Very weak electrical current known as micro-current electrical stimulation or cranio-electrotherapy stimulation has been established as an effective treatment of generalized anxiety. A meta-analysis of studies comparing this approach with a sham treatment (ie, electrodes attached to the head but with no current flowing) concluded that symptoms of generalized anxiety were significantly reduced. Another review of research studies concluded that regular treatments with weak electrical current resulted in short-term reduction in the severity of generalized anxiety. In a 10-week open trial of daily self-administered CES therapy in 182 individuals diagnosed with anxiety disorders, 3/4 of patients reported significant reductions in anxiety that were maintained at 6 month follow-up. It is important to note that one fourth of patients enrolled in this study had previously failed trials on conventional anti-anxiety medications, and more than 1/2 had received no previous treatment of any kind for their anxiety problems.
Overall, individuals who receive at least 4 to 6 treatments experience more sustained reductions in anxiety compared to people who receive fewer treatments. Patients diagnosed with one or more specific phobias such as fear of flying, or fear of spiders, reported significant reductions in anxiety when exposure to the feared object or situation was followed by 30 minutes of treatment with weak electrical current. In that study comparable anxiety reduction was achieved with micro-current electrical stimulation and anti-anxiety medications.
You can find out more about micro-current electrical stimulation as a treatment of generalized anxiety, and other safe and effective complementary and alternative treatments of anxiety, and learn practical tips for using them in “Anxiety: the Integrative Mental Health Solution,” by James Lake M.D.