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How to use a TENS units & EMS machines for depression and anxiety? Placement of electrode pads

Disorders such as anxiety and depression are among the most common mental conditions among people of all ages. The severity of these disorders varies from case to case, and the most severe cases can alter the sufferer's lifestyle. For this reason, once the case is diagnosed, it is necessary to apply methods to increase the levels of dopamine and endorphins to reduce the symptoms of depression.

This is where methods such as Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation come into action, which can be applied on certain patients with anxiety and depression to improve their condition. Below, we will teach you everything you need to know about the most common symptoms of these mental disorders, and how to use TENS therapy to reduce their symptoms.

How to use a TENS electrostimulator for anxiety?

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation offers a variety of positive effects related to the treatment of anxiety symptoms. Among the most outstanding benefits, we can highlight the following.

Benefits

TENS therapy is one of the safest physical therapy modalities, with great potential to treat the symptoms of depression, in addition to offering a large number of benefits for this purpose, among which we can highlight:

  • Promotes relaxation: the electrical impulses of the TENS unit, adjusted to an intermediate frequency, promote relaxation of the muscular and fibrous tissue of the treated area.
  • Eliminates any sensation of pain: it is an excellent method to reduce ailments caused by stress, helping to relieve it
  • Increases the production of endorphins: TENS electrical impulses increase the production of serotonin and endorphins, which can create a general feeling of relief, in addition to reducing general ailments
  • Allows to reduce the consumption of medication: as an alternative method for the treatment of depression, it complements perfectly with the use of prescribed drugs, thus allowing to reduce their use.

What intensity to use?

While the conventional application for the treatment of ailments by means of TENS therapy stipulates the standard intensity as an average between 80 and 100 Hz, the treatment of disorders such as depression and anxiety is not within the conditions that can be treated with conventional use.

Due to the positioning of the electrodes required for effective treatment, it is imperative to apply very low frequencies to achieve the desired effects, with the appropriate intensity threshold being between 2 and 4 Hz, with pulses of between 100 and 400 microseconds in duration.

Best TENS machines to combat depression without drugs

One of the main objectives for most people suffering from depression is to be able to treat and combat it using as few drugs as possible, so, in the search for alternatives, it is important to consider electrostimulation devices with appropriate programs for use. Among these machines, we can highlight the following:

OSITO - Rechargeable TENS & EMS unit for neck, shoulder and hip pain relief
  • Type: Combo
  • Channels: -
  • Modes/Programs: 11 Modes
  • Intensity: 25 Levels
  • Wireless: Yes
  • Heat Therapy: No
  • Battery: Rechargeable Lithium
  • Electrodes: 1 Pad
  • Display: No display
  • Size: Not specified
  • Rechargeable battery
  • TENS+EMS Combo
  • Accelerates recovery from sports injuries
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Improves joint mobility
  • Battery life not specified
  • Display not included
  • Non-universal electrode replacements
The OSITO brand has one of the most versatile and practical models of wireless electro-stimulator on the market, with TENS and EMS electrotherapy functions, which will allow you to provide relief for any type of ailment, while creating electrical pulses that activate the muscle fibres, greatly improving your physical condition.

Its compact size and long-lasting rechargeable lithium battery make it the epitome of portability, as you can take it anywhere. It has 11 modes of use and 25 intensity levels that allow for a profound relief effect. Each of the 11 modes provides a different type of massage and because the electrical impulses stimulate the human body's pain tolerance capacity, it does not require the use of medication.

AUVON - Dual channel TENS unit with 20 modes and 8 electrode pads of different sizes
  • Type: TENS
  • Channels: Dual
  • Modes/Programs: 20 Modes
  • Intensity: 20 Levels
  • Wireless: Yes
  • Heat Therapy: Yes
  • Battery: Rechargeable Lithium (up to 10 hours)
  • Electrodes: 8 Pads
  • Display: Digital
  • Size: 4.12" x 2.24" x 0.43" - 1.54 lbs
  • Reduces pain symptoms
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Includes user manual
  • Portable and small size
  • Includes carrying bag
  • Not for muscle hypertrophy
  • No heat therapy
  • No touch screen included
The AUVON electro stimulator is at the forefront of electro stimulation technology, combining TENS and EMS stimulation technologies to obtain one of the most complete treatments for acute and chronic pain, caused by injuries or illnesses, as well as an incredible complement for physical conditioning thanks to its muscle stimulation technology.

It has 20 modes of use that apply different types of massages oriented to treat a wide variety of ailments, and with its independent channel control mode you will have the possibility of configuring different programs for each of the channels individually, to apply different types of massages in various areas of the body.

