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

TENS Machine Vagus Nerve Stimulation

A TENS machine for vagus nerve is a device that uses electrical impulses to stimulate brain or nerve activity. Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) is a therapy that sends gentle pulses to the vagus nerve. To use this therapy, people have to attach electrodes to the skin, typically around the head and neck area. The electrodes deliver a low-intensity electrical current through the skin. This current is adjustable and can be increased as needed.

People often search for Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) because it is an effective way to treat a variety of conditions. The vagus nerve is a large cranial nerve that runs from the brainstem to the abdomen. Stimulating this nerve with a TENS machine can reduce pain levels by blocking the pain signals from reaching the brain. This article will present the benefits of VNS, what is a TENS machine, and how to use it for optimal results.

What is a TENS Machine for Vagus Nerve

VNS utilises electrical impulses to stimulate the vagus nerve as a non-invasive medical technique. The vagus nerve actively regulates a wide range of bodily functions, including heart rate, digestion, and mood. Various methods can achieve VNS, such as Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation (TNVS) or TENS.

handheld device called a TENS machine generates electrical impulses to target specific areas of the body for pain relief. The primary objective of this machine is to relieve pain. Specifically, a TENS machine can stimulate the vagus nerve for enhancing physical functions. By delivering electrical impulses to this nerve, this machine promotes relaxation through the stimulation of parasympathetic activity.

Studies have indicated that VNS can have beneficial effects on symptoms of depression, anxiety, and chronic pain. Additionally, it can improve cognitive functioning and reduce fatigue. Applying a TENS machine for vagus nerve can potentially enhance mood, reduce stress hormones, and potentially decrease blood pressure. Hence, when used correctly, VNS can have positive effects on overall health and well-being.

Health Benefits of Vagus Nerve Stimulation

  • Reduced inflammation in the body: helps regulate the body’s responses to stress and inflammation.
  • Improved digestion and gut health: regulates stomach acid levels, improves gut motility, and reduces swelling in the digestive system
  • Decreased symptoms of depression and anxiety: manages certain hormones that are associated with mood, such as serotonin and cortisol.
  • Enhanced memory and cognitive function: improves recall and memory formation by increasing neural activity in the brain.
  • Lowered blood pressure: makes the heart rate slow down and relaxes the muscles
  • Improved sleep quality: helps induce feelings of tranquillity and reduce stress levels that can interfere with sleep.


Smartphone devices showing the workflow on how to operate the app.

How Does a TENS Machine for Vagus Nerve Stimulation Work?

A TENS machine for vagus nerve stimulation works by delivering electrical impulses to the vagus nerve. This major nerve in the body plays a crucial role in regulating various bodily functions. The machine consists of electrodes that are placed near the outer ear. The electrical signals stimulate the nerves to block pain signals from reaching the receptors in the brain. It also helps produce more endorphins.

Researchers are still studying the exact mechanisms of how VNS works. However, they believe it impacts neurotransmitters in the brain, thereby regulating mood and reducing inflammation. VNS has also shown potential for improving various medical conditions such as epilepsy and depression.

Moreover, the user can adjust the intensity of the electrical signals depending on their preference and medical condition. Some TENS machines provide pre-programmed settings for VNS, such as pulse width and frequency. This allows users to tailor the treatment to their individual needs. However, users should first consult a healthcare professional before using this therapy.

Clinical Practices

Using a TENS device to stimulate the vagus nerve has become a popular clinical practice. By using this device, clinicians can target specific areas of the body to stimulate this nerve. In addition, it can have numerous therapeutic benefits, including pain relief, stress reduction, and improved mood. However, clinicians must follow specific clinical practices to ensure safety and effectiveness.

These practices may include proper electrode placement, appropriate intensity and frequency settings, and monitoring patient response. By adhering to these standards, healthcare professionals can optimise the use of TENS devices for VNS. This ensures that patients receive the best possible outcomes.


A person peeling off the gel pad from his neck

How to Use a TENS Machine for Vagus Nerve Stimulation

The utilisation of a TENS machine for vagus nerve has been found to be beneficial for health conditions. To use a TENS device for VNS, people need to place the electrodes on specific body areas. These areas include the neck or earlobes, where the vagus nerve is accessible.

Moreover, users should set the intensity of the electrical impulse to a level that is comfortable but not painful. They may also need to adjust the frequency or duration of treatment sessions with the help of their healthcare provider. For instance, when treating chronic pain, the intensity may need to be increased over time.

After setting up the machine, people can begin the therapy. It is advisable to use the device for approximately 20 minutes at a time. During this period, the body should relax, and any sensations experienced should be comfortable and not painful. Multiple sessions may be necessary to achieve the desired effects. It is vital to use the right type of device to ensure it is properly set up.

Potential Side Effects

TENS devices provide pain relief and muscle relaxation. However, people have to be aware of potential side effects, especially when using these devices for vagal nerve stimulation. The most common side effect of TENS is skin irritation or skin sensitivity. This can happen if the electrodes are in the same area for a long time.

Additionally, some people may experience an increase in pain or discomfort during and after the stimulation. This holds true particularly if the TENS device is set at a high level. To prevent this, users should start at a low level and gradually increase as needed.


A TENS machine for vagus nerve stimulation is a handheld device that delivers electrical impulses to the vagus nerve. It promotes relaxation and provides potential therapeutic benefits. The VNS works by sending electrical pulses to the said nerve, which runs from the brainstem to the abdomen. To use this therapy, people have to attach electrodes to their necks near the area of the vagus nerve. After attaching the electrodes, users can turn on the device.

VNS offers several benefits for certain medical conditions. However, users should be aware of potential side effects such as skin irritation and temporary increase in pain. Minimise these side effects by starting at a low intensity and gradually increasing as needed. Additionally, proper electrode placement, intensity, and frequency settings help the clinician provide safe and effective treatment. Overall, using of TENS device for vagus nerve stimulation offers an effective treatment option for several medical conditions.

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