Pharmaceuticals NO, Electroceuticals YES

Electroceuticals are a new category of therapeutic agents which act by targeting the neural circuits of organs. The therapy involves mapping the neural circuitry and delivering neural impulses to these specific targets.


Currently drugs rule the roost. Whatever cannot be treated by drugs is treated by interventions or surgery. Technically, all organs and functions are regulated through brain and nervous system; a circuits of neurons communicating through neural impulses. Even endocrine system is under control of central nervous system by a complex array of feed-back mechanisms. Furthermore, most drugs effect by either acting on final-receptors (neural) or endocrine mechanisms. But all known drugs and of-course surgeries or non-surgical interventions have definite side-effects, because their action cannot be exactly localized to the defective part or organ. In this context, imagine a day when instead of drugs, electrical impulses become the mainstay of medical therapy.
Instead of administering drugs, or doing complex procedures, the physicians may just administer electroceuticals which will target individual nerve fibres or specific brain circuits and be able to treat any condition. In other words, the neural impulses that control the body will be entrained to regain the lost function and reestablish a healthy balance. Thus they could regulate a host of bodily activities; food intake, cardiac activity, pancreatic activity, liver, kidney or spleen functions. They could even control inflammation and set right many pathologies like diabetes mellitus, obesity, hypertension, heart failure, cerebro-vascular and pulmonary diseases.

It is estimated that electroceuticals will become a mainstay of medical treatment over the next two decades, benefiting up to 2 billion people – a quarter of the global population – who are suffering from chronic diseases.
Electroceuticals is a recently coined term for an old therapeutic modality that broadly encompasses all bioelectronic medicine. It incluses any type of electrical stimulation to affect and modify functions of the body; neural implants such as cochlear implants, retinal implants or spinal cord stimulators for pain relief but also cardiac pacemakers and implantable defibrillators. Recently, the field has expanded to include deep brain stimulation and the electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve including cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES).

CES work because the nervous system and tissues function electrochemically and can be modulated readily by electrical intervention. Low-frequency current effectively targets cell receptors, activating them through frequency matching in a manner similar to that of chemical ligands.

The sensation of pain is transmitted through the body along billions of nerve cells that are designed specifically to transmit messages through electrochemical signals. Physics controls chemical reactions in the body, and most bodily functions can be normalized electrically. It is the application protocol that affects the peripheral pain site directly and accesses the central nervous system by directing the current through the spine. Combining MET and CES addresses all 4 pain pathways: transduction, transmission, modulation, and perception.

The resultant central and peripheral effects of CES include calmness, relaxation, reduced agitation and aggression, stabilized mood, improved sleep, and reduced pain. Results will vary with the exact technology used, the pathology of the disease being treated, the overall health and hydration of the patient.
Therapeutically, electroceuticals score over conventional drugs in a number of ways. Number one, they target neural electrical circuits which are composed of discrete elements; a system of – interconnected cells, nerve fibre network and nerve bundles, thus allowing for precise application of therapeutic effort. The final common pathway of this whole circuit is generation of action potential which itself can be modified allowing for additional control. Thus overall, efficacy increases but side effects decrease because of extreme specificity of response.


Neurotherapy for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Microamperage stimulation on cranial and other acupuncture meridian has been found to be a very effective method for potentiating neurotherapeutic treatment of a variety of disorders.  Stimulation has been found to be particularly useful with disorders that are characterized by deficiencies in brain activity in the occipital regions.  Research in our practice has also shown that stimulation of particular points enhances the amplitude of slow frequency brainwaves.  Our research has also shown that cranial stimulation markedly increases information retention.

There are many patterns associated with many different diagnoses which are well beyond the scope of this chapter.  The point is that some problems have specific neurological patterns and the treatment of these problems is to normalize those brainwave patterns.

Like many conditions, there are several brainwave patterns associated with various manifestations of PTSD.  First, one usually finds a severe deficiency in the ratio of Theta brainwave amplitude to Beta amplitude in the back of the brain.  This pattern, also found in genetically predisposed alcoholics, is associated with poor stress tolerance.  The Theta/Beta ratio in the occipital region of the brain should be between about 1.80 and 2.20.  When that ratio is low, say .70, the person has difficulty finding peace in his head, has poor stress tolerance, predisposed to anxiety and often sleep disturbance.

