For weeks I have been seeing Dr. Ho’s commercial on television featuring a simple Circulation Promoter machine based on what is called Transcutaneous Electrical Stimulation (TENS) Therapy.
Dr. Michael Ho & the Circulation Promoter
But, does it really work? As we all know, millions of people all over the world live with chronic pain on a daily basis and I am one of them. I have arthritis throughout my body, so much so that a few months ago, I had to undergo a hip replacement and it was seriously painful. During the recovery, I was given an array of pain killers to control my pain and this triggered other problems. I was done with pills. My doctor prescribed pool therapy, exercises and TENS sessions. I discovered that the TENS machine was very effective and that it relieved my pain. So when I heard Dr. Ho speak about his devise, I could immediately relate to it. For the ones who are not familiar with a TENS Machine, let me enlighten you. This is a form of nerve-related pain control that works on both chronic and acute conditions, and works by sending pulses of stimulating energy across the skin and along the nerves. It uses low-voltage electrical currents to relieve pain. The electrical stimulation helps block the pain signals traveling to the brain and produce natural painkillers. It is drug-free, non-invasive, and works fast.
In his commercial, Dr. Ho showed his TENS devices in a variety of forms; belts to treat lower back pain, devices that provide circulation to the bottom of the feet, and an electrode system which can be applied anywhere on the body that is recommended by your doctor.
TENS therapy made its way into homes after it was adapted from a clinic machine into a hand-held unit for patient’s use and powered by batteries. The device is connected to wires that conducts an electrical current through self-sticking massage pads. These pads are placed on an area of pain, and a circuit of electrical impulses travels along the nerve fibers. TENS machines have different intensities, which means you can adjust the flow of the electrical current. TENS is primarily used for pain relief.
What is TENS Therapy?
TENS Therapy often contributes to a part of physical therapy treatments, using electrodes to produce electrical impulses that control neurological functions. Scientists named Melzack and Wall first came up with what they called the “Gate Control Theory.” This theory showed that electricity could be used to reduce and control pain. The duration of a given TENS session can last anywhere from fifteen minutes, to a few hours in a day. Often used in formal physical therapy, modern TENS machines are available for home use and can provide outstanding relief. The process is painless, producing at most a tingling sensation from high-frequency stimulation.
TENS Therapy can be used to treat acute and chronic pain from a range of conditions including:
- Back pain
- Sciatic nerve pain
- Hip and leg pain
- Muscle tension
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Post-surgical pain
- Headaches (tension and migraine)
- Sports injuries
- Arthritis, tendonitis and bursitis
The TENS therapy allows the patient to “neuromodulate,” or control these impulses by restoring normal impulses from the body’s extremities to the spine, through the production of natural “feel good” chemicals like endorphins, enkephalins and dynorphins, through inhibiting pain signals that originate from the spine, and from inhibiting the function of nerves that may be abnormally excited.
Of course, I had to get Dr. Ho’s device. The box came with four gel pads, 2 small and 2 larger ones. The Gel pads are placed on the affected area, and the user feels a deep massaging sensation. This is the electrical current traveling across the nerve fibers. The electrical current inhibits pain signals from being sent and received by the brain’s pain center.
Is there any side effects? TENS machine side effects should only occur if the machine is being used improperly. Avoid leaving electrodes in place for an extended period of time. They need to be periodically lifted and the skin checked and cleaned. You should stop using the device if a rash or burn develops and doesn’t go away within six hours, and call your doctor.
Do not use while driving or sleeping, while using heating or cold packs or pads, or in the shower or bathtub.
The areas where TENS devices should NOT be used include the following:
- Spinal column
- Over tumors
- Open wounds (directly over; can be used around the wound)
- Front of the neck
- On the chest
- Over a pacemaker or ICD device
Dr. Ho’s devise worked for me. In fact everyone with chronic pain should own one. Check out: Dr. Ho’s range of TENS pain relief packages to choose the best option for you. Also, check out the article "TENS Machine: This is Everything You Need to Know" for more information.