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

Can You Use a TENS Machine for an EMS Massage?

Electrotherapy is a highly effective treatment that can have various forms. Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) and Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) are the most popular forms of electrotherapy. They are popular because of their simplicity and effectiveness. Electrotherapy through a TENS device can help with pain relief. TENS devices work under the “Gate Control Theory” of pain management. This theory states that constant electrical nerve stimulation can help close our gating channels. This gating mechanism is where pain signals would typically pass through. Closure of these channels can lessen the pain signals that reach the brain, reducing the pain sensations we usually feel. Moreover, TENS devices can also help with muscle relief. Relieving the pain in a particular area can drastically help reduce muscle tension. Despite having a more sensory approach, some TENS devices are also capable of providing an EMS massage. 

EMS Massage: What is EMS?

EMS, on the other hand, focuses entirely on muscle stimulation. These EMS devices can achieve pain relief and muscle relaxation through muscle contractions. An EMS machine can stimulate muscle contractions through muscle belly stimulation. It would produce a contraction similar to what you’d see when using that muscle. EMS therapy and EMS massage can help treat various muscle-related issues. Moreover, these devices can also help treat different health conditions that typically cause muscle weakness, lack of muscle control, or prevention of movements. EMS devices can help with:

  • Muscle pain
  • Tight muscles
  • Muscle retraining (for muscles after an injury or health condition)
  • Muscle soreness due to overuse
  • Poor muscle control (typically from neurological disorders)
  • Muscle tension
  • Muscle strengthening (because it can help contract muscles)
  • Fatigued muscles
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle conditioning (commonly done on athletes)
  • Post-surgery treatment

Physiotherapists would typically use EMS therapy or EMS massage to treat conditions like:

  • Stroke
  • Spinal cord injury (SCI)
  • Urinary Incontinence (struggling to hold back bladder due to weak abdominal muscles)
  • Musculoskeletal Injuries
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)

EMS Massage with a TENS Device

Nowadays, electrotherapy is possible in the comfort of our homes. Personal EMS and TENS combo devices like the iTENS from iTENS Australia can help users effectively treat themselves. The iTENS can be used for various treatments, and it can also substitute as an EMS device capable of EMS massage. Users can use the iTENS on its EMS or TENS settings. This can be done by changing the device’s frequency, intensity, pulse width, and duration. Furthermore, the iTENS’ “manual mode” allows the device to be more flexible. Users may also personalize their treatments within this mode. Moreover, since EMS therapy relies on muscle contraction, users should expect its parameters (treatment settings) to be higher than TENS therapy.

Users should expect a tingling sensation during TENS therapy treatments. On the other hand, EMS therapy would have visible muscle contractions during treatment. If you feel the electrical stimulation but see no contractions, you should further increase the parameters. The constant muscle contractions can then provide an EMS massage on the targeted muscles.

EMS Massage using the iTENS

The iTENS from iTENS Australia can drastically help make EMS massage sessions feel more convenient and practical. This is because of the highly advantageous features the iTENS has. Firstly, the iTENS is an entire wireless device capable of Bluetooth connectivity. This connectivity allows users to pair the iTENS seamlessly with their smartphones. Furthermore, during your massage sessions, you can easily activate and control the device through your phone. Without a doubt, this feature can make self-treatments feel more convenient and effortless. Secondly, the iTENS’ wireless feature allows for more flexible pad placements. Users can easily place the pads even on flexible, hard to reach areas like the wrist or ankle without disruptions (from wires). Lastly, having a wireless feature can also allow users to do activities even during electrotherapy sessions simultaneously. Wires will no longer restrict movements. Users can easily do household chores, work, and even exercise.


Using the iTENS

When using the iTENS, it is crucial for the user always to remember to attach the electrode pads before turning them on. This method can help prevent sudden electric shocks during an EMS massage session. Next, once the pads are on the skin, you can pair the iTENS with your smartphone. It is worth noting that the iTENS is compatible with most iOS, Android, and Google devices. Through your smartphone, you can have access to the iTENS app. The app contains a variety of pre-set treatment parameters, guides, and modes that you can use. This feature can help users conveniently start their TENS or EMS therapy with just a push of a button.

When using the device in its manual mode for EMS massage, professionals recommend starting with the lowest frequency and intensity. Users may gradually increase the parameters until they experience tingling sensations (for TENS) or muscle contractions (for EMS). This method can help users accommodate the electrical currents more effectively. Additionally, this can help prevent skin, nerve, or muscle irritations. Furthermore, because of its versatility, you can use the iTENS to treat a variety of pain or muscle irritations all around the body. You can use electrotherapy on areas like the following:

  • Neck
  • Shoulder (regularly for frozen shoulder)
  • Wrist (for conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome)
  • Back (commonly because of lower back pain or sciatica)
  • Legs
  • Hips (can reduce pain after hip surgery)
  • Knee
  • Ankle

Is Electrotherapy Safe?

Electrotherapy with EMS and TENS combo devices like the iTENS is a non-toxic, safe, and all-natural pain relief and relaxation method. Unlike some oral pain medications, electrotherapy devices do not have adverse side effects. Therefore, you can buy and use personal devices without worry. Moreover, you can also use them throughout the day. However, it is essential to remember to take 20-minute breaks in between sessions. Furthermore, users can use the iTENS unit confidently because it has FDA clearance to be an effective and safe electrotherapy device. FDA clearance ensures users are using a device that has undergone serious product testing before release. Additionally, it is worth noting that people with epilepsy, cancer patients, and people with cardiac pacemakers should avoid using TENS machines. Users can use the iTENS from ITENS Australia for TENS therapy, EMS therapy, and EMS massage. 


Electrotherapy is a very versatile treatment, and it can help treat a variety of injuries and conditions. Therefore, buying an effective electrotherapy device like the iTENS from iTENS Australia can be a worthwhile investment. You can’t go wrong when choosing the iTENS. TENS and EMS combo devices can drastically help improve your quality of life. Pain relief and muscle treatments through TENS therapy, EMS therapy, and EMS massage can now be available at the tip of your fingers.

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