for additional information on the CES ULTRA.
Q. What is CES?
CES, or cranial electrotherapy stimulation, is a non-pharmacologic
approach using gentle electrical impulses for the prevention and
treatment of depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
Q. How does it work?
The exact physiological mechanism by which CES works is not fully
understood and is still the subject of research study. It is
hypothesized, however, that CES acts by indirectly stimulating brain
tissue in the hypothalamic area, causing the brain to manufacture
various neurohormones and restoring them to pre-stress homeostasis.
Q. Is CES safe?
CES has an unblemished safety record. A broad reading of published
literature on the subject shows no negative effects or major
contraindications from its use, either in the U.S. or in other parts of
the world. The National Research Council has deemed CES a
non-significant risk modality.
The unit's sole source of current is a common nine volt battery.
Its intensity is limited to 1.5 milliamps—no more than is required to
run a small toy or a penlight. Even when turned to maximum intensity, it
is not harmful. It is suggested, however, that until you become fully
acclimated to the unit, you maintain the amplitude at a lower setting.
Q. How is the current transmitted?
The CES Ultra is powered by a nine volt battery. It utilizes pre-gelled
electrodes that sit below each ear and snap on or attach to the end of a
lead-wire that plugs into the jack of the unit. Another option is
ear-clips fitted with felt or conductive rubber electrodes which attach
to each earlobe.
Q. What is it like?
Most people find CES a pleasurable experience. The most you will ever
feel is a gentle tingling sensation. If the sensation proves too strong,
you can reduce it by a simple turn of the knob.
Increasing or decreasing the amplitude does not impair the
efficacy of the treatment. Research shows CES to operate effectively at
both lower and higher levels of stimulation as well as below the sensate
threshold. 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
Q. Is CES user-friendly?
The CES Ultra is easy to use: (1.) Attach either the electrodes or the
ear-clips. (2.) Insert the lead-wire into the jack. (3.) Turn the unit
on and to the desired amplitude (4.) Optional - set the timer.
Q. Does CES work for everyone?
Nothing works for everyone. But CES is effective for most people.
Q. What immediate results can I expect?
Most people experience a response almost immediately after treatment,
others, after several days. This relaxed but alert state will usually
remain for an average of 12 to 72 hours after the first few sessions.
With regular use it is possible for the patient to habituate to this
preferred state of consciousness.
Q. How does CES affect sleep?
CES is positively indicated in the treatment of insomnia. Sleep patterns
begin to normalize within the first day or two, with less and shorter
periods of awakening during the night, faster onset of sleep after going
to bed, and a greater feeling of being rested upon awakening in the
morning. CES users often report an increase in vivid dreaming, resulting
from compensation for lost REM sleep. As sleep patterns normalize—within
the next two or three nights—it should become less frequent.
Q. What additional long-range changes should I expect?
Depression and mood swings become less frequent, as do irrational anger,
irritability, and poor impulse control. Mental confusion due to stress
begins to subside. The ability to focus and concentrate on work becomes
easier and more efficient. Cognitive processing is visibly enhanced. As
concentration and memory improve, recalling information and learning in
an accelerated manner return to normal pre-stress levels.
Q. When should CES be used?
CES may be used on waking in the morning and/or on going to bed at night
and/or during the day in particular situations. It can be used both as
an adjunct to meditation each morning or during stressor moments
occurring 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 that anxiety. In addition to activating actual
bio-electrical changes, it serves 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 themselves how
to best incorporate CES into their daily routine.
Q. Where can it be used?
The CES Ultra is about the size of a cellphone, allowing its use just
about anywhere and under a variety of circumstances, except those noted
under the contraindications. You can use it at home while watching TV,
doing the dishes, or at the office while poring over a report. But CES
should be treated as more than an aside—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
Q. What is the suggested length and frequency of treatment?
The recommended usage is 30-45 minutes once or twice daily for the first
month. Once symptoms are reduced or eliminated entirely, the frequency
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
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. It is helpful that
you work closely with your physician/healthcare professional to
determine the role CES plays in your overall treatment program.
Q. Are there any contraindications for its use?
There are no known contraindications for use of CES. There are, however,
circumstances in which its safety has not been tested. CES should not be
used without on-going clinical supervision by severe depressives,
epileptics, those known to be pregnant, or by individuals with implanted
electronic devices such as cardiac pacemakers or insulin pumps. The
induced relaxation response, resulting from use of CES does not in any
way impair reaction time. It is recommended, however, that CES not be
used while operating dangerous or complex equipment or while driving.
Less than three percent of CES users report a slight headache.
This is usually alleviated by simply turning down the current. If the
headache recurs during ordinary use, cease using the unit and consult
with your physician.
As with the use of any medical device, the physician/licensed
practitioner should be informed of any medication or neurotransmitter
blockers the patient is taking as well as the employment of cardiac
pacemakers or other electronic devices as mentioned above.
CES is not a substitute for professional counseling, meditation,
or constructive relationships. Used in conjunction with those efforts,
CES assists you in attaining a balanced emotional state.
Q. What is the history of CES?
Research on what is now referred to as CES began in the former Soviet
Union during the 1950s, its primary focus being the treatment of sleep
disorders, hence its initial designation as "electro-sleep." Treatment
of insomnia was soon overshadowed, however, by psychiatric application
for depression and anxiety. Since then, it has been referred to by many
other names, the most popular being "transcranial electrotherapy" (TCET)
and "neuroelectric therapy" (NET).
East European nations soon picked up CES as a treatment modality,
and its use spread worldwide. By the late 1960s, animal studies of CES
had begun in the United States at the University of Tennessee and what
is now the University of Wisconsin Medical School. These were soon
followed by human clinical trials at the University of Texas Medical
School in San Antonio and the University of Wisconsin Medical School.
More studies followed.
CES has been an international treatment modality for more than 50
years. Thousands of people worldwide continue to receive its benefits.
The most extensive work on CES is presently being conducted at the
Pavlov Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia. But by no means is its use
restricted to that part of the world. Current estimates are that there
are between 50-100,000 units in use globally.
Q. What research is there as to its effectiveness?
There are approximately 1,000 articles on CES therapy many of which are
listed in four reviews put out by the Foreign Service Bulletin of the
United States Library of Congress. This is in addition to the wealth of
physiological and bio-engineering data on electro-sleep and
electro-anesthesia, including 18 experimental animal studies. Human
research studies on CES currently number more than 100. Its efficacy has
been clinically confirmed through 28 established psychometric tests,
computerized EEGs and topographical brain-mapping. Meta-analyses
yielding positive results from the use of CES have been conducted at the
University of Tulsa and at the Harvard University School of Public
Q. Why haven't I heard more about CES?
CES has been a relatively unknown and under-deployed technology due to
the fundamental Western bias on behalf of pharmaceuticals. Within the
last ten years, we have come to better understand the connection between
brain function, neurotransmitters, and electrical stimulation. As our
knowledge of this area grows and new research findings emerge, so too
will the popularity and increased usage of CES.
Q. What distinguishes the CES Ultra from other CES units?
The most significant research on CES is based on the traditional 100 Hz;
a much smaller portion on micro frequencies—those less than one Hz. The
CES Ultra is the premier unit on the market currently featuring the
original 100 Hz configuration. Other units may claim to carry the 100 Hz
but do not have an accurate rendition of the configuration on which most
of the research is based.