Without emotion, man would be nothing but a biological computer. Love, joy,sorrow, fear, apprehension, anger,satisfaction, and discontent provide
the meaning of human existence.
Arnold M. Ludwig---1980

Better living through chemistry?

Every twenty-four to thirty-six hours, from 50 to 80 % of adults in the United States and the United Kingdom swallow a medically prescribed chemical. In the United States, the volume of the drug business has grown by a factor of 100 during the current century; 20,000 tons of asprin are consumed per year, almost 225 tablets per person. In England every tenth night of sleep is induced by a hypnotic drug and 19% of women and 9% of men take a prescrbed tranquilizer during any one year.

In the United States, central-nervous-system agents are the fastest growing sector of the pharmaceutical market, now making up 31% of total sales. Dependence on prescribed tranquilizers has risen by 290% since 1962, a period during which the per capita consumption of liquor rose by only 23% and the estimated consumption of illegal opiates by about 50 percent, leading Ivan Illich in Medical Nemesis, to note how that by 1975, "Medical addiction ...had outgrown all self-chosen or more festive forms of creating well-being."

Some people take the wrong medication; others get an old or contaminated batch, and others a counterfeit; others take medications in dangerous combinations. Some medications are addictive, others are devestating emotionally and physically from their side effects. Every year a million people--that is 3 to 5% of all hospital admissions --are admitted primarily because of a negative reaction to medications. The situation has become especially exacerbated by the medical profession's propensity to dole out medication like candy for the slightest sign of depression, anxiety, or insomnia, helping make drugs like prozac as chic in the suburbs as crack is in the inner city. This has led to that plague of legal drug addiction, documented so well by Peter Breggin in his definitive study of the topic in "Toxic Psychiatry"

Well, I do not espouse an extremist position with regard to psychotropic medication such as Peter Breggin does but I believe that consumers should be aware that some of these substances are very powerful and will benefit people as much as they are intelligently prescribed and intelligently taken.

Worse yet, is the subversion of our independence. We are self-regulating beings in possession of our own pharmaceutical laboratory which our brain draws on judiciously on our behalf. An increased reliance on external drugs interferes with that self-regulatory process, reducing our ability to cope --to develop, strengthen, and effectively employ our own inner resources.

People speak today of being captive of unpleasent emotional states. The answer to this problem, however, does not lie exclusively with the development of better and more efficient drugs. Emotions are in part products of the chemical soup, and the elaborate electrical neuro circuitry which make up the working environment of our brain.

To reclaim control of our life we have but to learn how to alter that chemical composition and reorient that circuitry.

CES is a tool to help us achieve that end. As a similar ethic can ideally and practically guide pharmaceutical usage, CES offers a unique and viable "bioelectric" alternative. Personal autonomy and a gain with insight and self awareness is resultant because the learning of the intelligent applicatiuon of CES permits individuals to have an amazing increase in their ability to experience a positive perception, to in effect reset the controls of their perception.

CES's primary goal is wellness, defined as peak emotional, mental, and physical health--a state of proper alignment --the balanced interplay of body and mind attained through personal empowerment rather than dependency. You know that nothing is good or bad intrinsically, it's more how it is utilized or misused. So I do not want to really put down the pharmaceutical industry, but actually want to extend the options available to people looking for answers and positive change. Pharmaceuticals may be used untelligently and wisely, both on the part of the professional and the patient.

What is homeostasis? Homeostasis can be defined as the tendency for intrinsic balance within a system. Application of a therapeutic range of microcurrent intracranially seems to enhance the homeostasis of the biological central nervous system. An effect on one system within the individual will correlative effects upon other systems within the individual. Improved mood can be measured. Many times improved cognitive function can be measured. Improved self image, and sense of well being can be measured. An improved sense of locus of control or self determination can be easily measured. If a tool works it enhances one's ability to handle or deal with situations previously that were beyond the range of one's control

Intelligent choice, what is it? We have the ability to learn. We have the ability to gain experience. We have the opportunity to change and grow. We have the ability be in control of our lives. We can learn about anything we like.

This researcher wants to acknowledge Delbert T. Goates, M.D. who was instrumental in many areas of research during his career, including work with the CES. He was an exceptional human being who finished this life earlier this month. He will be greatly missed.

CES A Unique Non-drug Therapy

CES is a simple treatment employing mild battery-powered electronic stimulation through clip-on electrodes that attach to the earlobes or by pre-gelled electrodes placed behind the ears. Current flow is limited so that the most a user will experience during the process is a brief tingling sensation. Its most immediate impact is reduction of anxiety. For most people, anxiety reduction is experienced in the course of treatment, but it also may be first seen hours, or as late as several days after. After a CES session you are left feeling both alert and relaxed . Psychologists call this an "alpha state". The effect differs from pharmaceutical treatments in that people report feeling that their bodies are lighter and more relaxed and their mind more alert and clear. The results are cumulative and lasting.

