Category Archives: PTSD

PTSD and Cranial Electro Stimulation Therapy

CES as a Viable Treatment for a Growing Problem

With tens of thousands of young Americans returning from a decade plus of war.. Nothing that the Pharmaceutical Companies has done thus far is helping. The problem not only persists, it is growing !!!


Position Paper on Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation
Ray B. Smith, Ph.D.

I. Known effectiveness of Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES) in mental health.

A. Anxiety: 38 clinical studies of anxiety, 21 of which were double blind, showed a mean improvement of 58%, with a range of from 38% to 94% improvement.
B. Depression: 18 clinical studies of depression, 7 of which were double blind, showed a mean improvement of 47%, with a range of from 25% to 80% improvement.
C. Insomnia: 19 clinical studies of insomnia, 7 of which were double blind showed a mean improvement of 62%, with a range of from 37% to 93% improvement.
D. Cognitive Dysfunction: 13 studies of cognitive dysfunction of various kinds, 54% of which were single or double blind, showed a mean improvement of 44%, with a range of from 23% to 86% improvement.

Note: These patients were treated with CES for 45 to 60 minutes a day for 10 to 14 days. They continued to improve for the next 6 weeks once treatment had been discontinued. All of this treatment was medication free, though CES can be used in the presence of medication, and appears to potentiate medication.

II. Theoretical impact of CES in PTSD treatment.

A. PTSD is caused by traumatic memories coming to the fore unbidden, which disrupt the person’s personality and behavior while active.
B. Eliciting the traumatic memory(s) during therapy is necessary but can be a difficult and long drawn out process because the memory can trigger the PTSD response and defeat therapy.
C. CES can prevent the emotional response to traumatic memory while the current is on.2
D. Recalled memories can be deleted from the brain within 3 to 10 minutes from the time they are called up, and other memories inserted if the patient remains calm and does not go into the PTSD response, thus ending the PTSD.

Note: Perhaps the greatest problem of PTSD therapists is the amount of time required to enable the patient to recall the traumatic experience in therapy without triggering a full blown anxiety response. That could be prevented if CES were worn by the patient while the traumatic event was recalled. At that point the memory could be removed from the memory stores and/or replaced by a less traumatic version of the memory.

Presented by CES Ultra.

Operation Pro-Vet

The Problem

Tens of thousands of Iraqi and Afghan veterans have returned home from the wars with a debilitating condition: post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD. The VA is at loose ends about how to deal with a mental health crisis that is ruining not only the lives of returning vets, but those of their families and friends as well. Drug therapy, which is the main way they have treated the problem, has proven to be not only ineffective, but has worsened the situation, triggering an extraordinary spike in substance abuse, leading to violent behaviors and suicide.


Read Brig. General (Ret) Stephen Xenakis MD, on the plight of our veterans at Huffingtonpost – PBS’s ‘This Emotional Life’: Memorial Day — Remembering Military Suicides

Watch General Xenakis on Fox News, discussing how CES can help treat PTSD at FoxNews – Can Brain Stimulation Help with PTSD?

An Answer?

Fortunately, there is a non-drug option with a proven track record in treating anxiety, depression, and insomnia which are the primary symptoms of PTSD. It’s called cranial electrotherapy stimulation, or CES. It’s an electronic device that is simple to use, has no side effects, and has been validated by decades of research. CES is currently being prescribed for active duty personnel returning from the mid-east at the Warrior Combat Stress Reset Program at Ft. Hood, TX, at Ft. Campbell, KY, Ft. Joint Ft Lewis-McChord, WA, at the Bremerton WA Naval Hospital, as well as in combat conditions in Iraq and Afghanistan. It should not stop there.

Operation Pro-Vet: How You Can Help

CES units generally retail for $350-$995. Because they are not generally covered by health insurance, they are most often out of the reach of veterans most of whom have a limited income or who are currently unemployed. Neuro-Fitness LLC, the manufacturer of the CES Ultra—in recognition of those who have given so much for their country—will now make available its CES unit at wholesale cost to veterans, not only of our current wars but our past wars as well as to their families. We are also working with Service clubs to make available units at a special low cost so that they may then be distributed to veterans in need.

To learn more about CES, visit us at our website: To learn more about the program, call us at 1-425-222-0830 or email us today at sales@ for more information and how your local group or organization can become part of this program to assist those who have served on our behalf. They deserve nothing less.

Why Psychiatry needs CES

The prime directive – Do No Harm

The primary duty to patients should be to “do no harm”. Avoiding harm typically results in an approach that follows a spectrum of interventions beginning with treatments that pose the least risk of adverse side effects.

