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Fisher Wallace vs. Neurofeedback for Insomnia.

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Due to popular request, we've decided to do an honest assessment of both the Fisher-Wallace cranial electrotherapy stimulation device (CES) and classical neurofeedback for insomnia.

First, lets start with the Fisher-Wallace CES Device:

According to their website, "Our device treats Insomnia, Anxiety, Depression and Chronic Pain by stimulating the brain's production of neurochemicals." How this is done is by implementing a battery operated, low wattage current through the brain of the patient, thus stimulating the limbic system, or the deep portion of the brain. Results can be seen in about five to ten 30 minute sessions of daily use.

The Pros:

* Initially less expensive than neurofeedback.

* Boosts levels of serotonin, GABA and beta-endorphins to aid in sleep.

* Self administered.

The Cons:

* Must be used continually to keep working. (Studies show benefits only lasting up to two weeks after stopping treatment).

* Boosts neurotransmitters artificially through electrical stimulation.

* Longer term effects of CES stimulating neurochemicals are unstudied and unpublished.

It's important to note that the longer term warranty on the Fisher-Wallace is not published anywhere on their website. This is important due the fact that the patient will need to use the unit on-going to maintain it's benefits. It's also unclear on average how many units would need to be purchased within a patients lifetime to provide continual treatment.

Neurofeedback For Insomnia.

Several different manufacturers claim efficacy using neurofeedback for sleep problems. These include: Brain Master Technologies, Thought Technology, NeurOptimal and EEGer. All but one is FDA cleared.

The mechanism of action for neurofeedback differs from that of CES in a number of ways. Firstly, neurofeedback is thought to re-train the brain on it's own internal bio-electrical level. What this means is that the human brain is taught to re-establish it's own sleep architecture and circadian rhythms, and to continue to do so even after the cessation of treatment.  Thus, it is believed that after 20-30 sessions of neurofeedback, the brain will naturally hold up the established results on it's own without on-going treatment.

The Pros:

* Treatment does not involve any electro-stimulation to work.

* Does not need lifelong, on-going treatment to be effective.

* Treatment trains the brain to produce normal, natural sleep on it's own.


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David A. Mayen serves as founder and CEO of the Sleep Recovery Centers. He is an EEG Spectum Intl. Graduate and holds certifications in advanced neurofeedback,neuro-anatomy and neurophysiology, psycho-pharmacology as well as alpha theta training (more...)
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