Greek physicians knew that electricity healed, so they applied electric fish to their patients. In Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation, Its First Fifty Years, Plus Three, Dr. Ray Smith shows that modern physicians also know that electricity heals. The first meta-analytic summary of the majority of studies of cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES)a non-drug treatment of micro pulses of electricity applied across the head treating anxiety, depression and insomnia, Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation is a staple for physicians contemplating the use CES in their practice, or for patients investigating the uses of CES.
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Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES) is a treatment procedure for a variety of psychiatric conditions. The procedure consists of passing a very small, painless current through the head of the patient, usually from little electrode clips attached to the earlobes. This little book is based on a series of five meta-analyses, or summaries, of the research done to date on the use of CES in the treatment of insomnia, depression, anxiety, drug addiction, and cognitive dysfunction. The book is based on the findings from a total of 67 studies involving more than 2900 patients.
If you suffer from any of the conditions listed above for which CES treatment was studied, or if you are a licensed professional who treats people with any of these conditions, you really ought to have this book. Not just read it, but have it to refer back to and to show to others. CES is one of the best-kept secrets of the health care industry. As this book details, CES turns out to be a very effective treatment for all of these problems--at least as good as psychiatric medications, and in most instances better. For example, CES has an average treatment effect size of .47 (on a 0 to 1 scale) for depression, whereas recent research (not reported in this book) shows that antidepressant medications average only .31 in effect size. The average treatment size results for anxiety are even stronger, with 68% improvement.
Smith doesn't go in for much speculation, in this book, but other theorists believe that CES produces its clinical effects by gently stimulating the brain to produce serotonin, endorphins, and dopamine.
CES is administsered with any of several small prescription electronic devices available on the market, ranging in price from about $400 to $1000. The patient can self-administer the treatments at home under the supervision of a licensed mental health professional. For anyone who is interested in receiving or providing CES therapy, this book is a good starting poiint. It doesn't go into detail on the methods or the equipment, but it effectively makes the case for using this treatment modality in preference to the medications that currently pervade the mental health scene and gives some general outlines.