The harm reduction approach increases the likelihood patients will benefit without being exposed to unnecessary risks of harm. CES should be included in the spectrum of available treatments as it poses very low risk of harm to patients.


CES as a safe and effective alternative

People worried about the use of pharmaceutical drugs should consider CES as a safe and effective alternative

The FDA has expressed concern as to utilization of CES without first employing more “conventional” treatments. Unfortunately, the more conventional treatments at times are not only ineffective but also in many circumstances contribute to a worsening of the condition or result in deleterious side effects.

This can result in necessary therapeutic alliance adversely impacted. Frequently, patients will mention the advertisements they see on television by various attorneys soliciting patients who have been harmed by approved medications, ECT or other treatments. They are worried about being harmed by prescribed treatments and become suspicious of their health care professionals.

There is excellent data and clinical experience however to support the safety and lack of adverse side effects from CES and it should be included in the spectrum of available treatments as it poses very low risk of harm to patients.

Excerpts from “A View from the Trenches” written by Jason Worchel, M.D.

More CES Research –

Surprising Uses for Electromagnetic Pulse Therapy


By administering energy in controlled, coherent pulses, physicians can use electromagnetic pulse therapy to treat wounds, chronic pain, and alcoholism. While research supports the benefits of this type of therapy when performed by professional physicians using clinical instruments, it does not support claims that electrotherapy mats and home devices effectively treat soft tissue pain. This article, then, looks only at professionally administered therapies.

Wound Healing

Low-intensity direct current (LIDC) is safely administered by placing the electrodes from the LIDC instrument onto the surface of the skin. A very small amount of electric current flows in one direction to the site and creates a magnetic field around the wound. This creates an effect known as galvanotaxis, which causes fibroblasts and keratinocytes to travel to the wound and begin to heal tissue upon reaching the damaged area. In studies, this effect has been shown to increase the rate of healing by 100% to 150%. It also makes the resulting scar tissue more resistant to future damage.

In addition, LIDC has antimicrobial effects. In two studies, patients who received LIDC experienced no infections and less discomfort at their wound sites. Typically, treatment is administered for 60 minutes each day until the wound is healed.

Depression, Pain, and More…

ces ultra treatmentCranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) is another type of electric procedure approved by the FDA when administered by trained physicians and health providers. In this treatment for depression, insomnia, and anxiety, electrodes that are placed on the ears send a small electric current into the brain. This deactivates certain portions of the brain, which mitigates symptoms of neural imbalance and hyperactivity by controlling neurotransmitter release and neuron signaling patterns.

This deactivation has also been shown to reduce the pain symptoms of fibromyalgia. Patients using CES devices report that they experience a decrease in chronic pain, and MRI scans confirm that this is due to a deactivation of pain signaling in the brain.[8] Fibromyalgia patients using CES have been shown to experience a 28% reduction in tenderness, a 27% reduction in pain intensity, and a 55% improvement in quality of sleep. Similarly, patients who use CES therapy for spinal cord injuries report a significant decrease in pain intensity.


CES has also been used to treat the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Studies show that CES can help alcoholics to reduce their alcohol consumption as well as the stress and depression associated with quitting. The treatment plan consists of daily 30-minute sessions over a period of four weeks. Additional studies indicate that the calming effect of CES also reduces anxiety symptoms in alcoholics.

How To Find Effective Electrotherapy

This discussion of electrotherapy comes with two important caveats. The first is that home use electrotherapy mats are not proven to be effective at relieving soft tissue pain. The pain relief described here is a result of direct current being applied to the brain by clinical CES devices that are operated by physicians. Mats are not shown to achieve this result.

The second important note is that CES shuts down parts of the brain. This makes it an effective method for relieving symptoms, but like medication, it is not a cure or remedy. The advantage that CES has over medication is that CES does not elicit side effects. As FDA-approved treatments, LIDC and CES are available at clinics that specialize in trauma therapy and rehabilitation, and are likely to be covered by most insurance companies. Natural Health Advisory Institute has a searchable physician or practitioner directory where those practicing electrostimulation therapy can be located.

Relieving PTSD symptoms through Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation

Trauma Sufferer Experiencing PTSD Symptom Sleeplessness

Military personnel experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms from trauma faced in the line of duty often go many years without seeking treatment. Sgt. Dwayne Sawyer suffered from PTSD symptoms for five years before he sought help, while Leading Aircraftsman J. Smith (name changed to protect identity) suffered from the late 1950s until four years ago. Even with medical assistance, some may not experience relief from their symptoms, while others won’t seek help because of the stigma attached to the diagnosis of PTSD.

