Number of phases: 4
Phase 1 duration: 3’
Phase 1 Program Name: Symmetric TENS
Type of Modulation: Amplitude Modul.
Workout Frequency: 120 Hz
Start workout amplit.: 180 uS
End workout amplit: 450 uS
Workout duration: 3s
Phase 2 duration: 2’
Program Name: Symmetric TENS
Type of modulation: Frequency Modul
Start workout freq.: 10 Hz
End workout freq.: 120 Hz
Workout pulse width: 450 uS
Workout duration: 6s
Phase 3 duration: 3’
Program Name: Symmetric TENS
Type of Modulation: Continuous
Workout frequency: 10Hz
Workout pulse width: 450 uS
Phase 4 Phase duration: 2’
Program Name Symmetric TENS
Type of modulation: TENS Burst
Burst Frequency: 1 Hz
Workout pulse width: 450 uS
I tried criss-cross thighs with big pink and new grey pads and started right off at 65 mA with thighs extended. The contraction felt reasonably immense but comfortable. 70, 75, (real strong, contraction feels and looks complete in thighs), 80, 80 (it’s a lot of stim to take all at once), 80 (criss cross I feel like quads are too much and I need more hams but can’t individually add more hams because I have quads and hams criss crossed together. Maybe next time I will criss-cross but keep quads and hams separate) 80, (at 80 mA with the big pads it’s the forceful knee extension that’s stopping me from going higher, EMS under pads is fairly comfortable) 80, 85, 90. Breathing real deep and hard after. Will have to use my BP/HR cuff next time. Thighs feel super fatigued after. Contractions felt very deep. I’ll bet I’m sore tomorrow. ~20 minutes later my legs still felt fatigued and I felt like I could take a nap.
10 minutes gave me 10 contractions even with time prolonged due to moving stim up so that’s cool. I wonder if the extra seconds are just taken out of final rest or if time is added onto the program, will have to time it in the future.
It did take a long time to set up with changing the pads and all. Before I went, I thought the time change might not be worth it because training one leg only takes 10 minutes. The setup with pad changes felt near to 10 minutes. I should have timed it. I’m breathing really hard between sets. This might be getting aerobic with this much muscle going at once. If quads and hams are getting equal stim (and they are with my criss-cross pattern), it seems that the weaker muscle ,hams, needs more stim to help balance out the stronger quads and that in time might help lessen muscle imbalance
I did EMS on Monday for the first time in over a month and started stim on core 2 to only 30 mA or so, but today (Friday) I was able to start at 50 mA and work up to maybe 80 or so. With time off, you definitely need to work up again. The neck went easier on Monday getting me to 60 mA I think, and today I worked up to neck 90 mA, a new record. I didn’t even try to breath during the “on” phase because beyond 60-70, I knew I couldn’t. This isn’t such a big deal if you are just holding your breath and bracing yourself anyway, and not alarming if you know what to expect. I felt great afterwards. 60-70 mA on abs started to feel some stinging and I was thinking I was overwhelming my pad area, but neck went to 90 mA with no stinging discomfort so go figure. I felt tingling in my lower left molars above 55 or so mA.
Giving aerobic training another try. 6 Hz, Criss cross lateral on all channels, calves, quads, and hamstrings but only 1 BIG rectangle pad on each muscle so this might have a good chance. HR 51 at start, BP 132/88. Started off at 59 mA.
2 min HR 80 BP 157/99
5 min HR 75 BP 150/98
7 min increased to 65 mA (hard to type)
10 min HR 82 BP 157/97 (not exactly comfortable or pleasant feeling and I notice I’m breathing deeper so it seems to be working.
11 min increased to 70 mA, twitches almost violent feeling, 6.5/10 pain
17 min HR 87 BP 148/91 increased to 75 mA right after
20 min HR 103, BP 151/89, feeling warm and starting to sweat, moved to 80 mA
25 min HR 114 BP 163/96 definitely starting to breathe hard
27 min HR 113 BP 171/94
30 min HR 116…
my max HR at 43 is 177 BPM, 50% is low end of moderate aerobic workout,
89 is 50%
116 is 65%
100 is 56%
So the last 10 min were getting to be a mild aerobic workout, at/near 65% of max HR.
