Category Archives: addiction

Could CES Device Help Me Stop Smoking?


There’s plenty of help out there to quit smoking. There are nicotine patches and vape sticks, but actually kicking that craving can be really, really tough.

You can try a CES device.

Cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) is a noninvasive treatment modality, which was cleared by FDA for treatment of a variety of symptoms including anxiety, depression, insomnia, and pain.

Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES) has been around for 30-odd years. Studies are out there showing that CES can be useful in helping people deal with everything from anxiety to depression to insomnia. More recently, it has been suggested that it can help deal with the cravings of an addiction. With regards to smoking, it is thought that they help take the anxiety regarding a craving away, thus making the craving more manageable.

CES has an excellent safety record. Published literature in the U.S. and abroad, reports virtually no negative side effects or major contraindications from its use. The National Research Council has deemed CES to be “a non-significant risk modality.” Because the only source of current for CES Ultra is a common nine-volt battery, its intensity is limited to 1.5 milliamps – what you would use to operate a small toy or penlight. Even the unit’s maximum intensity has been shown to be safe.

Electrotherapy and Acupuncture Reduce Opioid Consumption

You know that America is facing a health care crisis of epic proportions, and we’re all starting to realize that everyone plays a role in ending our cultural dependence on opioids.


In 2015, there were 52,000 drug overdose deaths and more than 60% of these were linked to OxyContin, Percocet, fentanyl, heroin, and other opioids.

Today, right now, drug overdoses are killing more Americans than the HIV and AIDS crisis did at its peak; more than car crashes and gun murders combined; it’s one of the biggest reasons why scientists say we’re seeing a decline in overall life expectancy in the U.S.

It’s up to every care provider to start addressing these concerns by not only reducing prescriptions for opioids but also by offering alternative pain management therapies. Everything else should be in your arsenal so that you can protect your patients.

The latest revelation in the opioid crisis comes from doctors reporting that patient satisfaction surveys may cause concern and lead to increased prescriptions for the drugs. Patient surveys ask if they feel the hospital or care setting has done everything it can do to relieve their pain, and many who are in pain (or are seeking drugs) but do not get an opioid will report that they’re not satisfied with their pain management.

Alternative therapy options that avoid prescriptions are not only growing because of safety worries, but also because more and more Americans want to avoid the crisis they see on TV, in their communities, and even in their families.

Electrotherapy (the use of electrical energy to stimulate nerves and muscles) and bioelectronic medicine options are a growing opportunity because they provide relief with virtually no chance of an addiction. Plus, electrotherapy also helps address many of the side effects of opioid abuse and other addictions.

Electrotherapy devices reduce the pain people experience, and for those using opioids this outside pain reduction can help decrease incidents and likelihood of related concerns, including:

  • central hypogonadism
  • cognitive impairment
  • depression
  • fractures and fall-related injuries
  • infections
  • impaired wound-healing
  • risk of secondary addictions
  • sleep disorders, especially breathing concerns

Addressing chronic pain is the best way to give the people you treat relief from a wide range of harms, and can help remove some of the potential for prescription or opioid abuse.

Physicians and patients alike are saying that it works. It helps them feel better, it helps offices enhance their business, and it can start to push America away from the crisis that we face.


CES and Addiction

Ann N. Dapice, PhD (Lenape/Cherokee) has long been a proponent of the use of CES ( cranial electrical stimulation) for the treatment of addiction. The following is an excerpt from her presentation at the World Diabetes Congress in Melbourne, Australia recently.


For more than 10 years we have had evidence that relapse to chemicals occurs when brain waves are irritable (Anderson, et al., 1999; Bauer, 2001). Thus chemical abuse happens when people self-medicate. Inexpensive micro current cranial electro-therapy stimulation, or CES, run by a 9-volt battery, balances neurotransmitters and brain waves, has long been FDA accepted, double-triple blind researched, is without negative side effects , yet remains largely ignored. Research demonstrates the positive result of CES on anxiety, depression and PTSD—frequently co-occurring diagnoses with alcoholism and diabetes. Similarly, we have known that good proteins, fats and carbohydrates are required for functioning brains and bodies. When we “prescribe good diets” to build necessary neurotransmitters and balance brain waves allowing neurons to work effectively together, we are prescribing chemicals—every bit as much as “prescription drugs” but without negative side effects. These are less costly solutions.

There are still many unanswered questions. Why do some become addicted to alcohol, certain foods, nicotine, sex, risk-taking (taking down the world economy)—while others don’t? Never mind the selling of these addictives in the marketplace or that risk-taking in business is rewarded—while shamed in gambling. Religious groups will deny certain substances to their believers while over-indulging in others that are just as destructive. Fatty meals at church suppers may produce endocannabinoids given physiological process (Piornelli & DiPatrizio, 2011). People eat these who wouldn’t think of using marijuana.