I believe that this deficiency is an enabler for PTSD so that if a number of people all experience the same trauma; only those with this severe deficiency would be prone to develop frank PTSD.  The others may have some psychological disturbances, bad dreams, etc but they don’t become incapacitated by PTSD.

In addition to this deficiency, the other brainwave pattern that I discovered while treating many of these patients was that they did not show any Alpha response.  The Alpha response is a visualization response.  At locations over the top of the head and in the back of the brain, when the eyes are closed there should be a large increase in the amplitude of the Alpha brainwave band.  Alpha brainwaves are between 8 and 12 Hz and it is a visualization response.  The jump in Alpha amplitude should be above about 30% on top of the head and more that 50% at the back of the head.  PTSD clients have no Alpha response, in fact, it usually goes negative (i.e., less amplitude with eyes closed relative to eyes open).  Now given that Alpha is the visualization brainwave in these locations (e.g., one can increase Alpha amplitude by imagining a sailing ship going over the horizon), lack of such a response makes sense.

The major negative effects of PTSD are the visual flashbacks in which the patient relives the trauma.  Blocking of the visual response should raise the threshold somewhat for these flashbacks.  The problem with such a blocking mechanism is that it also affects other things as well including memory, cognitive functioning and sleep.

There may be some other brainwave anomalies as well but I have found the above two in every case of frank PTSD.  The neurotherapeutic treatment of PTSD, therefore, always includes correcting the deficiency in the Theta/Beta ratio and the blunted Alpha response in the back of the brain.  For cases of traumatic stress that may affect anxiety and sleep quality, I have found that the deficiency in the back of the brain is not as marked as in cases of PTSD.

There are several psychoneurotherapeutic techniques for increasing the Theta/Beta ratio in the back of the brain.  Clients with PTSD are likely to be heavily medicated which severely compromises efforts to normalize the brainwaves in the back of the brain.  First therapeutic goal therefore is to make it possible for the client to start the titration process to wean themselves off the medications.  CES plays a major role in this phase of treatment.  CES increases the amplitude of slow frequency activity in the back of the brain.

A client I will call Jim diagnosed with PTSD was in and out of hospital for years when he finally arrived at my office.  A former policeman who had been traumatized on the job, he was required to be in treatment by the courts after he had used an unloaded gun to threaten a noisy youth at a rally. A day patient at the hospital, Jim came to his first visit with his wife.  The whites of his eyes were blood red, he was sweating profusely and he looked as though he was about to explode.  Jim said that he was experiencing multiple flashbacks every day and that he was very worried that he might lose control and become violent or self destructive.  Jim was heavily medicated but he claimed that the medications “didn’t do a damn thing” although Vivian said that without the drugs he was worse.  She further added that Jim had been through many programs and treatments for the PTSD but none seemed to help and that he was “getting much worse lately”.

The initial brainwave assessment indicated a marked deficiency in the back of the brain, the trauma signature and the pattern for emotional volatility.  The Theta/Beta ratio at the back of the brain was .57 (normative is 1.80 – 2.20), the Alpha response was negative (Alpha amplitude was 14.4% less under eyes closed condition whereas it should be above 50% in that area of the brain) and the Theta amplitude in the right frontal lobe was 33.5% greater than the amplitude in the left lobe.

Jim was under treatment for about a year and received more than fifty sessions.  After 22 sessions, Jim was able to tolerate the CES electrodes on his ears at which time the flashback frequency started to decline markedly.  The Alpha response likewise started to emerge around this time as well and Jim started to make substantial progress in his psychotherapy sessions with his primary therapist.

As the case of Jim illustrates, CES stimulation can be of significant benefit in the treatment of conditions in which there is a deficiency in slow frequency brainwave amplitude in the back of the brain.  This increase in slow frequency amplitude can be obtained with the CES electrodes either on the earlobes or on acupuncture point P6.  The beneficial effects of CES for sleep disturbances and anxiety is most likely the result of the increased Theta amplitude.  In addition there is also a form of depression that is associated with the Theta amplitude deficiency in the occipital brain region that is characterized by more of a burn-out feeling rather than frank sadness.  I have found that the CES is particularly effective for this form of depression.

Microamperage Electrical Stimulation as an Adjunct in Neurotherapy

Paul G. Swingle, Ph.D., R. Psych. [Private Practice]

Rock with CES. A perspective from 35 years ago.


