“Wait. You want me to strap on a headband that shoots electrical currents through my brain. Are you serious?”
Indeed, it sounds like bunk science.
But it turns out that cranial electrical stimulation therapy is a legit treatment and is very helpful in treating specific conditions, particularly anxiety.
Recently the cost and availability of these treatments has surged due to the release of a small, portable cranial stimulator from Fisher Wallace, which is what we’ll be talking about today.
What Is It?
The Fisher Wallace Cranial Stimulator is a device that uses cranial electrical stimulation to treat anxiety, depression, insomnia, OCD, and ADD.
In contrast with other cranial stimulator machines which are large and bulky, the Fisher Wallace unit is designed primarily for patients to use at home.
It is often associated as an effective treatment for some of the symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder for soldiers and veterans – namely anxiety and insomnia.
How Does It Work?
The device uses radiofrequencies and a microcurrent of electricity to stimulate serotonin, dopamine, and cortisol in the brain.
While many patients may use in combination with drug therapy as directed by their doctor, a benefit many find is they may need less of the drug, or eventually none of the drug, to treat their symptoms. This is very beneficial in that you experience less of the unwanted side effects of prescription medication for insomnia, anxiety, OCD, ADD, and depression.
Typically a patient will use it for 20 minutes a day for 40-45 days. It is used on a maintenance basis for conditions such as depression and insomnia.
Fast Facts About The Fisher Wallace Cranial Stimulator
- You’ll need a prescription to buy one. While this is the most well known and affordable do it yourself device for cranial stimulation, you cannot buy it over the counter. In order to purchase any of the CES devices from Fisher Wallace, the first thing you have to do is submit a prescription from your doctor. (Note: FYI you might be interested in the David Pal 36 Cranio Electro Stimulation. This is a Sound and Light Machine with built-in CES that does not require a doctors prescription. It’s also cheaper.)
- It costs between $500-$700. Standard price is $695 but they also kindly offer a military/veteran discount of $495. This sounds expensive but compared to alternatives it’s a bargain. For example, just one or two sessions with the competitor NeuroStar TMS device can cost as much as owning the Fisher Wallace device.
- You don’t feel any zaps, zings, or bolts of electricity hitting you. Contrary to what you might expect, a person wearing the CES headband turns it on and actually feels… nothing. There is no sensation of electricity whizzing through you’re head. It feels absolutely nothing like electric stimulation therapy nor is it like using an electromagnetic therapy machine. The headband emits a 1 milliamp current of electricity. This is about 1/1000th of the strength of static electricity. Simply put, you just don’t feel anything.
- It works. Fisher Wallace reports a study in which 65-70% of people were successful in using their device for treatment.
Where Can I Buy One?
You need to get your doctor to approve of your purchase with a prescription and then you can by one directly from Fisher Wallace.
According to Fisher Wallace, a prescription would read something like this:
Example Doctors Prescription:
Fisher Wallace Stimulator, for the treatment of [depression, anxiety, insomnia or chronic pain], use as directed.
Fisher Wallace offers fact sheets and data to print up on their website to submit to your doctor in order to get the prescription.
Here are some videos on the Fisher Wallace Cranial Stimulator.
Video 1: Segment on The Doctors television show.
This clip on The Doctors show is a good, light hearted introduction to the device.
Video 2: A Veteran Discusses His Experience with Cranial Stimulation
This clip features a veteran discussing how his usage of the device has helped him deal with sleep problems and other conditions associated with soldiers returning from the stress of war.
Video 3: An Instructional Video from Fisher Wallace
This official instructional video is a straight forward look at how to use the Fisher Wallace Cranial Stimulator.