CES as an Aid in Learning

Ref: Paul G. Swingle, Ph.D., R. Psych.
Private Practice

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.

ces-for-students

We discovered that CES helps with retention of learned material quite by accident.  In our Practice many clients receive CES units to help with depression, sleep problems, anxiety and addictions.  We started to hear from clients that they felt that they were able to remember things they had read more readily when treating themselves with the CES unit.  They assumption that we made was that the improved retention was a secondary effect of the CES because of the person being more relaxed.  Since the clients who received the CES units would be those who had Theta deficiencies in the back of the brain we thought that anxious clients would be those who benefited from using CES while studying.  However, we also started getting reports from clients that the CES treatments had an invigorating effect and when used mid-afternoon would minimize the typical afternoon slump in attention that many people experience.  I treated myself with the CES after lunch time and did feel that I was more alert and attentive.

We decided to test the effects of CES on learning with a non-clinical population.    The first study (Swingle and Swingle, 200x) looked at vocabulary learning with a young woman who was learning a second language.  The CES was .5 Hz delivered on the earlobe during study sessions.  All sessions were 35 minutes in length and the task was to memorize words from a list.  The client was asked to list all the words she recalled two days after the memorization session.  Without the CES the young woman was able to list 26% of the words whereas with the CES she was able to list 41% which seemed to be a huge benefit to learning the material.

The second study (Swingle and Swingle, 2XXX) looked at the effects of CES on learning vocabulary with a group of ESL (English as a Second Language) students.  Three different conditions were studied:  First a group of students who had a standard three hour classroom study (Group 1); second, a group of students who had 1.5 hours of individual study with CES on the earlobes (Group 2); third, a group of students who had 1.5 hours of individual study with CES presented at location P6 (Group 3).  The stimulation frequency was 100Hz and was continuous during the study period.  The amount learned was measured in two ways.  First, the students were asked to define the word (i.e., give the word meaning) and second, they were asked to use the word in a sentence.  The percentage of correct definitions was 31.5%, 78.3%, and 81.0% for Group 1, Group 2 and Group 3, respectively.  The percentage of words used correctly in a sentence was 35.7%, 75.0%, and 83.3% for groups 1, 2, and 3, respectively.  Thus, the data indicate that CES is a very effective aid to learning and further that the stimulation is at least as effective when applied to the acupuncture point Pericardium 6 as when presented at the more conventional earlobe site.

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