TENS 7000 - TENS unit for pain management, back pain and rehabilitation with 4 electrode pads
  • Type: TENS
  • Channels: Dual
  • Modes/Programs: 5 Modes
  • Intensity: 10 Levels
  • Wireless: Yes
  • Heat Therapy: No
  • Battery: Rechargeable Battery
  • Electrodes: 4 Pads
  • Display: Digital
  • Size: 8.8" x 2" x 7.8" - 1.15 lbs
  • Includes user manual
  • Prevents muscle atrophy
  • Accelerates recovery from sports injuries
  • Includes carrying bag
  • Reduces pain symptoms
  • Non-universal electrode replacements
  • Not suitable for muscle hypertrophy
  • Few types of programs
The TENS 7000 has one of the most complete models of electrostimulator, which includes a wide variety of functions and accessories. It is a digital unit that combines TENS and EMS technologies together with an innovative dual channel function that allows you to apply these electrostimulation modalities on different parts of the body simultaneously.

The TENS 7000 muscle stimulator includes one of the most complete electrical stimulation therapy packages you will find. It includes 1 TENS 7000 unit, 2 guide cables, 4 packs of reusable pads, 1 9-volt battery, 1 instruction manual and a hard case to carry your electrostimulation equipment wherever you want.

Belifu - Dual channel electromuscular stimulator with 24 modes and 10 electrode pads
  • Type: TENS
  • Channels: Dual
  • Modes/Programs: 24 Modes
  • Intensity: 20 Levels
  • Wireless: Yes
  • Heat Therapy: No
  • Battery: Rechargeable Lithium (up to 20 hours)
  • Electrodes: 10 Pads
  • Display: Touch
  • Size: 5.12" x 2.56" x 0.39" - 0.35 lbs
  • Portable and small size
  • Includes carrying bag
  • Long battery life (up to 20 hours)
  • Accelerates recovery from sports injuries
  • Reduces pain symptoms
  • Not for muscle hypertrophy
  • Does not include user manual
  • No heat therapy
The Belifu muscle stimulator is the perfect combination of TENS and EMS electrostimulation modalities, through which you can apply massages to relieve pain in a natural way, as well as generate muscle contractions that increase the size, strength and tone of the muscle, all in a completely safe and natural way, stimulating the body's natural processes.

It has 24 modes of use and 20 intensity levels that can be applied in isolation to each of the device's channels thanks to its dual channel function, allowing different therapies to be applied to separate areas of the body. In addition, it has a session timer mode and automatic shut-off that will allow you to give greater efficiency to your sessions and make better use of the energy of its high-capacity lithium battery.

IRELIEV - DUAL CHANNEL TENSION PAIN RELIEF MASSAGER SYSTEM WITH 8 MASSAGE MODES
  • Type: TENS
  • Channels: Dual
  • Modes/Programs: 8 Modes
  • Intensity: 25 Levels
  • Wireless: Yes
  • Heat Therapy: No
  • Battery: 3 AAA Batteries
  • Electrodes: 4 Pads
  • Display: Digital
  • Size: 2.14" x 5.5" x 7.08" - 0.33 lbs
  • Includes carrying bag
  • Improves joint mobility
  • Portable and small size
  • Reduces pain symptoms
  • Good quality
  • Few types of programs
  • Not suitable for muscle hypertrophy
  • Battery operated
This electric massage unit provided by iReliev is one of the most versatile and, at the same time, simplest electrostimulation machines you can find, with 8 predefined modes of use 25 adjustable intensity levels, you can program it to fit your body's needs. Additionally, its dual channel function allows you to program more than one massage mode simultaneously to treat multiple areas of the body.

It has an interesting session timer function that allows you to adjust the duration of each therapy up to a maximum of 60 minutes. Its compact size allows it to be carried in your pocket, so you can take it with you from home to work, or on the road, and use it whenever you need it.

Med-Fit - 4 channels stimulator with 8 electrodes pads for pain relief fully rechargeable
  • Type: TENS
  • Channels: 4
  • Modes: 24 Programs
  • Intensity: Not specified
  • Wireless: No
  • Heat therapy: No
  • Battery: Rechargeable
  • Electrodes: 8 Pads
  • Display: LCD
  • Size: Not specified
  • 4 independent channels
  • Provides cramp relief
  • Portable Device
  • Promotes tissue healing
  • 24 programs
  • Few electrodes
  • Does not specify battery life
  • Does not specify intensity and size
The Med-Fit model BAL-906ª is a very complete rechargeable electrostimulation device of premium quality that has an incredible function of 4 individual channels that will give you a great coverage and a perfect effectiveness when applying different electrical massages simultaneously. It also has a large LCD screen that makes it especially easy to operate, so you can program your sessions with great ease.