CES has major implications in a number of areas. In the war on drugs, it is a formidable new weapon in the treatment of the symptoms accompanying detoxification and withdrawal. For those suffering from depression and anxiety, it means relief with none of the unpleasant side effects of prescription drugs. For those seeking nothing more than a good night's sleep, it is an alternative to habit-forming tranquilizers. For a public increasingly concerned with the effects of stress on physical health and emotional well being, it provides a way of addressing that stress in a safe and effective manner. CES---a treatment modality whose time has come.

CES has a proven track record as far as safety is concerned. There are no known negative side effects associated with its use. It also has a substantial body of research to support its claims. But because of the pharmaceutical bias in Western medicine, its deployment has been restricted and its use limited. It has also been difficult for people to find information on the topic. It has been challenging to define easy to understand parameters across traditional boundaries. This website seeks to be the definitive site for dissemination of information on CES and by doing so, nurture an expanded dialogue on health and wellness.

-------- Charles McCusker, Ph.D.
Psychologist, Salt Lake City, UT September, 1996

The following information is the result of years of thorough research and investigation. It has been supplemented with materials from experienced practitioners and acknowledged authorities in the field. This information however should not be interpreted as a substitute for physician's evaluation or treatment by a healthcare professional, nor provide or confirm a medical diagnosis.


A Unique Non-drug Therapy For a Centered State

CES Controls:

stress and stress related disorders
substance abuse

Supercharge the brain
Attain a state of relaxed awareness
Optimize cognitive functioning
Achieve higher levels of mental performance
Enhance memory capacity
Facilitate recall
Increase IQ

Q. What is depression?

Being clinically depressed is very different from the down type of feeling that all people experience from time to time. Occasional feelings of sadness are a normal part of life, and it is that such feelings are often colloquially referred to as "depression." In clinical depression, such feelings are out of proportion to any external causes. There are things in everyone's life that are possible causes of sadness, but people who are not depressed manage to cope with these things without becoming incapacitated.

As one might expect, depression can present itself as feeling sad or "having the blues". However, sadness may not always be the dominant feeling of a depressed person. Depression can also be experienced as a numb or empty feeling, or perhaps no awareness of feeling at all. A depressed person may experience a noticeable loss in their ability to feel pleasure about anything. Depression, as viewed by psychiatrists, is an illness in which a person experiences a marked change in their mood and in the way they view themselves and the world. Depression as a significant depressive disorder ranges from short in duration and mild to long term and very severe, even life threatening.

What causes depression?

Despite 35 years of research antidepressant drugs still

cause adverse side effects

Depression is big business
It takes about 10 years and costs around £350 million pounds to develop a new drug
Many drugs fail at some stage in their testing phase
The patent on a new drug only lasts 10 years - during this time development costs must be recouped and profit earned for new drug developments
Prozac launched in 1987, and Seroxat available from 1998, earn their manufacturers about one billion pounds per year.
It costs the NHS £20 to treat a patient for one month with Prozac or Seroxat
World-wide, 37 million patients have received Prozac since its launch in 1987
Once out of patent, generic forms of the drug can be sold at a fraction of the cost of the original because the manufacturer does not have to bear the development and testing costs
It costs the NHS £1 to treat a patient for one month with a generic antidepressant
The global market for antidepressants was worth $10 billion in 1998 and it is estimated that it will grow 20% each year to 2006. The Japanese consume very few antidepressants.
Reboxetine, the first selective noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor is being tipped as the next big money spinner

It is conceivable that in the future antidepressants will be available 'over-the-counter' i.e. without prescription.
(Source: Kohn, 2000)

More Here



The group of symptoms which doctors and therapists use to diagnose depression ("depressive symptoms"), which includes the important proviso that the symptoms have manifested for more than a few weeks and that they are interfering with normal life, are the result of an alteration in brain chemistry. This alteration is similar to temporary, normal variations in brain chemistry which can be triggered by illness, stress, frustration, or grief, but it differs in that it is self-sustaining and does not resolve itself upon removal of such triggering events (if any such trigger can be found at all, which is not always the case.)

