New research shows short bursts of ultrasound (sound waves above the range of human hearing), at just 30 seconds a time, appear to boost mood and ease anxiety.
Volunteers reported significant improvements in mental wellbeing within ten minutes of a single burst of sonic waves.
The treatment is thought to work by stimulating cells, called neurons, in areas of the brain involved in governing mood, such as the limbic system. This sits near the top of the brain and controls emotions.
Scientists behind the experimental therapy now hope to turn it intoÂ an effective alternative to anti- depressant drugs.
Up to one in five people in Britain are affected by depression at some point, and the prescribing of anti-depressant pills on the NHS has reached record levels. Most work by adjusting levels of a mood-altering chemical called serotonin.
These drugs are most effective for severe depression, although there is controversy over whether they help those with mild depression.