It has 24 clinically proven massage programs, which are divided into 12 TENS therapy programs and 12 muscle stimulation training modes. It has a long-life rechargeable lithium battery that will give you a great autonomy of several hours of continuous use, eliminating the extra cost of buying replacement cylindrical batteries.

SPACEREST - 4-channel rechargeable Tens unit with 24 modes and 24 reusable electrode pads
  • Type: TENS
  • Channels: 4
  • Modes: 24 Modes
  • Intensity: 20 Levels
  • Wireless: No
  • Heat therapy: No
  • Battery: Rechargeable (10 hours of use)
  • Electrodes: 24 Pads
  • Display: Digital
  • Size: Not specified
  • 4 outputs with 2 separate channel configurations
  • Includes 24 different pads
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Large display
  • 24 massage modes with 20 intensity levels
  • No adapter for non-US plugs
  • No size specified
Spacerest offers its users its newest model of electro stimulator that combines TENS and EMS technologies in a dynamic and compact device that includes 24 reusable electrodes of excellent quality and an incredible 4-channel function that will allow you to apply different modes of use to 4 different areas of the body, or even to 4 different people.

It has an incredibly portable size that will allow you to take it anywhere, and a high-powered rechargeable battery that will give you up to 20 hours of continuous use. It can be connected to AC power through its AC adapter, or to an external battery or laptop through its USB charging port.

Etekcity - TENS unit machine for pain relief with 4 channels and 8 electrode pads
  • Type: TENS
  • Channels: 4
  • Modes: 15 Programs
  • Intensity: 20 Levels
  • Wireless: No
  • Heat therapy: No
  • Battery: Rechargeable
  • Electrodes: 8 Pads
  • Display: LCD
  • Size: Not specified
  • Independent control mode
  • Instant pain relief
  • 20 intensity levels
  • 15 different working modes
  • Portable device
  • Battery life not specified
  • Does not specify dimensions and weight
  • No heat therapy
The Etekcity massage unit offers one of the most comprehensive pain relief experiences you will find in a device of this type, with an innovative 4-channel function that allows you to apply different types of massage to individual areas of the body, increasing the effectiveness of electrostimulation therapy and delivering far superior results.

All its modes of use are FSA and HSA approved, making it completely safe for anyone to use. It can be operated and set up very easily. The package includes reusable electrodes coated with adhesive gel in 3 sizes: 2 units of 2x4 inches, 4 units of 2x2 inches and 2 units of 1.5x1.5 inches.

iReliev - Electronic Medical TENS Pain Relief Device with Mini Wireless Patch Included
  • Type: TENS
  • Channels: 1
  • Modes/Programs: Not specified
  • Intensity: Not specified
  • Wireless: Yes
  • Heat Therapy: No
  • Battery: Not specified
  • Electrodes: 1 Pad
  • Display: No display
  • Size: 6.22" x 1.42" x 3.27"
  • Improves joint mobility
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Accelerates recovery from sports injuries
  • Reduces pain symptoms
  • Wireless electrodes
  • No intensity levels specified
  • Does not specify weight
  • Not for muscle hypertrophy
This is a precise and compact wireless TENS electrostimulation device, brought to you by the iReliev brand, intended for the treatment of pain at precise points of the body. Thanks to its size and the fact that it does not require any wires to operate, it is completely discreet and can be used anywhere, while traveling and under clothing.

Its efficient use of TENS technology allows it to block pain signals before they reach the brain, making it a safe method of treating ailments. It also has a long-lasting lithium battery and an energy-efficient function, which turns the device off every 20 minutes. One of the best devices on the market in terms of portability, discretion and functionality.

AccuRelief - Wireless TENS Transcutaneous Nerve Stimulation System for Pain Relief
  • Type: TENS
  • Channels: -
  • Modes/Programs: 3 Programs
  • Intensity: 20 Levels
  • Wireless: Yes
  • Heat therapy: No
  • Battery: 6 AAA Batteries
  • Electrodes: 2 Pads
  • Display: No display
  • Size: 2.36" x 2.08" x 0.7" - 0.09 lbs
  • Portable and small size
  • Reduces pain symptoms
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Wireless electrodes
  • Improves joint mobility
  • Few types of programs
  • Not suitable for muscle hypertrophy
  • No display included
Among the various products offered by the AccuRelief brand, its remote-controlled TENS electrostimulation unit has a lot of very interesting functions and features. It is based on TENS stimulation technology to influence the production of endorphins, which act as natural painkillers in the body.

