You may have used one at physical therapy, your chiropractor, or even your massage therapist’s office. You may be surprised to know that anyone can buy their own personal TENS unit for use at home. With the 2020 pandemic I have focused on reviewing massage tools anyone can use at home, such as the very popular percussion massage guns. Another massage tool that most people can safely and easily use at home for pain relief is a TENS unit massager.
Thank you to AUVON who sent me a free sample of their TENS massager. In today’s review, I will talk about the benefits of owning a personal TENS unit with a few more details on AUVON’s specific TENS unit.
What is a TENS Unit? How does a TENS unit work?
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) is the use of electric current produced by a small, battery-operated device to stimulate the nerves (which causes the muscles to contract and relax) for therapeutic purposes. You may also see a TENS unit generically called an Electronic Muscle Stimulation, or EMS, machine. They are different, but the AUVON does have TENS and EMS modes.
Why use one?
- Pain relief
Those two benefits are enough for most people want their own. Pain relief and pain management is one of the most common reasons for health care visits. TENS untis have helped many get the relief they need.
For a small size (similar to a smartphone), the AUVON delivers an electrical stimulus to the muscles that can be gentle or strong and therapeutic. Here a few more things I like about the AUVON TENS unit.
- Small size makes it easy for travel (travel bag fits in my palm)
- 20 different modes
- Dual channels allow you to work two separate areas at once
- Battery provides up to 10 hours of use on a single charge (I did not test this, but can say it does hold a very long charge)
- Easily and discretely can be used at home or at the office
- Pads are rated at 30 uses each (Unit comes with plenty to get started)
As with any massage device, do not use this product if you have an implanted defibrillator, cardiac pacemaker, or any other implanted metallic or electronic device. Contact your health care professional if you have questions about using a TENS unit. One thing I want to mention that is not stated in AUVON’s product description, but is a sticking point in some reviews (and I see why), this is not appropriate for neck use. So, if neck pain is an issue for you, this is not the tool you are looking for to reduce pain.
How to Use
I admit I was a little overwhelmed when I first used a TENS unit years ago. There is a learning curve. However, with practice, using a TENS unit is quite easy once you get the hang of it. Instructions are very clear for those who take the time to read them. Here are the instructions for the AUVON TENS Unit.
- Connect the wire with AUVON TENS Electrodes.
- Tear off the transparent film attached to the electrodes and stick them one your body.
- Plug the lead wire(s) into the AUVON TENS unit and turn it on.
- Press “A” to select Channel A.
- Press “M” to select mode of Channel A.
- Press “+” & “-“ to choose your favorite intensity of Channel A.
- Press “B” to select Channel B.
- Press “M” to select mode of Channel B.
- Press “+” & “-“ to choose your favorite intensity of Channel B.
- Press “T” to select the massage time.
- Press “Round Button“ for 1-3 seconds to get it locked/unlocked when you need.
For hard to reach areas (like your back) you may need assistance to get the electrodes in the right position. This may also be true if you have some shoulder mobility issues. AUVON also includes some recommended placements for the electrodes in the instruction booklet.
How much is a TENS massager? Where can I buy one?
TENS units are more affordable than you think! I bought two as gifts this year for Christmas. The AUVON massager is available on Amazon.com (affiliate link) for under $40 (with coupon). I can recommend this unit without reservation for practical and powerful pain relief. Their other TENS unit has 12,000+ reviews on AMAZON with a 4.6/5 feedback rating. For a massage tool, that is very good.
Many of you are also massage therapists in addition to the public looking for reviews. Here is one question I frequently see…
Can massage therapists use these machines or tools in their practice?
Each state is different. Some allow the use of electrical devices for muscle manipulation, some do not. Read your laws and rules to determine if they are in your scope of practice. If allowed professional training is highly recommended (Check chiropractic assistant trade shows for more frequent courses). Also, a check with your liability insurance is in order (as you should do with any new modality or tool).