I think it worked. I had trouble getting blue dot on BP wrist cuff towards end but was able to with a few tries. I had to put a fan on myself after. I will have to check out the my % HR. It felt like a pretty good workout but wasn’t at all comfortable. It was probably not as bad as the step mill, and I think certainly a worthwhile option, maybe as good as the EMS bike for SCI, and a whole lot cheaper. Maybe lower HZ or pulsed HZ would work as good and feel better. 6 Hz felt really fast. Large and criss crossed electrodes certainly made it better. I think even larger electrodes might work better still since I only got to 80 mA, and the muscles not under the pads didn’t feel like they were contracting. I wasn’t dripping sweat or anything but the couch was damp where I sat. Kind of gross. I will have the fan on next time during the running of the program.
TENS burst at 5 Hz, when turned up past 30 mA, just melded into a continuous/constant on. 3 Hz stayed separate and I programmed it in and it felt like it might work ,but the contractions felt harder. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad. I may try it for 30 minutes next time and see how it affects HR.
I have neck and throat DOMS today from 90 mA yesterday. I actually feel some DOMS in my anterior throat when swallowing. Probably hitting the right muscle and then some for dysphagia.
5 hz cardio test, otherwise same as last time
t=0, mA =0 HR 55
t=5 70, 105
t=10 70, 100
t=15 75, 116, turned on fan
t=20 80, hard to read, hurts a lot 7.5/10, 121
t=25 turned glutes down to 77, 120, thirsty
That was unpleasant! I had to turn glutes down 3 mA because it was intolerable for that many minutes on end. My calves are really sore from plantarflexing so hard due to EMS on calves but all of the joints felt fine. Just the stim at 80 mA, which I got to sooner this time made it sore. 5 hz felt better than 6 hz at the start and it felt like muscles relaxed a little more between each hit, while at 6 hz it felt like only partial relaxation before the next impulse. I already wrote a 4 hz workout to try next time and see how that is for comfort, and will then try the 3 hz pulsed TENS program to compare on heart rate, pain/comfort before changing any other variable, like electrode size or electrode position on the lower leg. I think maybe putting a real big pad over the TA would activate the TA better while still getting co-contraction of the calves so it might be more balanced forces across the ankle.
126/177 (my calculated max HR) is 71% so not bad for watching TV. Respiration was way up but I’m not sure how to calculate that, but I expect it correlates with HR much as it would on a treadmill. Felt about the same.
I did HA test of EMS (or you could call it high intensity high rate TENS), basically my favorite EMS program without the rest periods to see how that affects headaches compared to the 10 on 50 off (for 12 minutes with the EV-906) and 5 on 15 off for 12 minutes with the EV-906 I had tried before. Also since the Globus Genesy is now my go to EMS unit in my office I wanted to start testing its use. The differences in parameters are that I generally use a 10 minute treatment time (as developed by Yakov Kots and used by Charlie Francis) with the Globus because with the single button to control all channels at once I don’t need the extra 2 minutes of fiddle time used with the individual channels with the EV-906. Other differences are that the Globus is a symmetrical biphasic square wave, which for practical purposes means both electrodes on a channel are and feel of identical strength. With the EV-906, the black wires feel full strength, while the electrode attached to the red end is noticeably weaker. Is the difference a big deal? I would say no. Do I prefer the symmetrical wave of the Globus? Yes. Is it worth the cost differential between units? I would say that depends on your needs and your discretionary income. Regarding headaches, nobody (thus far) turns the machine up high enough to max out the EV-906 and my pretty amazing results thus far have all been with that machine. So I want to see if the Globus works as well or better. I suspect it will work as well, and with the more even current perhaps marginally better.
Also, I program in a pulse duration of 450 uS on the Globus (its highest setting) as opposed to the 300 us on the EV-906 (its highest setting), so I’m curious if this has any effect on outcomes. I expect that it won’t with regards to headache intensities, but I expect the max mA level (height of the wave) worked up to by patients will be proportionally lower with the Globus to offset the greater intensity imparted by the longer pulse duration (width of the wave).
What I noticed afterwards was that I was in a particularly good mood. The best in months. I know there is a fair amount of research on TCDCS and depression, so I wonder if I got a bit of that.
4 hz cardio test, otherwise same as last time
t=0 mA 60 HR and BP 52 116/77
t=5 mA= HR=86
t=10 75, 98
t=15 80, 108 turned on fan
t=20 80, 105
t=25 85, 116
t=30 85, 119
4 hz felt a little more pleasant than 5 hz, but HR didn’t get quite as high even with 5 extra mA, so it’s probably a push. It felt like the muscles were just barely, but fully relaxed before the next pulse, while at 6 hz it felt like they weren’t, so probably 4-5 hz is the sweet spot and I would guess 5 hz is best for cardio/blood flow. I’m sure it could stand a lot more tests on more people to be sure. It is cool having the Globus Genesy where I can just program and test whatever I want.
