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12-month warranty
Same day dispatch
Professionally endorsed

Full Body TENS Unit: How It Works and the Benefits

A TENS machine package with its corresponding information for use

Electrotherapies such as Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) are a reliable way to relieve pain. People conduct the therapy by using a handheld device. There are full body TENS units, which are made for the whole body. A machine produces electric currents through the skin. It can trigger the release of endorphins, making the patient feel more at ease. Moreover, TENS units are beneficial because of their portability. They are easy to bring anywhere.

People experience different kinds of pain every day. The cause can range from improper posture to medical conditions like fibromyalgia. It is common to take medication for it. However, there are more alternatives available. For instance, healthcare professionals recommend a TENS machine to their patients. To know the necessary information about the unit for the whole body, the article will present what it is, how it works, and its benefits.

What a Full Body TENS Unit Is

A full body TENS unit is a battery-operated device. It is a natural pain reliever that can target both upper and lower body parts. People who initially buy it for a specific area can use it for future pains in different body parts. Many professionals use it because of its low risks. In addition, it is non-invasive. These factors combined are essential details for those who want to try it.

TENS devices have electrodes, which stick to the body for it to receive the electric impulses. They can come in different shapes and sizes. Hence, people can choose which is suitable for the area they want to target the most. Some units are wired, while some are wireless. Regardless of the type, the machine is usually small.

The unit also has adjustable controls. People can turn the frequency, duration, and intensity higher or lower. It ultimately depends on what feels comfortable for them and what is effective. Some devices, like the iTENS from iTENS Australia, have pre-set programs, which help the body not build resistance on a certain mode or setting.

Body Parts to Avoid

A unit for the whole body is suitable for various areas. However, there are locations to avoid:

  • Eyes – People may target facial areas like the cheeks for migraine pain, but they should never place it on the eyes as it may cause injuries.
  • Neck (Front) – It is safe to use TENS on the neck, but it should never be attached to the front neck.
  • Spine – It is not advisable to directly place the pads on the spine. They can target either side of it instead.
  • Joints – Joint movements may cause the pads to fall, losing their effectiveness.

A woman using a TENS device on her lower back

How a Full Body TENS Unit Works

The way a full body TENS unit works is by sending electric currents through electrode pads. There are two methods for pain relief. One of which is Motor Level Stimulation. This is when the device is in low frequencies at less than 10 Hz. It stimulates the body to boost the production of the natural painkillers of people.

On the other hand, there is the Sensory Level Stimulation. It takes effect in high frequencies at more than 50 Hz. The machine blocks pain signals from reaching the brain. Hence, the brain has a more difficult time recognizing pain. People can choose either frequency. Some devices utilise both at once for a better reaction.

TENS can manage acute and chronic pains. Low frequencies are more suitable for the latter, while higher frequencies are better for the former. This is because ongoing pains need small treatment throughout the day. As for acute pains, the level of pain is typically higher. Hence, they may need higher levels of treatment, too.

How to Use It

TENS devices are easy to use. The therapy should start with a clean and dry skin. This is to ensure the electrodes stick well. People should connect the lead wires for handheld devices to the machine and pads. Afterwards, they can attach the pads to the skin; wireless machines can do this immediately.

Individuals can then turn on the device. It is recommended to start with low frequencies to avoid sudden shocks. After they feel more comfortable, they can gradually increase it. A common session lasts for 20-30 minutes. Once done, they can turn off the device and then remove the electrodes.

An old woman using a TENS device on her wrist while reading a book

Benefits of a Full Body TENS Unit

The full body TENS units have several benefits. Firstly, it is convenient. The device is typically portable and lightweight. Hence, people can carry it with them outside. They can bring it to their workplaces or schools. Moreover, wireless devices commonly can connect to Bluetooth to access a mobile application. They can easily control the settings of TENS on their phones.

Secondly, it is non-invasive. It is better to manage pain without getting adverse side effects. People do not need to worry about nausea, unlike with other treatments. In addition, the currents of a TENS device are low-voltage. Thus, there would be no internal damage to their body parts.

Lastly, it is multipurpose. The unit not only relieves pain, but it also can induce massage-like sensations. They can use low frequency to provide a relaxing feeling. This is especially true for 3-in-1 units like the Multi Pain Point Package of iTENS. It has electric muscle stimulation (EMS) and massage settings for the best care.

Safety Precautions

TENS units are generally safe, but people must follow safety precautions to prevent inconveniences. One thing to note is that certain groups of people, such as pregnant women, as well as those with epilepsy and heart diseases, are more vulnerable than others. Thus, consulting a doctor before use is more necessary for them.

People can have skin irritations. It can be because of the pads. Some people are allergic to them. Hence, they can opt for hypoallergenic pads. Additionally, burns can cause it due to a prolonged period of use. This is why people should only have a set amount of time per session.


People need to know what a full body TENS unit is, how it works, and its benefits to make the most out of the device. It is a type of electrotherapy. The machine uses electric impulses to relieve pain in different body parts. It works by either triggering the production of endorphins or by pain gating. It is a beneficial tool to have because of its convenience, non-invasive nature, and performance.

The device can be used for the whole body, but there are several exceptions. This is to avoid harm and ineffectiveness. For instance, people can target knee pain. However, they should place the pads on the surrounding areas of the knee instead of directly on it because body movements can make the pads lose their stickiness. It can then lead to no pain relief. There are also guidelines to follow for the best results and fewer concerns.

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