The package includes 1 wireless remote control operating on AAA batteries 2 electrode control units, 2 reusable gel pads and an instruction manual. The ergonomic and compact design of the pads allows them to be used anywhere on the body, and they are discreet enough to be worn under clothing. It has 3 modes of use and 20 levels of intensity designed for safe and fast pain relief.

Video: How to place electrodes pads on the skull for anxiety?

Electrodes for head

Electrodes for head
Electrodes for head and neck
Electrodes for head

More types of EMS electro stimulators and TENS machines that you should know about

What are the main causes of depression and anxiety?

Despite the misconception that many people seem to have about depression and anxiety, these are not just negative passing feelings. They are mental disorders that affect brain chemistry, decreasing the production of dopamine and serotonin causing quite unpleasant feelings on an emotional level in the patient.

This type of disorder can have several causes, among which the following can be highlighted:

  • Genetic trait
  • Stress accumulation
  • Traumatic events
  • Significant lifestyle changes
  • Chronic medical problems
  • Use of certain medications
  • Use of drugs or alcohol

What is electrotherapy and how can it help you with depression and anxiety?

Electrotherapy is one of the best techniques for the relief of ailments caused by different diseases and disorders, in addition to promoting the release of endorphins to reduce the negative feelings caused by depression, as well as the state of uneasiness caused by anxiety.

With this in mind, it is necessary to highlight the fact that electrotherapy has different modalities that are focused for different purposes, so they can have varied effects on anxiety or depression.

TENS

TENS therapy, or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, is a technique aimed at the treatment of ailments that are generated as a result of various types of diseases, trauma or disorders. It focuses on the application of low intensity electrical impulses that influence the nerve endings of the treated areas, minimizing the sensation of pain.

The effectiveness of TENS against depression is highlighted by applying electrical stimulation in an area of the brain called the orbitofrontal cortex, through which the effects of treatment-resistant depression can be diminished.

EMS

The physical conditioning modality derived from electrotherapy, known as Electro Muscular Stimulation, works through the application of medium to high intensity electrical impulses that cause contractions in the muscle groups worked, increasing the generation of muscle fibers, which increases their strength, elasticity and resistance.

Although EMS is a beneficial therapy in many aspects, it does not have a positive effect on the treatment of depression, due to the fact that the position of the electros is on the head, making it impossible to apply EMS impulses because of its high minimum intimacy.

Contraindications to the use of electrodes and electrotherapy

</p> <h3>Contraindications for electrode placement</h3> <p>
The placement of the electrodes is of utmost importance in electrotherapy, whether TENS or EMS, so here are some things to keep in mind before starting a session:

  • Symmetrical placement: the negative and positive poles should be connected symmetrically on each electrode. That is to say, if we use two pads, we should use one positive and one negative pole on each one, while if we use four, the equivalence should be two positive and two negative.
  • Do not cross the electrodes: you cannot use one electrode in the lower train and another in the upper train and more importantly, never cross the electrodes from the left side to the right side of the body and vice versa, since the current path can negatively affect the patient's health. For this reason it is always recommended to use the electrodes in a localized way.
  • Motor point: at least one of the electrodes, whether positive or negative, must be positioned over the motor point, which is the point where the greatest force is achieved in the muscle in question.
  • Control the intensity: the size of the muscle must be taken into account when choosing the intensity of the current, since the less volume and size the muscle has, the lower the tolerated intensity will be.
  • Be careful with the skin: EMS or TENS should not be used on recently depilated areas since the pores will be open and this could generate skin sensitivity. Do not use on irritated or reddened areas, open wounds or recent scars.
</p> <h3>Contraindications for the use of electrostimulation</h3> <p>
Being a therapy that applies currents to the body, it cannot be used for all conditions, therefore its use should be avoided in cases where the user suffers from the following conditions:

  • Epilepsy.
  • Cardiac pacemakers.
  • Circulation disorders and problems.
  • Abdominal or inguinal hernias.
  • Neurological disturbances.
  • Tendency to bleed.
  • Skin irritation, burns or wounds.
  • Diseases affecting muscle metabolism, such as diabetes.
  • Metabolic syndrome (diabetes, hypertension and obesity).
  • High uric acid levels.
  • Metabolic disorders and metabolic pathologies.
  • Inflammatory pathologies.

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