Tried EMS continuous just to my supraorbital region but used 150 Hz and was only able to work up to 20 mA. I forget what I started at but I think it was only 8-10 mA
A few minutes later I’m doing it again but returning my rate to my normal 120 Hz to see what I get, since I got 30 mA with a different machine at my office 2 days ago. Started right at 16 mA but only worked to 21 mA, so maybe the difference isn’t the rate, maybe it’s a difference between my Genesy 300 and 1100, or maybe the extra electrodes on the neck made me tolerate more on my head. 120 Hz felt better though, it felt like the frequency was more “in tune” with my body. That might be something to test with others to see what they say. I’m curious how my mood is today. Also I noticed if I pushed my fingers on the pads, that portion of the pad felt like it was delivering more current to my body than the rest. I imagine that might be because I am improving the connection there between pad and skin (but it was already tight) so maybe I’m flattening out my skin and sub-q region getting that electrode portion closer to the sensory nerves under the skin. I’m not sure there is much practical importance here, but I noticed it.
I stimmed neck, abs, core, hips, right and left thighs today. And I’m sitting here thinking it might be good to carbo load afterwards (post workout nutrition and all that) but I missed my window because I’m doing IF and can’t eat for several more hours. So that got me thinking I really ought to be doing my EMS workouts right before I eat at night, or after, or between eating, but after 5-6 pm. Or maybe it don’t matter much, as I feel fine but I’m curious if I gain weight when I weigh myself tomorrow at work.
My mood today, after stimming my forehead, better than average.
I’m trying out my wetsuit for the first time. 2 blasts with 6 pads on my left side is working great. Maybe next time I’ll buy a tighter one as it might hold the pads better. I wasn’t sure where to make cuts so I just stuck the pads in through the chest area and zipped it up. The only thing I felt like I couldn’t get is the forearms. I might play around with my spandex shirts to put cuts so I can test positioning before I cut my wetsuit since it’s more expensive. Contractions feel good though, even on the chest (well no, chest could be tighter, all else is good). No burning so chest contact not that bad, but EMS to pecs always lackluster. Put channel one on biceps and triceps, 2 criss-crossed on posterior RTC and anterior delt, with channel 3 criss-crossed on pec and posterior delt. Channel 4 was not used but would go well on the forearm/hand. The suit works though, pads staying in place and not sliding around. Next time, I’m going to skip putting the electrode on the front delt because it’s already hypertrophied and it looks like the pec thing might finally be worth doing. Some cuts I think will make it better but it’s already a lot easier and cleaner than trying to strap your own arms.
I’m all motivated to stim again for two reasons. First being that I want to see how much muscle mass I can maintain, since I noticed I was losing weight on my Fast 5 diet. Second, I’m doing tests on my “Muscle-Stim-Power Suit” So here goes, first try on hips, the setup was easy without any cuts, but some cuts might made it easier still, particularly for hip adductors, but I was able to reach the pads in without much difficulty. Electrode contact is good without any velcro straps. Doing a regular stim pattern rather than criss-cross since I did criss-cross last time and I figured I’d mix it up. Doing 10-50-10. Verdict, it worked great.
Even an unmodified wetsuit for legs seems better than straps but reaching pads down from the top was not as convenient as it should be. All of the pads work and the contact feels good. When standing ,upper hamstrings don’t seem that tight to the skin, but since I’m doing the treatment in sitting it’s not a problem. The distal vastus lateralis doesn’t seem that tight but works fine. Maybe I need a tighter wetsuit for pants. I already ordered a smaller jacket to try out. Verdict on thighs, wetsuit worked, but slits will make pad placement easier, hopefully without destroying the integrity of the suit.
I tried 4-5&6 Hz TENS/EMS on calves to see what felt like the best for circulation. I think 5 Hz was best, but probably my experience is colored by the results of my HR tests where 5 Hz won. On my left calf I put the 2, 4” pads on my gastroc in lateral position, and on my right up put one on my TA and the other on my center gastroc to see if it felt like it would squeeze my muscles better against my tibia and fibula for more of a blood pumping effect. I couldn’t tell that it did, and my left was more comfortable and probably got more, while the TA felt like it was working more on my right. I’m sure it was, but overall muscle activation vs 2 pads on the gastrocs felt maybe less. Also, the TA stim hurt more, I think because the anterior electrode was real close to my tibia bone, so it maybe handled 10 mA 65 vs 75 on the calves at about equal comfort. So in theory ,I like the calf/TA placement better but the 2 on the calves felt better so I could work higher. Verdict = a push. Try both, keep what you like. Unless there is a drop foot then probably you want that pad on the TA.
