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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

ToolBox Tuesday: Tens Unit

Hello All!  It is time for another fabulous edition of ToolBox Tuesday.

Seeing as how I am finally in my house and spending all day moving my craft supplies from one floor to another trying to find their home, I have a special tool to show you today.


My BodyMed 350T Tens Unit goes absolutely EVERYWHERE with me!  I have mentioned here and there in the past how bad my back can get.  My all time low was when I had to call a friend to come over, have my 3 yr old let her in the house, and get her to help me up so I could make my baby girl some lunch.  Luckily I had a fabulous chiropractor that gave me my tens unit.  Let me tell you, while I get absolutely nothing for sharing this tool with you, I LOVE IT!!!  WON'T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT!!!  DON'T KNOW HOW I EVER LIVED WITHOUT IT :0}

Here is the description from the NewEgg listing:
Pain is the body's warning system and is intended to prevent additional injury. Pain is important because, without it, vital parts of our bodies might be damaged or injured without our knowledge. However, long-lasting, persistent pain, often called chronic pain, once diagnosed serves no apparent purpose. TENS is developed to help relieve some types of chronic and acute pain.

***I got my tens unit for free, billed completely through my insurance, but knowing now how much pain relief I get, I would purchase it myself.  It is totally worth it.***
I found it for sale at the following online sites:
NewEgg- $59.99 + 8.99 shipping
Amazon- $54.99 + 12.49 shipping

Here is how it works.  
BodyMed Dual Channel Analog TENS Unit 350T 3 Mode - 1 ea
There are two wires that come out of the top of the unit.  They are usually about a yard or so long.  At the end of each wire, they split into a Y and that is where you attach two sticky electrode patches, a black and a red for long wire.  

So when I am having back pain, pretty much all day today, I attach the self-adhesive patches to the area that hurts or is tight.  First, you should not let the pads be close enough to touch while on your skin.  Also, you want to use these guys on muscle, not bone.  So, you place the pads in like a square on the area of pain.  The pads should be anywhere from an inch to several inches apart.  The important part is to alternate the red and black pads.  If you have the red pad on top on the right side, you should have the black pad on top on your left side.

Thanks to Wikipedia, I have this nifty back image so I can SHOW you what I am talking about...

This is my most used formation {note that I am a woman, not a man as in this image ;0}
My back pain is very low on my back and often has something to do with my rear end or hip muscles being tight.  Usually after just one cycle of the tens unit I feel the pain ease, but sometimes I need several rounds before the pain is tolerable.

My upper back is also a tough area, being a crafter and all.
I like to put the pads on my worst knots up around the shoulder area, then sew a few more hours with the unit  turned on.

Once in a while my one shoulder is super bad.  I have either put all four on the one spot, or just used one wire, just the red and black from the same wire, and not turned on the other wire.

In all reality, you can only take what I am saying as opinion.  I have no medical knowledge that makes me authorized to give you advice for or against this machine, but if you have muscle pain, talk to your doctor about getting one of these units!!!

There are a couple knobs that need to be set.  The knobs behind the side cover are for your doctor to determine.  
The physical therapist that worked in the chiropractic office set my knobs for me, but I have my unit set at 180 for the width and 40 Hz for the rate.  I have it set at "C", which I believe means continuous, and at the 30 minute timer.  There is also a 60 minute timer.

The knobs on top are what YOU use.  They start at off, then go from 1 to 8 for the intensity of the shock.  As the numbers grow, the electric pulse grows.  I usually turn mine up to about 3.  The pulse is pretty strong at that point and I really have never gone higher.  I was rather surprised to hear from my husband that these tens units were being sold all over the Mall of America last weekend.  He took the kids up to the mall {now that we live like 15 minutes from the mall *Yes*} and guys were popping out of kiosks all over the place trying to get him to buy one.  They were selling it with the angle of working your muscles without working at all :0)  Whatever.  Like I said, I use mine to get through the day.  It totally works for that.

The unit runs off a 9 volt battery.  One battery lasts a really long time if you don't forget to turn the unit off ;0) Once the impulse stops, you do have to turn the knobs on top back to off in order to keep the battery for longer.

I know I have left a ton out of this explanation.  All I can tell you is if you have back or other muscle issues, check out the tens unit.  Ask your doctor or chiropractor or physical therapist   They know a lot more about the "how it works", I just know it has made so much of my crafting possible!!!

Happy Crafting everyone!

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