What is CES

Cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) is a form of non-invasive neurostimulation utilizing small, pulsed, alternating currents delivered through electrodes on the head. CES is FDA cleared for depression, anxiety and insomnia—and is known to have little side effects. This neuromodulation technique typically uses a current of up to 5 mA with a frequency range of approximately 0.5-500 Hz. Electrode placements vary depending on application and desired effect, but FDA-cleared devices will specify the exact locations of electrode placements (See Electrode placement).

Because CES technology is classified as a class III medical device by the FDA, approval from a licensed medical practitioner is required to purchase a CES device.

Electrode Placement

The placement and orientation of the electrodes on the head is dictated by the desired current flow generated at a target cranial nerve to achieve a certain effect. There are 2 common electrode orientations for CES: bi-temporal (an electrode on each temple) or an electrode clipped on each earlobe. Specific electrode placements cited by manufacturers of specific FDA cleared CES devices can be found on their respective websites.