I tried out my new sample gloves and socks yesterday, filmed it, and those things are no joke. I started with the gloves, one channel split, and just trying it a few times my forearms felt strained immediately. I did a 10-50-10 workout working up to 40 mA, and my forearms have DOMS today. It felt really good for just the gloves, I didn’t need anything to grip, I just put my hands into fists to brace myself. I felt really strong stim up to my elbows and lesser up to my shoulders. The experience was maybe not as intense as 2 pads on the forearms, but maybe it was because I stopped moving up due to mild wrist strain/pain. Gloves are certainly easier to apply.
The socks got my legs twitching, which I would expect to pump blood and improve neuropathy. They felt a lot like the flip flop electrodes, but are easier to apply because you didn’t have to be weight bearing. I didn’t feel like foot intrinsic muscles were getting as intense a contraction, much like the flip flops, in comparison to standing on a single channel with 2 pads on ball and heel of foot.
Reading some papers on EMS for dysmenorrhea and, imagining that I had it, I think 2 pads on the lower abs and 2 pads on the low low back feels like it would be ideal, but I think girls should adjust for comfort. Also, I thought criss-crossing the pads from front to rear felt like it might work a little better because it felt like the stimulation would be deeper and might actually get the uterus. Normal, non-criss-cross placement felt almost as good. I will test that on my people (female people) and see what they think.
High frequency TENS >100 Hz seems to be what’s most supported in the literature, but I think the low rate TENS groups >10 Hz is getting a bad wrap by researchers sometimes putting the pads on redic acupuncture points on the lower legs or whatever rather than on the source of pain. I think the low rate TENS might work well with better pad placement. If it were me, I would probably want to use some frequency modulated current, with as wide as possible a pulse rate (300-450 uS) since high is necessary to eliminate pain. I expect more to be better than less up to a point although you might not want to go too high, with such a long treatment time. Maybe an hour+ would be an ordeal and an EMS parameters might over fatigue the muscles. I’ll test it out on some of my girls with dysmenorrhea as they seem pretty willing volunteers.
JD, reported 6/10 pain was eliminated during Chad’s TENS for 10 minutes, but she said pain returned to 3-4 a few minutes after she stopped. She then did 5-15-10 and reported that it also eliminated pain, but that it still returned to 3-4/10 afterwards, so I want her to try a 2 channel machine belt clipped on to her with a 60 minute treatment time and gel electrodes, which I hope will fully eliminate pain and still be wearable while she works.
While doing core 3, I tried 4 pads on front and 4 on spine extensors, criss crossed, I thought it worked by back harder and my obliques less hard (because that’s where I got the extra back electrodes from) so it all stood to reason. I had a number of my employees try it, most liked it though maybe not as much as core 2. I missed the oblique contractions with core 2, so I would therefore still say core 2 is my favorite. However, the following day my abs had decent DOMS, which I didn’t expect, perhaps because the additional spine extension better braced my back so I could work my anterior abdominal better against it, while with core 2 recently I felt my abs were winning the war of cocontraction. It could also just be the different electrode placements getting the electric currents moving through the nerve and muscle fibers in a different direction, thus activating and training different fibers, so as I have commented before, I think there is merit mixing it up sometimes with regard to electrode placement and/or joint positions to hit the muscles differently. The other thing I noticed was when the stim went off, it really felt like an anterior to posterior squeeze, like I was being squished front to back with a vice. With core 2, I felt the squeeze as well, (much more than core 1) but the squeeze with core 2 felt more circumferential. What it really makes me wish is that Globus came out with a 5 channel machine so I wouldn’t have to compromise obliques for extra pads on the back. In the meantime, I’m thinking a good compromise would be to alternate between core 1 and core 2 for my workouts.
My abs are still pretty sore even 2 days after. So it’s weird that an extra channel on the back made abs more sore, but unlike last year where I wasn’t weight training at all, just doing EMS, this year I’m lifting again, and I had just done (earlier that day) front squats up to 110 kg for 6 and RDLs 130 kg for 10 reps. The latter worked my back pretty hard and I have been doing so for weeks, so my spine extensors may be pretty DOMS proof. Plus, historically with the EMS I think my abs get more sore than my back. I had been doing EMS (core 2) after my squats and RDLs for weeks also, so I would have thought abs were getting DOMS proof as well. So core 3 might be for real.