Throughout the winter and spring of 1981, British music circles reverberated with news of Pete Townshend’s repeated transgressions. The lead guitarist and chief composer for the Who rock band was said to be drinking his breakfast and popping pills as if they were children’s gumdrops. After gaining international recognition for his pioneering rock operas Tommy and Quadrophenia, Townshend now seemed to be sinking ever deeper into drugged oblivion. At London’s trendy Soho clubs, he became the instigator of countless shouting matches and fights. Then there was the disastrous concert that March at the Rainbow, where the musician incensed the rest of the band by launching into long discordant codas and improvising on the spur of the moment. By the fall, gossip columnists had begun spreading rumors about his flirtations with heroin. There was even talk about one sordid night at the Club for Heroes, a New Romantic venue, where Townshend collapsed on the verge of death.

Pete Townshend’s close associates watched his metamorphosis from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde with both confusion and concern. Why should the voice that had belted out such fiery teenage anthems as “My Generation” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again” suddenly falter? How could the fist that had banged out electrifying guitar riffs become the perpetrator of senseless barroom brawls? Why had rock’s spiritual leader become so dispirited?

Whatever personal horrors had triggered this crisis, Townshend was unquestionably back in form by the time the Who began its final farewell tour of North America last autumn. For the 1.2 million fans who attended the forty concerts, the wayward rock star appeared to have been restored to all his former glory. Stirring the crowds to a frenzy, Townshend bunny-hopped across the stage and, without missing a beat, executed one dazzling leap after another. Flailing his guitar in the dizzying, whirligig strokes that had become his trademark, the thirty-eight-year-old musician displayed the same gusto that marked his early performances at the Marquee Club, that steamy dance hall where the Who first captured the hearts of a generation nearly two decades ago. Only this time around, there was none of the sloppiness — the bad notes or ill-timed overtures — that had so often marred their youthful deliverance. The band was tight, demonstrating a flawless virtuosity almost unprecedented in its eighteen-year career.

Back at the hotel room after the concert, Townshend confirmed that he was off drugs. He looked trim and fit. Only his jaded blue eyes, windows on a frazzled soul, hinted that some scars remained. Despite the dramatic upswing in his life, it was clear that the turbulent past continued to weigh on his conscience. Having only narrowly escaped the same fate as the Who’s late drummer Keith Moon, who died of a drug overdose in 1978, Townshend was grateful to be alive. And so he spoke at great length about his miraculous salvation.

Miraculous, in this instance, may be an understatement, for the cure Townshend underwent seems to have reversed two years of dissipation. in ten days. The secret behind his startling rebound, he divulged, is NeuroElectric Therapy (NET) — a novel method of detoxification that is currently awaiting clinical approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This unusual treatment involves a Walkmanlike device that transmits a tiny electrical signal to the brain via electrodes taped behind either ear. Townshend wore this portable gadget — or the “black box,” as he nicknamed it — day and night during the initial phases of treatment. He claims that it rapidly cleansed his body of drugs without the painful withdrawal symptoms that usually make going “cold turkey” such an unbearable ordeal.

The black box is the brainchild of a middle-aged Scottish surgeon, Dr. Meg Patterson. Her explanation of its scientific rationale provides insight into the experience of her celebrity patient. According to Patterson, who is something of a celebrity herself among the higher echelons of rock management, the black box quickly redresses chemical imbalances in the addict’s brain. She believes the weak current stimulates the production of various neurotransmitters, notably the brain’s own opiatelike painkillers, the endorphins (for “morphine within”). Because the frequency of the electrical current appears to determine which chemical reactions will occur, Patterson has to fine-tune the signal for each type of addiction. With Townshend, who suffered from multiple addictions, she applied several different frequencies over the course of treatment.

Her remedy appears to have worked, for the disheartened musician experienced what can only be described as a rebirth. And his case is by no means unique. Townshend himself first learned of NET through blues guitarist Eric Clapton, whom Patterson weaned from heroin in 1974. Since then, she has successfully reformed over a dozen top recording stars, including such notorious drug abusers as Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones. Townshend felt compelled to speak out about Patterson’s work both to repay a personal debt and to draw attention to her enormous behind-the-scenes contribution to the music industry as a whole.

Of course, some psychological problems remained, and in the interview that follows, Townshend talks with disarming candor about the difficulty of facing up to his own failings and the even greater challenge of healing badly strained relationships with his family, friends, and members of the band — bassist John Entwistle, vocalist Roger Daltrey, and drummer Kenney Jones. But for the most part, the nightmare had ended by the time he talked with Omni magazine editor Kathleen McAuliffe in the fall of 1982.

