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12-month warranty
Same day dispatch
Professionally endorsed

TENS Machine For Nausea: How It Works and How To Use

A woman holding her head due to dizziness while working

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) therapy is a method of relief for various conditions or symptoms, including nausea. TENS machine for nausea uses safe and mild electrical impulses to stimulate the nerves through electrode patches. Accordingly, it works based on the Pain Gate Theory and the inducement of endorphins. People experiencing nausea can use TENS simply. They need to place the pads, usually on the wrist or stomach, adjust the settings, and activate the electrical stimulation.

Nausea is a common and unpleasant symptom that can be caused by a variety of factors. This may include motion sicknessmorning sickness during pregnancychemotherapy, abdominal pain, and certain post-operative pain. Many people turn to medication to alleviate their nausea, but these drugs often come with unwanted side effects. This has led to an increasing interest in alternative drug-free solutions, the TENS. The following sections will present how TENS works, how to operate it, and the safety considerations.

How a TENS Machine for Nausea Works

A TENS machine for nausea operates using a small, battery-powered device that sends electrical pulses to the body through electrodes. These pads are placed on the skin at specific points, such as the wrists or the lower part of the body, depending on the targeted area of relief. Accordingly, electric stimulation is thought to work through two main mechanisms.

Firstly, they may activate the natural pain relief mechanisms of the body, the endorphins. This production of endorphins can help alleviate the feeling of nausea and provide a sense of well-being. Secondly, the electrical pulses may interfere with the transmission of pain signals to the brain. This particularly works based on the pain gate mechanism.

By stimulating the nerves, the TENS device may disrupt the normal transmission of signals that could contribute to the sensation of nausea or post-operative nausea. This interference can help to reduce its severity and provide relief for the individual. Additionally, TENS can improve blood circulation, which can bring more oxygen and nutrients to bodily tissues.

Benefits of Using the Device

  • Non-invasive – it is an adequate method that does not involve any invasive surgery or needles.
  • Non-medicinal relief – this can be particularly advantageous for people who prefer to avoid or minimise the use of oral medications.
  • Convenient and portable solution – the device can be easily used at home or on the go. This allows people to have access to relief whenever and wherever they need it.
  • Customisable approach – this enables people to modify the current intensityfrequency, and pulse duration.
  • Cost-effective – this eliminates the need for frequent visits to clinical trials or healthcare providers. Also, TENS can be utilised for other acute or chronic pain.

A woman manually operating TENS in her hand

How to Operate a TENS Machine for Nausea

Operating a TENS machine for nausea is a straightforward process. Start by ensuring that the device is properly charged or has fresh batteries. This is to avoid interruption during the treatment. Then, connect the electrodes to the unit using wires or through a smartphone via Bluetooth for wireless. Accordingly, it is important to prepare the skin before placing the electrode patches.

Next, carefully attach the electrodes to the specific areas of the body. Follow the recommendations of the healthcare professionals or the user manual. Make sure to place the pads firmly on the skin but without causing discomfort. Once the electrodes are in place, turn on the TENS device. If the device has adjustable settings, modify the levels of intensity, frequency, and duration.

Some TENS offer pre-set programs; thus, choose the one for nausea. Nevertheless, it is advisable to start with the lowest settings and gradually increase it to a comfortable level. The recommended duration of the session is 15 to 30 minutes. After the therapy, turn off the device and carefully remove the electrode pads.

Pad Placement Guide for Safe and Effective Use

When using TENS to help with nausea, the placement of the pads is crucial for effective relief. People can place the pads on the wrists. Position the electrodes on the inside of the wrist, about two finger widths from the wrist crease. This is known as the Nei Guan acupressure point, which is believed to help reduce nausea and vomiting.

Additionally, for some individuals, placing one pad on the stomach area can also be beneficial. Position the electrodes on the abdomen, slightly below the rib cage and above the belly button. This placement targets the abdominal region and can provide additional relief for nausea.

An elderly using TENS in her wrist while reading

Safety Considerations When Using a TENS Machine for Nausea

Using a TENS machine for nausea is helpful, but it is important to take certain safety precautions. Before using the device, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional. They can guide whether TENS therapy is suitable for the symptoms. Then, always carefully read the user manual. This is essential for the safe and effective use of TENS.

Moreover, it is important to clean and dry the skin before placing the pads. This is to avoid skin irritation or discomfort. Also, adhere to the correct pad placement. Incorrect positioning of pads may not provide adequate relief and could lead to ineffective treatment. Avoid placing the pads on sensitive areas such as the eyes, mouth, head, chest, throat, or broken skin.

Do not start the therapy with high settings. This is to avoid electrical shocks and discomfort. When using TENS, it is important to check for any unusual sensations. Sensations such as burning, pain, or skin irritation are not normal. Furthermore, do not use TENS while driving, sleeping, or in contact with water.

When to Seek Medical Help

Knowing when to seek medical help when using TENS is crucial for safety. If the user experiences unusual or severe pain during the therapy, it is important to consult a health professional. As the person notices any skin irritation, redness, or allergic reaction in the electrode site, it is vital to see a doctor.

In addition, if the TENS therapy seems to be causing an increase in nausea or discomfort, it is essential to stop using the device and seek a medical practitioner. Also, if the user experiences unusual sensations that are concerning, such as severe muscle twitching, visiting a clinic is advisable.


TENS machine for nausea is a type of intervention model to relieve the symptoms. It is common in clinical practice as it is safe and effective. TENS sends electrical impulses to the nerves in the body to alleviate discomfort. Accordingly, the device works based on the Pain Gate Theory and the release of endorphins, including the improvement in blood circulation. People can use the unit by placing the electrodes in the treatment area, modifying the settings, and activating the device.

Furthermore, there are many benefits of using TENS. It is non-invasive, non-medicinal, convenient, portable, customisable, and cost-effective. In placing the pads, the most common positioning is in the wrist and stomach for effective relief. Nevertheless, it is crucial to recognise the safety considerations for optimal use. This includes consulting a medical professional, reading the manual, knowing the proper pad placement, and not using the device in high settings. Also, it is vital to know when to seek medical help.

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