Depression and Stress Hormones
The most common drugs used today to treat depression focus their attention on the brain chemicals, serotonin and norepinephrine. Increasing evidence, however, now indicates that another player in the brain, corticotropin-releasing factor, should share the spolight. Studies have shown that abnormally high activity of this stress hormone is present in many cases of depression. Furthermore, research shows that drugs that block the action of corticotropin-releasing factor have the potential to lift the dismally low spirits of the depressed. The new insights help explain how depression arises and may lead to new options for prevention and treatment.

Instead, the alteration continues, producing depressive symptoms and through those symptoms, enormous new stresses on the person: unhappiness, sleep disorders, lack of concentration, difficulty in doing one's job, inability to care for one's physical and emotional needs, strain on existing relationships with friends and family. These new stresses may be sufficient to act as triggers for continuing brain chemistry alteration, or they may simply prevent the resolution of the difficulties which may have triggered the initial alteration, or both.

The depressive brain chemistry alteration seems to be self-limiting in most cases: after one to three years, a more normal chemistry reappears, even without medical treatment. However, if the alteration is profound enough to cause suicidal impulses, a majority of untreated depressed people will in fact attempt suicide, and as many as 17% will eventually succeed. Therefore, depression must be thought of as a potentially fatal illness. Friends and relatives may be deceived by the casual way that profoundly depressed people speak of suicide or self-mutilation. They are not casual because they "don't really mean it"; they are casual because these things seem no worse than the mental pain they are already suffering. Any comment such as, "You'd be better off if I were gone," or "I wish I could just jump out a window," is the equivalent of a sudden high fever;



Symptoms of Depression
An estimated one in ten Americans suffer from depression, an illness that affects both physical and mental well-being. Often chronic in nature, depression can be triggered by adverse life circumstances or occur simply "out of the blue." Frequently, a combination of genetic, psychological and environmental factors contribute to the onset of depression.


The most common symptoms are set out below . If these have been experienced for more than two weeks it is essential to seek help. People may suffer from two or three of these symptoms but are unlikely to experience them all.

Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.
Feeling useless, inadequate, bad.
Self hatred, constant questioning of thoughts and actions, an overwhelming need for reassurance.
Being vulnerable and "over-sensitive".
Feeling guilty.
A loss of energy and motivation, that makes even the simplest tasks or decisions seem difficult.
Self harm.
Loss or gain in weight.
Difficulty with getting off to sleep, or (less frequently) an excessive desire to sleep.
Agitation and restlessness.
Loss of sex drive.
Finding it impossible to concentrate for any length of time, forgetfulness. A sense of unreality.
Physical aches and pains, sometimes with the fear that you are seriously ill.
In severe depression, these feelings may also include:

Suicidal ideas.
Failure to eat or drink.
Delusions and/or hallucinations.

Depression is much misunderstood by the public, yet it affects many people of all ages. It is estimated that one in five people will suffer from depression at some point in their lives.
Depression is an illness where the feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, linkled to the inability to concentrate, may make it hard for some people to carry out normal daily activities.
Depression is an illness with a wide range of physical and psychological symptoms, which sometimes make it hard to recognise and understand.
Personality may play a part in depression. Although anyone can become depressed under particular circumstances, some people seem to be more vulnerable than others. This may be because of things that have happened in childhood, such as abuse, or because of our individual make up (including body chemistry).
A lot of effective, intelligent and creative people suffer from depression and yet make an outstanding contribution to life. Often, information about their depression is only revealed after their death, as people misunderstand the illness. Amongst such people are Florence Nightingale and Sir Winston Churchill, who used to call depression his "black dog". Depression can effect anyone and does not reduce your value as a human being.

How may I measure my depression?
The items below refer to how you have felt and behaved **during the past
week.** For each item, indicate the extent to which it is true, by
circling one of the numbers that follows it. Use the following scale:
0 = Not at all
1 = Just a little
2 = Somewhat
3 = Moderately
4 = Quite a lot
5 = Very much
1. I do things slowly..............................................0 1 2 3 4 5
2. My future seems hopeless...............................0 1 2 3 4 5
3. It is hard for me to concentrate on reading.....0 1 2 3 4 5
4. The pleasure and joy has gone out of my life..0 1 2 3 4 5
5. I have difficulty making decisions...................,0 1 2 3 4 5
6. I have lost interest in aspects of life that
used to be important to me...................................0 1 2 3 4 5
7. I feel sad, blue, and unhappy............................0 1 2 3 4 5
8. I am agitated and keep moving around............0 1 2 3 4 5
9. I feel fatigued.....................................................0 1 2 3 4 5
10. It takes great effort for me to do simple
things......................................................................0 1 2 3 4 5
11. I feel that I am a guilty person who
deserves to be punished........................................0 1 2 3 4 5
12. I feel like a failure...........................................0 1 2 3 4 5
13. I feel lifeless--more dead than alive...............0 1 2 3 4 5
14. My sleep has been disturbed:
too little, too much, or broken sleep.....................0 1 2 3 4 5
15. I spend time thinking about HOW I might
kill myself...............................................................0 1 2 3 4 5
16. I feel trapped or caught...................................0 1 2 3 4 5
17. I feel depressed even when good things
happen to me.........................................................0 1 2 3 4 5
18. Without trying to diet, I have lost,
or gained, weight...................................................0 1 2 3 4 5

It is important for people to know that:

Depression is an illness that can affect anyone at any age.
It is not connected with and does not develop into insanity


Heart Palpitations - Gone!