Fortunately, there is an emerging technology that is non-addictive and has outstanding results, helping 85% of trauma sufferers who use the device regularly. There are several devices on the market, the most accessible being the Sleep Genie. It uses cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) technology to stimulate the relaxation centre of the brain, helping the user to sleep better, which in turn, alleviates some of the symptoms related to PTSD. According to Eileen Jones’ 2006 research paper Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation, A Non-Drug Neuromedical Treatment, the device works by sending a low intensity microcurrent to the brain. The unit is designed for home use: the user fastens two clips behind the ears from a hand-held machine.

Several doctors in Canada are using CES as part of their therapy. In Barrie, Ontario Dr. Jonathan Douglas, (Ph.D., C.Psych) became aware of the technology in 1998. He looked into it for a number of years, analyzing the research before trying it as a part of his practice. He began using the Alpha- Stim in his office and then purchased several Sleep Genie units to lend out to his clients for home use. Dr. Douglas explains the deciding factors for using this technology: I use it based on the presentation of the client – do they have difficulty falling asleep? Are they anxious or depressed? Do

Sgt. Sawyer was experiencing sleeplessness due to flashbacks and nightmares; PTSD symptoms that resulted in sleep avoidance. I didn’t want to fall asleep because I didn’t want to relive the trauma, explained Sawyer. As a result, he was exhausted all the time and spending $75-100 per day on high dosage sleep medication. He wanted off the medication.

CES Ultra Kit For Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation At Home
CES Ultra Kit (formerly The Sleep Genie)

It’s a big thing for a lot of the guys. You don’t want to be medicated when you don’t have to be. When his therapist recommended CES therapy, Sawyer was skeptical at first, thinking there is no way this will work. He noticed results after just a week, and after six weeks he was getting a full night’s sleep and had more energy during the day. He uses the CES device for 20 minutes per week while he watches television. He still gets flashbacks and nightmares, but nothing to what it was before. Life is slowly coming back to normal again. I can keep my symptoms under control now. It saved my wife and kids.

Leading Aircraftsman Smith wasn’t skeptical about the CES device when his therapist recommended it. He was fed up with his symptoms. He explains, I’ll try anything to help. After three years of using the technology regularly, he still experiences his PTSD symptoms on and off, but they are not as severe as they were before.

Dr. Ken Welburn, Ph.D., C Psych, the clinical director of a trauma clinic in Ottawa, has been educating therapists for 20 years about the psychiatric symptoms of trauma. He explains that cranial electrotherapy stimulation is a widely researched area. Since the technology was invented in the 1950s in Russia for sleep problems, many scientific studies have been done and are very conclusive that it is an effective treatment of insomnia, anxiety, depression, and certain types of pain. He was impressed with the research on CES devices, especially that there are no serious side effects, so he purchased a unit and tried it on himself. He experienced better quality sleep and felt a calm focus during the day.

Sleeping Man

Dr. Welburn started a study with his clients, using the variables: sleep latency, numbers of hours spent asleep, disturbance in sleep, and sleep deprivation during the day. He evaluates his clients based on this criteria before they use the CES device and interviews them every week for the eight weeks using the device. There is a pronounced effect, a dramatic change in these variables. He explains that, to PTSD sufferers, sleep is a dangerous place so you try to avoid it. He finds that continued use of the CES unit helps his clients to better handle stress without overacting to change emotionally. Dr. Welburn notices the biggest changes in sleep quality, anxiety levels, and the improved ability to focus. It is a great tool for treating trauma and for helping manage the symptoms my clients are experiencing. It is not the whole therapy but part of it.

Both doctors believe that the use of medications for sleep, anxiety, and antidepressants can be drastically reduced with continued sessions. But they also say its important to keep in mind that changes occur over time and with continued use. As Dr. Douglas explains, there is never going to be a cookie cutter approach for any situation. Some people will not find relief in the technology. Dr. Welburn finds that approximately 85% of people respond positively to the treatment, while Dr. Douglas found that since his introduction of the CES device in 2006, only three patients have had a negative reaction.

The Sleep Genie (now the CES Ultra device) can be purchased directly from the company but it is recommended people use it in conjunction with therapy. It is not recommended that you use the device if you are pregnant or if you have a pacemaker. Dr. Welburn explains, there have never been any adverse side effects in these cases; it is just a precaution.

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Last Modified: March 21, 2021