Questions about Electrical Muscle Stimulators?

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Frequently Asked Questions about Electrical Muscle Stimulators

Do you have questions about Electrical Muscle Stimulators? You are not alone!

Following are the answers to common questions handled by our support staff along with some tips and tricks that we have found useful for you, and people like you, who own or want to own an Electrical Muscle Stimulator.

Please see detailed FAQs for the Advanced Foot Energizer® combination TENS and EMS foot stimulator and circulation enhancer at

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Frequently Asked Questions


Pain Relief Essentials arrow This page contains answers to common questions handled by our support staff, along with some tips and tricks that we have found useful and presented here as questions.

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What are electronic muscle stimulators?

Electrical muscle stimulators are state-of-the-art units that are scientifically-designed to give your muscles a safe, fast and effective “workout”. They are lightweight, portable and can be used almost anywhere. Use an electronic muscle stimulator for pain relief as well as for muscle conditioning and improving circulation.

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How do electronic muscle stimulators work?

Under normal exercise, the brain sends impulses to the muscles you are using, causing them to voluntarily contract. An electrical muscle stimulation unit mimics the brain by delivering a gentle electrical pulse to the brain that mimics the brains normal impulses. Theses impulses cause the muscles to contract and then relax, as if the message were coming from your brain. The body responds by sending extra blood and oxygen to the area being exercised. This increased circulation is the same natural process used by the body when in need of healing.

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Are electronic muscle stimulators safe?

Used as directed, electrical muscle stimulators are very safe, reliable and, in fact, have been used by the medical community for many decades. The technology continues to be used extensively in hospital settings, physical therapy clinics, and is used by chiropractors, spas, and health clubs.

“The FDA has cleared many electrical muscle stimulators for prescription use in treating medical conditions. Doctors may use electrical muscle stimulators for patients who require muscle re-education, relaxation of muscle spasms, increased range of motion, prevention of muscle atrophy, and for treating other medical conditions, which usually result from a stroke, a serious injury, or major surgery. Again, the effect of using these devices is primarily to help a patient recover from impaired muscle function due to a medical condition, not to increase muscle size enough to affect appearance.”

The Rhythm Touch 2-Way and the Advanced Foot Energizer® are cleared for non-prescription sale over-the-counter by the US Food and Drug Administration.

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What do the impulses that stimulate the muscles feel like?

Since your muscles are contracting and relaxing in a similar fashion to regular exercise, the sensation feels very similar to a good workout. Some have described it as a mild tingling sensation. Remember that since you control the strength of the impulses, you also control the amount of stimulation and can adjust for your own comfort level.

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How soon will I see results?

Within 3-to-4 weeks you should begin to see results, although you may feel better after only a few sessions. Electronic muscle stimulation technology suits the busy lifestyle of many, and it is an exercise resource that can be used regardless of time, place, weather and availability of facilities. You can even watch television or read a book while you use your stimulator!

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Are there any health benefits from using the Rhythm Touch 2-way units and other quality stimulators?

Yes. There are many benefits from using the Rhythm Touch 2-Way electrical muscle stimulators. In addition to the cosmetic effects of faster recovery from exercise helping with shaping and toning your body, they also help to remove toxins, improve circulation and improve posture. They provide relief from stress and discomfort caused by overworked muscles, and they contribute to an overall relaxed and refreshed feeling.

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Are there any age restrictions?

You can begin at any age, although individuals in their mid-twenties up to about age 50 achieve optimum benefits. Young children and early teens probably don’t need the benefits of Electronic Muscle Stimulation because during the early growing years, they are generally active enough to get most of the exercise that is necessary for healthy growth. Hormonal changes in the body after 50 cause muscle activity to slow down, which is why you should proceed slowly and increase activity gradually.

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How often should I use electrical muscle stimulators?

The rhythm touch unit is a home unit that you can use with no limitation on how long or how often. For ongoing concerns, the Rhythm Touch is often used every day for at least 15 minutes.

