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AU Registered Medical Device
12-month warranty
Same day dispatch
Professionally endorsed

What Does an Electronic Pulse Massager Do?

Woman massaging her neck

An electronic pulse massager is a wearable machine that sends electrical pulses to the body through the skin. It provides tissue and muscle stimulation using the same strokes or patterns as a manual massage. They come in various forms, depending on the targeted body part, such as a leg stimulation machine. It also includes electrotherapy devices like TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) and EMS (Electrical Muscle Stimulation). However, each device has specific functions. 

Electrotherapy devices like TENS and EMS help improve various physical conditions and ailments. It ranges from mild aches and soreness to severe pain from an underlying condition. They are commonly used in treatment facilities or training centres to help people with chronic pain or improve muscle functions. Conveniently, these machines are also available for home use. This article will cover the uses and benefits of TENS and EMS as pulse massagers and pain relief devices.

TENS Machine as an Electronic Pulse Massager

Electronic pulse massagers come in various forms. One of the standard types is a TENS machine. The device uses electrodes placed on the skin to deliver mild electrical pulses targeting the sensory nerves. In addition, it induces the body to release pain-relieving chemicals and block the transmission of pain signals to the brain. As a result, it reduces symptoms from conditions like arthritis, sciatica, fibromyalgia, and other joint and muscle pain

A TENS machine mainly works to relieve pain and discomfort. However, it also provides other benefits such as boosting blood circulation and relaxing the muscles through a massage function. Furthermore, the increased blood flow helps reduce muscle spasms and rehabilitate damaged tissues, nerves, and muscles. Thus, TENS is suitable not only for people with chronic pain but also for people with swollen muscles after working all day. Using TENS daily may also help prevent stiffness. 

An electronic pulse massager stimulates the trigger points to help reduce pain. It is applicable in most body areas such as shoulders, lower back, hips, arms, legs, hands, and feet. However, avoid placing the electrodes in sensitive parts like the head, throat, and chest, as it may cause low blood pressure. A TENS machine like the iTENS comes with pre-set modes to easily select the desired treatment. The programs are based on body aches, health conditions, and massage.

How TENS Controls Pain

A TENS machine uses modulated frequencies and intensities to attain the following:

  • Sensory level stimulation – high frequencies send more electromagnetic pulses to interfere with the transmission of pain signals. 
  • Motor level stimulation – low frequencies stimulate endorphin production. It will take more time, but the effects will last longer. 

Using an electronic pulse massager to improve movement

EMS as an Electronic Pulse Massager

While TENS therapy works on the nerves for pain relief, EMS works on muscle groups for stimulation and strengthening. It uses stronger intensities than TENS to cause a contraction. Furthermore, most electronic pulse massagers have EMS functions. It helps strengthen weakened muscle fibres by repeatedly contracting and relaxing them. EMS therapy reconditions the muscles and reverses atrophy. Additionally, improving muscle tone prevents potential injuries and boosts the musculoskeletal system.

Regular workouts often lead to tensed muscles. Hence, many athletes incorporate EMS therapy in their training to maintain their body’s peak conditions. It also leads to better sports performance with minimal chances of straining the muscles. In particular, they may use it during warm-up to stimulate muscles. Similarly, using EMS or TENS after an exercise may help control soreness and aches. Without the aid of these therapy devices, pain and discomfort may ensue for days. 

Untreated muscle pain may hinder daily activities and weaken them. Likewise, if muscle injuries do not heal properly, they may develop into chronic pain. Therefore, it is advisable to use an electronic pulse massager for rehabilitation. Individuals with severe symptoms may use therapy devices regularly until full recovery. You may consult a professional about which therapy is suitable for your condition. Fortunately, some devices like the iTENS combine TENS and EMS benefits in one machine. 

Benefits of EMS

  • Increases blood flow
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Decreases muscle soreness
  • Restores the range of motion
  • Improves joint pain
  • Reduces muscle spasms or cramps
  • Rehabilitates damaged tissues and muscles
  • Reaches muscle fibres not affected during an exercise
  • Improves muscle tone
  • Prevents gradual wasting of muscles
  • Enhances endurance
  • Helps build muscle mass

Putting electronic pulse massager to the pain area

Using an Electronic Pulse Massager

An electronic pulse massager and other electrical stimulators are easy to operate. TENS and EMS machines do not require the supervision of a professional. However, consulting a practitioner before starting any type of therapy or treatment method can help achieve optimal results. This is due to the fact that nerve or muscle stimulation may not be suitable for everyone. For example, pregnant women and people with heart conditions, epilepsy, and implanted devices must seek clearance before using them. 

To start treatment, position the electrodes on the affected area. Begin at the lowest setting and gradually increase the frequency to a level where you feel most comfortable. For TENS therapy, it is vital that it should not cause rigorous muscle contractions. Setting the intensity too high may harm the nerves and increase the pain. Thus, you should adjust the settings until it does not cause discomfort. 

Electronic pulse massagers come with pre-set modes for various body aches and health conditions. Massage functions may range from mild to strong stimulation. Particularly, the settings vary in the number of pulses per second. The higher the level, the more intense the tingling sensations are. Likewise, each device differs in the number of programs and settings range. Therefore, you should check what therapy you will normally need before getting a device. 

Tips for Effective Use

  • Position the electrodes near the nerves or muscles you are targeting.
  • Do not overlap the pads. They should be one inch apart from one another.
  • Experiment with different levels to see which is most effective for you.
  • Keep batteries new and fully recharged.
  • Do not overuse the machine (e.g. more than one hour).


If you have sore muscles, seek something that could help relieve pain and discomfort. Using an electronic pulse massager is a good option. Various devices can provide nerve stimulation or muscle relaxation. Thus, using a machine depends on your treatment needs. For instance, a TENS machine is ideal for pain relief, but it will not help improve muscle strength. However, EMS is more suitable if you aim to strengthen and recondition the muscles.

A device that combines TENS and EMS is the wireless iTENS from iTENS Australia. iTENS can help alleviate pain from chronic ailments, injuries and soreness from working or exercising. Moreover, you can pair iTENS with your smartphone to access several programs and settings for different kinds of pain. In conclusion, an electrical pulse stimulator or therapy device is a natural, non-invasive, and drug-free method to control pain or improve body functions.

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