense of mental clarity.
The physical effect of muscle relaxation will be beneficial to chronic pain sufferers. If you are applying this treatment at home, you will be able to enjoy other activities while you’re doing so. Users can easily watch T.V. while undergoing cranial electrotherapy stimulation. Some can even read magazines.
Rising In Popularity
Since there’s a large subgroup of Americans that are only interested in receiving natural treatment when possible, this therapy has become increasingly more popular. When a medical procedure becomes popular, more studies are done to ensure it’s effectiveness and safety. If you’re not quite sure whether you’re willing to commit to this procedure, you should wait for more literature to come out. This may help you feel secure in your decision to go with cranial electrotherapy stimulation.
What If I Have A Preexisting Condition?
Electrical current may scare people who have heart conditions. If you have a pre-existing condition, you should always notify your doctor before any planned therapies or procedures. The amount of electricity used in this therapy is so low that it’s unlikely to affect your heart. Still, it’s something that should be brought up when you’re talking to your doctor.
Can I Be On Medication Too?
While this is often used as an alternative to anti-depressants, or once anti-depressants have been found to be ineffective, there is no rule that you can’t have both treatments. Your physician may still want you to take your medication, or a different one while undergoing this procedure. Since there are no drug interactions to be seen, this is perfectly safe.
Starting The Conversation With Your Doctor
It may be challenging to bring up this therapy with your doctor if he’s been suggesting other means to treat your depression. If you simply let him know that you’re finding his current course of treatment ineffective or are worried about side effects, he’s likely to bring it up himself. A lot of psychiatrists really believe in this method of treatment.
If your physician fails to bring it up, don’t be afraid to. Whether he writes you the prescription or not, it will at least let him know that you need more then you’re getting from treatment. He may ask you to wait a few months to see if things improve, but he’ll eventually turn to this therapy.
Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation Offers Nothing But Relief
Finally, a treatment plan that can’t give you loads of unwanted side effects! If you’re tired of struggling through drugs that clearly don’t work and are just damaging your organ, it’s time to bring up this method of treatment with your doctor. Since it’s rising in popularity, it’s likely he’ll say yes to it.