How does Flow work?
Flow represents a new chapter in the understanding and treatment of depression, one which combines brain stimulation and lifestyle change.
The headset gently stimulates the left frontal cortex area of the brain. During this process, the user interacts with a virtual therapy app which provides information and advice about lifestyle changes. Treatment lasts for 30 minutes, with 18 sessions over a 6 week period, and can be extended for maintenance treatment for up to 2 times per week as a long as necessary.
People diagnosed with depression often have a lower activity in the left frontal cortex of their brain. The headset delivers a gentle electrical signal which activates neurons and rebalances activity in the frontal lobe. The headset is based on a well-researched brain stimulation technology called Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) which, in clinical studies, has been shown to reliably improve symptoms of depression.
Virtual therapy app
While users wear the headset, they interact with a virtual therapy app to maximise their chance of recovery. This provides original video content, information and advice about lifestyle changes. It teaches the user about depression, and how to reduce it, with methods for improved sleep, healthier eating, effective exercise and stress-reducing meditation. These are based on well-established behavioural activation techniques that can be personalised for each user.
What to expect when using Flow
The headset delivers gentle electrical signals which activate neurons in the front part of the brain. Some will feel nothing, while others experience a light tingling sensation underneath the electrodes. Clinical studies into this type of neurostimulation show that 23% of people completely overcome their depression, while 41% find that at least half of their symptoms disappear after 6 weeks. To maximise recovery, the headset should be used with the virtual therapy app.
Things to bear in mind when using Flow
There are many effective treatments for depression. Flow is simply another option and can be used in conjunction with existing treatments, including antidepressants. The type of neurostimulation that Flow uses has been shown in clinical studies to have approximately the same effect as antidepressant medication, with fewer and less-severe side effects.
Before purchasing Flow, we strongly advise that you have a diagnosis of depression and a recommendation by a doctor or other healthcare professional to use it. You should avoid using Flow if you are severely depressed and/or have suicidal thoughts.