“Scientists believe sending tiny electrical currents into the brain could help solve people’s terrifying phobia of the dentist,” Express reports. “Experts said a handheld device which transmits cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) reduced anxiety among those with a long fear of dentists.”
Researchers divided patients with severe dental phobias into four groups. One group practiced relaxation therapy techniques. Another received electrotherapy. A third group underwent both relaxation and electrotherapy, and a final, control group received no special treatment or therapy at all. “Relaxation therapy involved patients spending 30 minutes with a specialist trainer who taught them exercises to help lower anxiety levels. The [cranial electrotherapy stimulation] CES worked just as well as the relaxation therapy after 45 minutes,” Expresscontinues.
How does it work? Tiny electrical signals stimulate nerve cells in the brain. In turn, these nerve cells produce acetylcholine and serotonin — or, in other words, chemicals responsible for reducing stress. Healthcare professionals use similar treatments to ease pregnant women’s stress- and pain-related symptoms.