Often considered a complementary or alternative medicine approach, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation or TENS offers pain relief through a device that transmits low-voltage electrical impulses through electrodes place on the skin over the area where you feel pain. TENS machines used to be bulky, and treatments were easier to get through a physical therapist or another medical practitioner. But today’s home versions give you access to this safe and gentle treatment whenever (and wherever) you need it.
Recent studies have looked at TENS for various types of pain, such as arthritis of the knee, and even for rehab—researchers at the University of Haifa in Israel found that sensory stimulation with TENS helped enhance motor recovery after a stroke, particularly when used along with activity. TENS may also ease nerve pain, such as diabetic neuropathy, which is often felt as a tingling or burning pain or numbness, and possibly even the pain that accompanies cancer.
Although TENS can’t cure the underlying problem, for many it eases the symptom of pain. One theory behind TENS is that the pulses stimulate the production of endorphins, your body’s natural painkillers. You might experience a tingling or a feeling of warmth during a TENS treatment, which is how it got its nickname of an electrical massage.
While most home TENS units are portable and easy to use, the Hollywog WiTouch adds "effortless" to the list of the device’s attributes. The WiTouch is the first wireless remote controlled TENS unit targeting back pain. Its thin and flexible design allows the WiTouch to contour perfectly the surface of your back for an exact fit, making it comfortable to wear wherever you are. (The design has even won the Red Dot Best of the Best for 2013 award.)
The WiTouch incorporates advanced electronics into its very compact design, maximizing energy efficiency and providing over 150 30-minute treatment sessions per battery. What’s more, it operates within a pulse frequency from 5-120 Hz, meaning you can use it at the higher frequency range of 100Hz, which some studies have found to be most beneficial. In fact, it’s as powerful as professional equipment with a 20 percent higher intensity output than typical portable devices plus a 2.5 times larger treatment area coverage—all in a device that weighs under 5 ounces and is made in the USA. The WiTouch comes with 5 pairs of Hollywog WiTouch Gel Pad electrodes, with replacement packs available separately.