Shortness of Breath - Gone!

Anxiety Attacks - Gone!

Sleepless Nights - Gone!

Fear of Social Situations - Gone!

Inability to Relax - Gone!

Worry, Worry, Worry - Gone!

Instead you'll have. . .

Personal Self-Confidence...

Top Performance on the Job...

Relaxation in Social Settings...

Ability to Have Fun Again...

Belief in Yourself...

Peaceful Sleep...

Daily Joy and Serenity..


.Cranial electro stimulators offer a non-drug therapy for the treatment of ANXIETY, DEPRESSION and INSOMNIA. CES has been used in numerous countries around the world for over 30 years. It involves the application of mild microcurrent electrical impulses to the head via electrodes applied behind the ears or by means of ear-clip electrodes
CES should be used under direction of a licensed health care practitioner. Individual results will vary, but many patients report significant improvement of their Stress-Related Symptoms over a period of 2 to 3 weeks daily use.

FREQUENCY AND DURATION: Optimal CES treatments are 60 minutes once daily or 30 minutes two times daily for the first three weeks. In some studies 40 minutes 1 time per day, five days per week has been found to be adequate. For chronic conditions many patients find CES is actually more effective when used every other day. After first two weeks of daily treatment application may be reduced to maintenance level ranging from one 20-minute application every other day to one 20-minute application every three days. Treatment should not be discontinued as ineffective until 2 weeks of twice daily applications have been completed.

PRECAUTIONS: Optimally CES treatment should be applied in early hours after awakening and while in relaxed and quiet environment. Normally it is best not to use CES within three hours of bedtime. Exercise caution when driving or operating machinery for one hour after treatment. Do not apply electrodes directly over the eyes or the carotid sinus area (upper side of the neck below the ear and behind the jaw). Do not sleep during CES treatment

Cranial Electrotherapy, a Profound Alternative Therapy

ANXIETY & Cranial Electrotherapy

Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES) has been used as a treatment for anxiety in several parts of the world for over a quarter of a century. American medicine has only recently begun to realize its use as a safe and effective treatment. Studies show that Cranial Electrotherapy treatment yields highly significant reductions in anxiety, whether the patients were in a psychiatric setting, a scholastic setting, an outpatient setting, or an in-patient general hospital setting. Further, while many different kinds of anxiety have been studied, as measured by the six different psychological measuring instruments found in these studies, they all responded significantly to CES treatment.
Less intense or less permanent forms of anxiety - the so-called 'situational anxiety' in which a person habitually responds to personally threatening events in his environment with an anxiety reaction - respond to Cranial Electrotherapy treatments within a week or less. The more permanent forms of anxiety - the so-called trait anxiety, or that underlying level of anxiety that a person typically carries with him at all times - require a longer period of Cranial Electro treatment.


Studies show that reactive depression (that which results from acute changes in the patients life situation such as a job change or divorce) is decreased after 6 days of Cranial Electrotherapy treatment. More deep seated depression (endogenous) in some cases required 3 or more weeks of daily treatment. For this reason, many physicians routinely prescribe a minimum of 2 weeks to a month of daily Cranial Electrotherapy treatments in depressed patients, since it is frequently difficult to gauge the type or depth of depression with great accuracy.
Since many patients have a 'depression habit' physicians should include a home CES unit in their treatment plan so that the patient can meet any new sign of impending depression with effective treatment and thereby break the behavioral reinforcement chain that has both led to and maintained the habit. In this way, a maladaptive habit can be effectively controlled or broken without the use of frequent medications and/or repeated visits to the physician. Other research has shown that Cranial Electrotherapy, when used this way is neither habit forming nor addictive. Such patients use it only when they experience an impending medical necessity.


