Cranio-Electro Stimulation (CES) is a non-invasive brain stimulation that applies a small pulsed electric current across a person’s head. This small electrical stimulus which is applied laterally across the cranium stimulates endorphins, serotonin, and norepinephrine neurotransmitter production.
As far back as the first century, the Greeks and Romans used the electric eel, a variety of the “Torpedo Fish” for electrical stimulation. The electric eel was used well into the 19th century, even after the invention of electronic stimulation devices. First-century writings record placing a live torpedo fish under the feet of a person suffering from gout to ease the pain. There are also reports of placing these fish on people’s foreheads to treat headaches.
Current interest in Cranio-Electrical Stimulation (CES) was initiated by Robinovitch, who in 1914 made the first claim for electrical treatment of insomnia. In 1958, the book Electro-Sleep reflected the first serious works on CES. This book inspired research in Europe and in Eastern Bloc countries, as well as in South America, Asia, and finally the US. Because the CES equipment used was bulky, inconvenient, and unreliable, CES, like the electric eel, was abandoned in favor of drug therapies.
With the invention of the transistor in the 1960s, small, low-power, and reliable CES devices were developed. By 1975 several companies in the US and Europe were manufacturing CES devices for public use. During this time, research on CES was quite active, and scientific papers were published.
Most studies to date have shown CES as a reliable method to reduce anxiety and improve cognition in recovering alcoholics. Additional studies have shown CES to be an effective tool in reducing situational anxiety and improving IQ. Situational anxiety includes many things, such as seeing a dentist, writing exams, driving in busy traffic, job stress, and so on.
Research to date is incomplete on the effects of using CES at various frequencies, citing that both low and high frequencies can be effective for improving learning and reducing anxiety and pain. Many people who used CES along with AVE, have reported that they experienced deeper relaxation for prolonged periods of time. In addition to enhancing entrainment, CES increases neurotransmitter production. These neurotransmitters are necessary for information processing, memory, energy level, and physical well-being.
For more information, you can read Dave’s article on CES.