Principles and Definitions of Electro Stimulation

In this section you will find all the information about electro stimulation, its principles and its various effects. you can consult it before or after your purchase.

1 Definition of electro stimulation

Electro stimulation is the act of stimulating muscle fibres via electrical impulses using electrodes positioned in the area you wish to target: abdominals, thighs, pectorals, glutes, etc.

Electro stimulation uses electrical impulses of varying duration and intensity, transmitted to different muscle groups through the placement of one or more electrodes. The electrical impulse provokes a contraction of the targeted muscles) without the involvement of the central nervous system or brain.
For many years, athletes and physiotherapists have used electro stimulation for sports conditioning and recovery, and because it offers clear, quantifiable results.

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2 What are the benefits of electro stimulation?

  • Improvement in muscle quality and performance
  • Improvement in oxygenation and muscle recovery
  • Improvement in physique and appearance of skin (cellulite, etc.)
  • Regeneration of muscle volume after forced immobilisation (surgery, sprain, fracture, broken bone, etc.)
  • Pain relief (spasms, upper and lower back pain, sciatica, epicondylitis, hematomas, etc.)

Various muscular characteristics (elasticity, tone, strength) can also be improved in an efficient, targeted manner. The association of classical training methods with electro stimulation can increase cardiovascular capacity.

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3 An effective training method with many benefits

  • Muscles can be trained efficiently in just a short time.
  • Your training can target specific muscle groups (targeted training, anti-atrophy, muscle strengthening).
  • Optimal recovery through improved blood circulation and toxin elimination.
  • Stimulation of slow twitch and fast twitch muscle fibres. Slow twitch muscles are primarily used in endurance sports. Fast twitch muscles play an integral role in sports that require power and speed. Fast twitch muscles are often underused in regular physical training.
  • You can incorporate electro stimulation training into any part of your day: during your regular workouts, while travelling, or at home.
  • Electro stimulation is very effective at relieving pain before or after strenuous activity.
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4 Current, voltage and resistance

Current is designated as I and measured in amperes (A).
The current used in transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) and electroacupuncture is so weak that it is measured in milliamperes (mA). The intensity of the current is called its
“amplitude.”
Resistance is designated as R and measured in ohms (&Ω;).
Skin resistance during electrode-based treatments falls between 1000 and 1500 W. During acupuncture treatments, skin resistance drops to only approximately 600 W, because the skin has been punctured by a needle.
Voltage is designated by the letter U and is measured in volts (V). Voltage is the force that initiates the electrical current flow. The stimulator battery is its energy source.
Cefar stimulators are equipped with a constant current generator, which means that if you set the amplitude to 20 mA, the stimulator constantly produces that amplitude, regardless of the resistance. This also means that voltage varies in relation to the resistance.
These three parameters (current, voltage and resistance) make up Ohm’s Law: U = R x I.

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5 Waveform

Electro stimulation treatments require a closed circuit for the electric current. This means two electrodes are used for TENS or NMES treatments, and two needles are used in electro acupuncture. Cefar stimulators use electric current in a biphasic waveform. Biphasic waveforms can be symmetric or asymmetric. TENS treatments use an asymmetric biphasic waveform, which means that polarity is important. In practice, this means that there is greater activity under the black electrode, which may influence where the electrode is placed.
NMES and electroacupuncture use a symmetric biphasic waveform, which means that the activity under each electrode or needle is the same. It makes no difference where you place the red and black electrodes or needles.

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6 Frequency

Frequency is the number of pulses per second, and is measured in hertz (Hz). Different frequencies can be used to treat electrotherapy patients. High-frequency TENS and electroacupuncture involve frequencies of 50-120 Hz. Cefar stimulators are often preset to 80 Hz.

High-frequency TENS 50-120 Hz
Low-frequency TENS and electroacupuncture are designed to generate current in bursts of eight pulses. This makes stimulation more comfortable for the patient. Low-frequency stimulation is typically at 2 Hz.

Low-frequency TENS 2 Hz in bursts (2 bursts per second, 8 pulses per burst)
With modulated pulse duration high-frequency TENS and electroacupuncture, 80 Hz is often used. Modulation means that the pulse duration varies over a specific interval of time. For example, the duration may drop from 180 µs to 70 µs, then go back up to 180 µs in 2 seconds.

Modified pulse duration high-frequency TENS 50-120 Hz
NMES usually uses frequencies between 20-120 Hz. The frequency varies according to the purpose of the stimulation. Frequencies under 20 Hz aid in recovery or enhance circulation through vibration. Higher frequencies (>20 Hz) are used to facilitate muscular activity or produce muscle contractions.

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