Because Cranial Electrotherapy was originally called 'Electrosleep' in European countries, many earlier American studies were designed to learn whether or not such small amounts of electric currents would actually put people to sleep. That is, just as 50ma of current - called 'electro-anaesthesia' - put an individual into anesthesia so that surgical procedures could be performed, 1ma of Cranial Electrotherapy current was assumed to put them into a normal state of sleep if 'Electrosleep' worked.
Such studies discovered that while Cranial Electrotherapy does not necessarily "put a person to sleep", it does accomplish some very therapeutic changes in the sleep patterns of people who complain of insomnia. The studies below show that whether measured by the patient's own ratings, psychiatrists ratings or by electroencephalograph or polygraph recordings before and after Cranial Electrotherapy treatments, the following effects of CES in insomnia can be expected:

1. Sleep onset latency is reduced. That is, once a person has retired for the evening, the amount of time it takes him to actually fall asleep is reduced from one to two hours or more to the more normal twenty minutes or less.
2. The number of awakenings during the night are reduced. That is, while most insomniacs awaken three or more times during the night and have difficulty falling asleep again, those treated with Cranial Electrotherapy typically awaken no more than once or twice following therapy, with most reporting no awakenings. Furthermore, after awakening, they return to sleep much more promptly than before.
3. Cranial Electrotherapy treated patients spend more time in stage four sleep following CES treatments. That is, patients spend more time in the deepest, most restful stage of sleep than they did prior to Cranial Electrotherapy treatment. It should be noted that some patients who have deprived themselves of REM sleep - the stage during which dreaming occurs - by taking drugs or alcohol as a sleeping aid, sometimes spend the first two or three nights in unusually vivid dream states when first starting CES treatments. This is considered another indication of the therapeutic effectiveness of Cranial Electrotherapy in that persons are known to become increasingly disorganized mentally, some even to the point of psychotic-like symptoms, when they do not engage in the normal amount of dreaming.
4. Finally, it was discovered that many patients receiving Cranial Electrotherapy treatments report feeling more rested when they awaken in the morning following Cranial Electrotherapy treatments.
Treatment parameters: While some patients begin to respond after the second or third day of treatment, others do not have their best response with fewer than 24 days of treatments lasting from 15 minutes to 1 hour. The beneficial effects have been measured in some experimental groups for as long as two years. Some people with insomnia have a habitual pattern of responding to situational stress with an interruption in their sleep patterns. The best results are obtained when Cranial Electrotherapy is used each time unusual stressors occur in their life situations that would ordinarily cause poor sleep. The Cranial Electrotherapy device user is thereby trained over time to expect a good night's sleep no matter what stressful interruptions occurred in the normal flow of daily life.


Foremost among the treatment problems among chemically dependent persons is the need to help them through the psychologically and physically demanding period of withdrawal. The body reacts to the depressed physical state engendered by alcohol and other drugs with a rebound stress reaction. This reaction commonly includes states of extreme anxiety, depression, and insomnia, for which Cranial Electrotherapy treatment is known to be effective.
Underlying the addictive state is an insidious and progressive destruction of normal brain functioning including an often incapacitating memory loss, inability to process information involving abstract symbols, and other dysfunctions associated with the organic brain syndrome, and advanced condition which is known as Korsakoff psychosis.
Studies on the use of Cranial Electrotherapy in chemical dependencies are among the best controlled and well designed research in the U.S. They indicate that Cranial Electrotherapy is a highly effective adjunct to methadone withdrawal in heroin addicts, significantly shortening the time to symptom - free withdrawal when compared with methadone alone, and significantly lowering withdrawal anxiety as measured by the Taylor Manifest Anxiety Scale.
Further, the anxiety and depression accompanying and following withdrawal of both alcohol and other drugs in polydrug abusers is significantly reduced when patients receive Cranial Electrotherapy as a post withdrawal treatment.
Most importantly, perhaps, is the finding that Cranial Electrotherapy treatment halts and significantly reverses brain dysfunction in these patients as measured on seven different psychological scales of cognitive function, bringing many such functions back to the level of the pre-addiction state in the majority of patients studied.
Another problem in the treatment of chemically dependent persons is frequently recurring 'dry withdrawal' in which the individual suffers withdrawal symptoms within several weeks, then again in several months. The phrases used to describe these phenomena are a 'dry drunk' followed by the 'dry withdrawal'. These psychological states lead to high recidivism rates among these individuals as they return to treatment after "falling off the wagon".
Cranial Electrotherapy is now thought of as one of the most effective, non-drug treatments for these periods of withdrawal, and a patient who has a personal Cranial Electrotherapy unit available should be able to use it to prevent a full-blown withdrawal reaction at such times. By doing so he can reduce the need for additional medical treatment in a clinic or hospital setting, and will be less likely to resort to alcohol because of the discomfort accompanying these withdrawal states.