I never planned to focus on alcoholism and diabetes. I knew about neither as a child—although I did know about obesity in women who worked hard physically for long hours, showing that exercise is necessary but not sufficient. My first memory of diabetes was a college classmate who would give herself extra insulin so she could eat as much ice cream as she wanted. As a college professor I often lunched with two colleagues, one a “recovering alcoholic,” now Type 2 Diabetic, who would “shoot up” as much insulin as he could to eat as many desserts as he wanted (SLIDE of syringe). The other colleague, on ADHD medication, would purposely wait until after lunch to take his Ritalin so it wouldn’t lower his appetite. He loved to eat! He now has TTD. When we began our non-profit American Indian organization focusing on addiction and mental health issues, we quickly discovered we had depressed diabetic patients as well. We attended addiction conferences where tables were heavily loaded with sweet pastries—and diabetic elders were gathered around in wheelchairs with amputated limbs, laps filled with plates of high carb foods. (SLIDE)

About a decade ago a colleague from Australia, also using CES for addiction, visited our office and said she was shocked to see such obesity in the US. We had begun working with a variety of researchers across the world regarding the origins of addictions. We learned that hunters and gatherers and peoples who last received grains had the greatest levels of alcoholism since they had no evolutionary time to adjust to the grains (Mathews-Larson, 1991) — just as some people are lactose intolerant today. Corn was essentially the grain of the Americas but across tribes it was treated with lye or lime calcium to release the protein and thus was not the infamous “high fructose corn syrup” we know today. North of Mexico, American Indians were told to stop treating their corn with lime or lye and to use wheat flour, dried milk and other commodities given them. Indians north of the border soon had far more alcoholism and TTD than Indians from the same tribes in Mexico. That has changed rapidly since US products moved into Mexico and the entire world with the highly desired and storable high fructose products (Lustig, 2012, Popkin, 2007).

Before European encounter, Indians only used tobacco as sacred medicine. It took Europeans’ desire for frequent use, growing large amounts first through slavery, then the industrial revolution, to make it a global addiction. Thus tobacco dependence came through colonization—even from a plant originating in the Americas. The abuse of corn and tobacco caught Indians in the same tangled web of corn products and tobacco addiction. Both contribute to the ravages of alcoholism and TTD worldwide.

More recently, we have Robert Lustig’s (2012) analysis of the similarity of metabolism in TTD and alcoholism . We also have growing suspicion, if not clear evidence, that “diet” sweeteners tell the tongue to prepare the pancreas to secrete insulin. Diet drinks used by the obese and diabetics seem not to help with obesity and continue the desire for sweet tastes—whatever the physiological process.

Our experiences in research and practice have shown that people can change their diets and addictions—no longer even “like” the tastes of foods and substances that destroy their minds and bodies. They can use simple and inexpensive CES to normalize their brain waves. We can show them how, stop telling them they have to “bottom out” or that they are spiritually defective. Clinicians need to help addicted people reason, not rationalize, the consequences of their addictions. Most people have diseases and illnesses of some kind—and we don’t blame them. But we use tremendous shame and blame in response to alcoholism, obesity and diabetes. Most of us have addictive preferences and while we are not responsible for our genetics (Propping, et al.1981; Begleiter &Projesz, 1988), or prenatal environment (Whitaker & Dietz, 1998), we are responsible for the consequences of our addictions. Working with the unique needs of each client we can help clients respond effectively to their brains and bodies—just as we have accomplished overproduction of bad foods and substances in the world. That is our work now.

Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES) and Neurotransmitters

Neurotransmitters are the brain chemicals that communicate information throughout our brain and body. They relay signals between nerve cells, called “neurons.” The brain uses neurotransmitters to tell your heart to beat, your lungs to breathe, and your stomach to digest. They affect mood, sleep, concentration, weight, and can cause adverse symptoms when they are out of balance. Neurotransmitter levels can be depleted many ways. Stress, poor diet, neurotoxins, genetic predisposition, drug (prescription and recreational), alcohol and caffeine usage can cause these levels to be out of optimal range.


There are two kinds of neurotransmitters – inhibitory and excitatory. Excitatory are those that stimulate the brain. Those that calm the brain and help create balance are called inhibitory. Inhibitory neurotransmitters balance mood and are easily depleted when the excitatory neurotransmitters are overactive.

SEROTONIN is an inhibitory neurotransmitter – which means that it does not stimulate the brain.  Adequate amounts of serotonin are necessary for a stable mood and to balance any excessive excitatory (stimulating) neurotransmitter firing in the brain.  If you use stimulant medications or caffeine in your daily regimen – it can cause a depletion of serotonin over time.  Serotonin also regulates many other processes such as carbohydrate cravings, sleep cycle, pain control and appropriate digestion.  Low serotonin levels are also associated with decreased immune system function.

GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that is often referred to as “nature’s VALIUM-like substance”.  When GABA is out of range (high or low excretion values), it is likely that an excitatory neurotransmitter is firing too often in the brain.  GABA will be sent out to attempt to balance this stimulating over-firing.

DOPAMINE is a special neurotransmitter because it is considered to be both excitatory and inhibitory.  Dopamine helps with depression as well as focus, which you will read about in the excitatory section.

Excitatory Neurotransmitters

DOPAMINE is our main focus neurotransmitter.  When dopamine is either elevated or low – we can have focus issues such as not remembering where we put our keys, forgetting what a paragraph said when we just finished reading it or simply daydreaming and not being able to stay on task.  Dopamine is also responsible for our drive or desire to get things done – or motivation.  Stimulants such as medications for ADD/ADHD and caffeine cause dopamine to be pushed into the synapse so that focus is improved.  Unfortunately, stimulating dopamine consistently can cause a depletion of dopamine over time.

NOREPINEPHRINE is an excitatory neurotransmitter that is responsible for stimulatory processes in the body.  Norepinephrine helps to make epinephrine as well.  This neurotransmitter can cause ANXIETY at elevated excretion levels as well as some “MOOD DAMPENING” effects.  Low levels of norepinephrine are associated with LOW ENERGY, DECREASED FOCUS ability and sleep cycle problems.

EPINEPHRINE is an excitatory neurotransmitter that is reflective of stress.  This neurotransmitter will often be elevated when ADHD like symptoms are present.  Long term STRESS or INSOMNIA can cause epinephrine levels to be depleted (low).  Epinephrine also regulates HEART RATE and BLOOD PRESSURE.

As can be seen, neurotransmitters play a pivotal role in the pathological basis of mental illness and diseases of the brain.  Typically, the physician evaluates the patient’s problem in terms of too little or too much of a given neurotransmitter.  Clinically he treats the problem by medicating the patient in such a way as to increase or decrease the relative presence of the neurotransmitter in question or receptor sensitivity to these neurotransmitters.

For example, everyone knows that when a person is depressed she needs more of the neurotransmitter, seratonin.  If she isn’t depressed, but just feels down, with no energy and no zest for life, we say she may need more dopamine.  If she is in great pain for no apparent reason, we may question the amount of endorphins she is manufacturing in her brain.  If she has too much energy, we may often assume that she is manufacturing too much norepinephrine.

Only recently, however, have we realized that we are getting into trouble with this approach to medical practice with the discovery that the so-called neurotransmitters are not just manufactured by and work in the brain.  They are also manufactured by every white blood cell that courses throughout the body, and responded to by every organ in the body, not just the brain.

Read more  here


Krupitsky, E.M., Burakov, G.B., Karandashova, JaS., et al. The administration of transcranial electric treatment for affective disturbances therapy in alcoholic patients. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 27:1-6, 1991.

Shealy, C.N., Cady, R.K., Wilkie, R.G., Cox, R, Liss, S, and Clossen, W.  Depression; a diagnostic, neurochemical profile & therapy with cranial electrical stimulation (CES). Journal of Neurological and Orthopaedic Medicine and Surgery. 10(4):319‑321, 1989.

Pozos, Robert S., Richardson, Alfred W., Kaplan, Harold M. Electroanesthesia: A proposed physiologic mechanism.  In Reynolds, David V., and Anita Sjoberg (Eds.) Neuroelectric Research. Springfield, Charles Thomas, Pages 110-113, 1971

CES: A New Approach to treating Chemical Dependency

The first published account of CES and chemical dependence (CD) was a study by Wen and Cheng (1973). Forty patients admitted to Kwong Wah Hospital in Hong Kong for a variety of ailments who were coincidentally addicted to opiates were engaged in a study using CES combined with acupuncure for withdrawal symptoms. The subjects had been addicted for periods ranging from 3 to 58 years. A CES device of unspecified wave patterns was used at a frequency which was gradually increased from 0 to 125 Hz at an unspecified intensity. The electrodes were attached to acupuncture needles placed in the conches of both ears.

The length of treatment varied depending on individual patient needs, averaging 1.5 hours. The number of treatments also varied widely as seen from Wen and Chang’s comments, “In the first few days of treatment, we gave the patients  two or three days, followed by one stimulation for the next four or five days.”  Outcome measures were the researchers’ clinical observations of patient improvement and the patient’s sense of well being. Neither normal treatment, no treatment, nor placebo controls were used in the study. Results showed  that 39 of the 40 subjects were discharged  to out-patient clinics non-addicted and withdrawal symptom- free after the CES acupuncture treatment. All 39 of the subjects suffered little or no withdrawal symptoms during the study. These findings received the attention of numerous clinicians and researchers throughout the world.