McAuliffe told us: “Certainly in the artistic arena, there were abundant signs that his life had come together. Not only had the Who’s final tour received rave reviews in the music press, but their latest album, It’s Hard, had been hailed as their most powerful work since Who’s Next. Townshend’s two solo albums, Empty Glass and All the Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes, released two years later, had also won broad critical acclaim.

“These recent successes, however, seemed less important to Townshend than the need to put his past in perspective. Yet his frank disclosures, he later confided, served no cathartic purpose. He was trying to share, not shed, his immediate past, presumably so that others might learn from his experience.”

A Summary Look at CES Studies Of Depression

Eighteen studies were analyzed, in which a total of 853 patients were treated with cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) for depression. The patients had presented with various clinical syndromes, of which depression played a major part. The treatment outcome depression scores were combined statistically in order to get a more confident look at the effectiveness of CES for treating this condition. While many of the studies were of the classic double blind protocol, others used either the single blind, the cross over design or were open clinical trials. The result of the analysis showed that the overall effectiveness of CES was 47% improvement. The results indicated that various types of depression, which accompany a wide range of clinical syndromes can be expected to respond, sometimes dramatically to CES treatment.

The goal of clinical studies is always to first test the effectiveness of a potential treatment and secondly to discover which patients the treatment may be most effective in treating. Meta-analysis has the effect of allowing researchers to essentially study a larger number of patients than can usually be assembled for a single study, and the larger the combined study sample, the greater is the confidence that can be placed in the study outcome: that the study findings are true and accurate. Also, the more diverse the study group is in the combined sample, the more confident one can be in generalizing the study outcome to larger groups of patients outside the study. That is, it increases the range of potential types of depression patients that we can predict will be effectively treated with CES.

In the table below is a summary of 18 studies that were combined into the meta-analysis reported on here.



a Correlation scores, representing percent improvement, are obtained mathematically from the study outcomes presented by the authors. Scores such as percent change scores, the statistical probability scores reported, F scores, t scores, and the like, are changed to r correlation scores and then into Zr scores. That is because percent improvement scores can not legally be averaged. The Zr scores are then averaged and converted back to percent improvement (effect size.)
b Most of the rating scales, both by the patients and the clinicians were of published reliability and validity. In many of the studies, more than one measure of depression was used. In those cases, the average of the results was calculated and reported as the overall result of the study.
c Effect size, here, is a statistician’s basic estimate of the overall percentage improvement by the patients as a result of the treatment

In many of the studies, depression was but one symptom within a larger presenting syndrome. For example in many of the patients, fibromyalgia was the presenting symptom, while in another large group of studies substance abuse (drug abstinence syndrome) was the presenting diagnosis. The presenting syndrome or type of patient is given in column three of the table. In all of the studies, however, depression was a major diagnosis within the presenting syndrome or group.

In the open clinical study, the patients know they are being actively treated for their depression, the clinicians know who is being treated, and the statistician who summarizes the study data also knows, since there is only one group of patients.

Do You Need a brain implant?


How far would you go to keep your mind from failing? Would you go so far as to let a doctor drill a hole in your skull and stick a microchip in your brain?

It’s not an idle question. In recent years neuroscientists have made major advances in cracking the code of memory, figuring out exactly how the human brain stores information and learning to reverse-engineer the process. Now they’ve reached the stage where they’re starting to put all of that theory into practice.

Last month two research teams reported success at using electrical signals, carried into the brain via implanted wires, to boost memory in small groups of test patients. “It’s a major milestone in demonstrating the ability to restore memory function in humans,” says Dr. Robert Hampson, a neuroscientist at Wake Forest School of Medicine and the leader of one of the teams.
The research is funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which sees brain implants as a life-changing technology for the 270,000 American soldiers who have suffered a traumatic brain injury in combat. The possible applications go much further, however. Brain implants could also change the lives of millions of Americans battling Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive disorders, or even help stave off the mental decline that we all confront as we get older.

Interested? But why go through a highly invasive and dangerous procedure? Why needlessly spend thousands of dollars to do so? Not when there’s a safe, non-invasive alternative—with no negative side effects, at a fraction of the cost. Plant seeds in your garden, not devices in your brain. Learn how the CES Ultra can help you.