The Flow tDCS headset

Has anyone given this a go for vestibular issues relating to cerebellar stroke? A study here reports promising results. Like all medical tech gadgets that could improve one’s lifestyle, it comes at a high monetary cost but I wonder if the NHS partnership allows for it to fall under the NHS scheme.

Addendum: @clibbers1 has very astutely highlighted the subtle difference in acronyms here. It seems that tDCS, while used to treat similar conditions, is different from rTMS which is what the article I linked to reports on. After sniffing about on the net for a few minutes, it seems that rTMS is offered by the NHS, so it could be an interesting thing to try for vestibular problems if research proves some efficacy in using it.


Looks interesting @Rups never come across one before.

Hope you are doing better now.

Best wishes



They were not very clear on what it was used for. I have medication for that. As much as I don’t like taking any more medication than I absolutely must, I am happy with my medication. That seems like quite a bit of money…unless it actually works. Then it would be worth it.


I enquired about it, this is the response I received. Decided the response, as is par for the course where stroke is concerned, was too non comital as to if it could help or not, I decided to keep my money in my pocket and spend it on cake.

Thank you for your e-mail and your patience while we responded.

While the Flow headset is primarily designed for treating depression through transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) targeting the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, it operates on a different principle compared to rTMS, which has been researched for nerve pain management. Currently, the Flow treatment has not been specifically studied or validated for treating nerve pain or post-stroke conditions.

rTMS and tDCS are both intriguing in their potential applications beyond depression, including pain management. However, the use of the Flow treatment for conditions other than depression would require further clinical investigation to ensure its safety and effectiveness.

We recommend consulting with your doctor to explore the most suitable treatment options for your specific condition. If you have further questions or need additional information about the Flow treatment for depression, please feel free to contact us.


The response of that @clibbers1 Caroline has posted could equally well sound like it could be paraphrased as “seems reasonable that our product might help but if we said anything that would open us up for liability for any contraindications and since those can be limitless in certain jurisdictions will keep schutm”

I’m not saying it works I’m just saying that it’s probably impossible to be other than vague.

I have the same problem with the flint rehab music glove. Flint has a good reputation, the music glove costs about $800. If I could swap 800 dollars for a better functioning hand I’d do it in a flash - but! - swapping $800 for another piece of useless tech of which I had now have a small collection is not appealing.

It is a conundrum :frowning:


Ah, so it is different from rTMS. Diolch yn fawr for pointing this out. All the little subtleties in acronyms can lead to confusion, I feel. With a quick browser sniff, it seems that rTMS can be accessed via our NHS. However, after having a read, it seems they use it also to treat mental conditions treated with tDCS. If I can get access to rTMS, I am going to give it a go, my vestibular system is all over the place. At the moment, I am a roly-poly wobbler, but I have also let some of my personal rehabilitation exercises slide due to current circumstance. These will resume in time.


It is a conundrum. The Fast Show used to have a useless gadget sketch as part of their reappearing skit lineup. The feeling one gets after having forked out hard cold cash for something that isn’t fit for purpose can make one crestfallen, but when a gadget proves itself above and beyond, the feeling is prolonged elation.


Rupert, electrical stimulation does actually work for depression and the likes, if that’s what this Flow device is supposed to be and is used in the NHS as a treatment. But I believe it is a little more to it than merely popping that headset on your for forehead for a couple weeks. If that gadget targets the wrong areas of the brain you could inadvertently create some other issues you’d rather not have to contend with.

Secondly, at £399 I’d say it wouldn’t achieve much for the likes of your issue, maybe it would help in for cases of depression the likes of which woman can get once a month with pmt.

So if you want to go down the of electrical stimulation to treat your depression, do it the safe way, through the NHS or privately! Speak to your gp, maybe they can get your referred, but don’t waste your money on something that’s going to end up on a shelf gathering dust :wink:

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I’ve had some experience with RTMS which I’ve gone into some detail about if you search for my previous posts. It didn’t suit me, in fact it made me feel quite poorly, but I think I jumped into the treatment too early (May 2023 stroke date) My brain probably thought it was under attack again. It may well be more effective if the brain is a little more robust.


Hi Rups
I have looked into the provision of rTMS within the NHS. The only centre which appears to offer it for stroke pain is the Walton Centre in Liverpool. If that isn’t too far away from you, it is something, if successful which requires monthly top ups, it isn’t a one stop shop.

I can’t get a reply as to why it hasn’t rolled out further. This is to the frustration of the NHS consultants working there as well.
If you wanted to read more about what they do

To read the Liverpool consultants view of things on chronic pain, cpsp and rTMS, please try this link

Page 17 onwards.

I haven’t looked into the original reason for your post (I personally read their reply as don’t bother rather than hopeful) but just as a general observation, an item working on part of the brain to improve depression might not be the area of the brain which deals with pain.

One other item to flag, a very small number and it is very small, have had an epilepsy attack on treatment with rTMS.
rTMS appears to offer a successful solution to a percentage of patients significantly above any other solution. However @clibbers1 experience does show it doesn’t work for everyone.

Sadly so many people in the UK won’t ever get the chance to find out as it stands.



Diolch Nigel, I’m not considering it for pain or depression but for vestibular (ataxia) balance issues as reported here. There seems to be some efficacy with cerebellar stroke survivors (as am I) and I thought it might be a useful experiment to see if it improves me from being a wibbly-wobbly thing.

It looks like they do offer it in Cardiff too, which is close to me (comparatively).


The link page is written in a fairly salesy manner and the address of the foot of the page is a residential street!?

That doesn’t per se mean too much. What is interesting is it’s TMS in the private sector. Probably worth an outreach by those who have needs that aren’t being met in other ways.

Where this one privately equipped clinic there may be others?


One session with the psychiatrist and I could probably buy the machine outright. I was reading on the Technology Wales website that the concern of introducing rTMS into the public sector is the economic impact. It is always a case of the machine that goes ping.


Have you got a link for that Rups ?


It is a short report on the Health Technology Wales website.


Thank you Rups.

It recommends that further research is undertaken to establish the long term efficacy of rTMS before adoption of the treatment in Wales can be fully supported.

No timescales, let’s guess, no one really looking at it