Cranial electrotherapy stimulation is one of the four key components of NuCalm. Although its use in NuCalm is a recent innovation, this device has been safely in clinical use in the US since the 1960s. It is a “grandfathered” device under the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules, in that it has has proven its safety over time and with the hundreds of thousands of patients who have used the device in its history without negative side effects.
How CES Works
The device pulses the brain with a gentle electric current ( only 1/10,000th of an amp). But we don’t know how these pulses create the effects they create.
It seems that CES is able to encourage beneficial brainwave frequencies, so that during and after treatment, people show increased alpha wave activity. The result is a reduced sensitivity to stressful stimuli, and they show up on an EEG similar to the brainwave changes seen among trained meditators. It’s also similar to the effects induced by drugs that control anxiety.
It’s important to note that all the effects of CES serve to calm the activity of various brain regions. It doesn’t stimulate any particular brain regions or send any part of the brain into hyperactivity. In a metaphorical description, some researchers have described the effects of CES as shutting down the internal dialogue that serves to ramp up anxiety levels in the brain.
Studies of blood chemistry show that CES impacts the release of several neurotransmitters. It increases the release of endorphins, melatonin, and serotonin, among other neurotransmitters. It also results in a decreased release of the stress hormone cortisol.
How Well CES Works for Anxiety
Anxiety is the most studied use for CES. A 2006 summary of research concluded that CES was 58% effective in the treatment of anxiety. Other studies have discovered similar levels of effectiveness (such as this one that concluded CES was 67% effective for reducing anxiety among service members and veterans).
CES: A Vital Part of the NuCalm Formula
Step 1 in the NuCalm system is to provide the body with ‘fuel’ for relaxation. Just as for activity you need fuel such as glucose and adrenaline, your body needs fuel to relax. This is provided in the form of the proprietary NuCalm chewable tablets or topical calming cream with the primary active ingredient GABA or Gamma-amino Butyric Acid. The problem is that as diurnal or daytime creatures, we are hard-wired to stay alert during daylight hours, so our nervous system doesn’t normally open the receptor sites in the brain to accept the GABA neurotransmitters until the sleep cycle begins. That’s where the CES unit comes into the equation. It actually increases the permeability of the GABA receptors, so the body can enter a state similar to the first stages of nightime sleep during daylight hours.
To learn whether you can benefit from NuCalm, please contact a local NuCalm dentist today for an appointment.