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Why purchase from Pain Relief Essentials?

Pain Relief Essentials is the best source for information, instructions, replacement parts, and repairs. we stand behind all of our products. The focus here at Pain Relief Essentials is helping the customer receive the most benefit from the use of our products. Our electrodes have been time-tested to be the best value and best functioning electrodes available at a reasonable cost. 

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Does a doctor have to operate the machine? Or can I?

No assistance from a physician or other technical person is required for our over-the-counter devices. Although you can operate the machine safely by yourself, please observe the warnings indicated above to avoid the possibility of physical harm.

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Can I do any harm by using it in the wrong area?

We recommend against using electrical muscle stimulators if you have a pacemaker or heart condition, or placing the electrodes in such a way that the current would pass through your heart, brain,or your throat.  We also recommend against using electrical muscle stimulators during pregnancy.

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How do T.E.N.S units compare to Rhythm Touch 2-Way?

T.E.N.S. (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulators) generally work to block pain by sending continuous electrical pulses through the skin to your nerves.  This effectively blocks the pain signal to the brain from that area of the body. Rhythm Touch 2-Way electrical muscle stimulators use mild electrical pulses through the skin using the same type of electrodes, but rather than just blocking the pain signals to the brain, the low frequency signals also stimulate your muscles and cause the body to release beta endorphins… the body’s own natural pain reliever!

You can also see a product comparison chart on the EMS Comparisons page.

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Are electrical muscle stimulators safe for people who have plates, screws of pins?

Internationally low voltage electrical muscle stimulators like the Rhythm Touch have proven to be safe and effective for people with plates, screws or pins. In the United States, the FDA requires a contraindication statement for over-the-counter TENS and EMS devices recommending them as not for use by persons who are fitted with electronic or metallic implants, such as a pacemaker or AICD, or by persons who are being treated for, or suspect they may have, deep vein thrombosis or who are pregnant.

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Who should not use electrical muscle stimulators?

Pregnant women, people with heart disease or pacemakers, epileptics or seizure prone individuals, should consult with their physician prior to using any electrical device on their body.

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Is Buying Online Safe?

Yes. Our website and order processing pages are certified by Comodo® and have an SSL Certificate which provides an encrypted connection. If you are uncomfortable purchasing online, please call us at 1-360-306-5679 to make your purchase by phone.

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Will I have to pay sales tax?

You only have to pay sales tax if you live in Washington State at this time.

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Do I need a prescription to buy a Rhythm Touch massager or Advanced Foot Energizer?

The FDA allows the Rhythm Touch 2-Way to be marketed and sold “over the counter” for the temporary relief of pain associated with sore and aching muscles in the lower back due to strain from exercise or normal household and work activities.

The FDA allows the Advanced Foot Energizer Foot Massager and Stimulator to be marketed and sold “over the counter” for the temporary relief of pain associated with sore and aching muscles in the shoulder, waist, back, back of the neck, arm, leg, and foot due to strain from exercise or normal household work activities by applying current to stimulate nerves and stimulates healthy muscles in order to improve and to facilitate muscle performance by applying electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) to the soles of your feet. 501 K133929

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How long do the electrodes work for electrical muscle stimulators?

Generally you will find that the higher the quality, the more use you can expect from electrodes or body pads for both TENS and EMS units. With cheaper TENS and EMS electrodes, you may expect anywhere from 3-to-10 uses. With higher quality TENS and EMS electrodes, you can usually expect to get up to 20-to-30 uses with care

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Please contact us by e-mail or by phone during business hours, Pacific Time. Please let us know which product line about which you are inquiring. (Example: Rhythm Touch, Advanced Foot Energizer, Thermotex, Far Infrared)

Email Pain Relief Essentials

1 (888) 366-3257
1 (360) 306-5679

Pain Relief Essentials
7074 Birch Bay Drive
Blaine, WA 98230