I had 2 people with back pain try it and both said it eliminated their pain immediately after a 10-50-10 workout. One of them, before trying it said her pain was too high up for core 2 to work, and I said perfect because core 3 has 2 electrodes going higher, showed her my diagram and she said cool, with her pain of 3-4/10 immediately reduced to 0/10. Everyone agrees it’s WAY better than any abdominal exercise.
I also did my neck again in supine and I think that is the ideal position. I usually do it in sitting, but supine takes the load off the head if the person has a weaker neck, and puts their neck in neutral. For a stronger neck like myself, where I worked up to 85-90 mA, the supine position lets me brace my neck better in that safer, more neutral position.
It’s difficult to type because I just finished unilateral forearm workouts with glove electrodes 10-50-10. My left hand did glove and paired CR (carbon-rubber) electrode on my left forearm extensors. On the right I did glove and right forearm flexors. Both felt very effective and both got to ~40 mA. The flexor combination, for some reason, made my hand intrinsic muscles feel palpably harder contracted. Neither was particularly uncomfortable on my wrist and hands even without bracing or holding anything. Neither felt like they worked my forearms much harder than a glove on each hand with a split RL channel, but with split RL can’t palpate my hand intrinsics during stim, and it’s hard to control machine with both hands being stimmed. I think ideal forearm hand workout might be channel 1 (glove/flexors) channel 2 (both forearm extensors). Maybe I will try vice versa with my trigger finger brace to maybe hit the forearm flexors harder. I will try both to see what I like better.
I read a case study about RSD in a 6 year old and they put one electrode on the bottom of the affected foot and the other on the femoral triangle and they ran 90 and 50 Hz continuous with 2.5 and 3.5 mA. I don’t feel anything until 8 mA, and it starts feeling strong around 19 mA. I did a frequency mod over 30 seconds of 5-120 Hz at 450 us and it felt pretty good. I thought the electrode placement was pretty clever as it got the electrodes pretty far apart and I felt the stim throughout my anterior thigh and everywhere from the knee down. 30 seconds to do the mod over felt boring so I changed it to 15 seconds, then 10. Ten felt most interesting, but was still maybe too long. I certainly feel biased towards the higher rates, which is maybe good since higher rates appear (per the research) to work better for chronic pain. I changed the rate to 1-120 Hz but settled on 2-120 Hz as feeling best. I’m still biased to the high rate it seems. I stretched out modulation over 15 seconds 2-20 Hz and liked it better. Still biased high but more interesting than continuous high.
I’m doing neck and core stim (core 2-3) after working out on MWF pretty regularly. My neck circumference is up to 16.75” pretty solid now. Yesterday I tried core 2 laying prone, and my abs felt real strong on lower stim levels pushing me into a bridge. I think I started at 25 mA and working up to 60 mA, but at the higher mA ranges I got a lot more back extension. I’m not sure I liked that, as it was almost painful. I’ll think about it. My abs and low back muscles are pretty sore with DOMS today though from what was otherwise a typical core 2 workout, so there might be something to it.
I just tried EMS, 120 Hz continuous to supraorbital regiom, working up to 25 mA. I’m curious if it affects my mood. I have been super high energy lately due to intermittent fasting and my testosterone levels are feeling higher from fasting combined with weightlifting being added back onto it.
I tried out a slight adjustment for EMS pad placements for plantar fasciitis. I had been putting my posterior electrode on kind of medial attempting to target the tibialis posterior, but looking at the anatomy I think the muscle belly is more central-posterior than I thought so I’m moving that electrode more central, just below the gastrocnemius. I think I should be getting a lot flexor digitorum longus and flexor hallucis longus, for which I would bet money they both help support the foot arch, though as of yet I am unaware of any references saying as much. I was worried that a more central posterior pad placement might hit the soleus hard enough to raise me up on my toes during the EMS like what happens when I put the pads on my gastrocnemius, but in trying it on myself just now, that wasn’t a problem. So for plantar fasciitis, posterior tibial tendinopathy, or acquired flat foot deformity (for which I expect prevention is a lot better than treatment) my current go to pad placements is standing on the pads with channel one split between the heel and ball of the foot, and channel 2 split between tibialis anterior and tibialis posterior (pad placed centrally, just inferior to the heads of the of the gastrocnemius.)
Also, today I only got to 70 mA on core 2, compared to Monday when I worked up to 90 mA. I was hoping today to advance higher, thinking that if I keep my frequency of EMS up I could max out the machine and hit 120 mA. So perhaps the lesser tolerance could be due to the fact that I only had 48 hours of rest between Monday and today, while, last time I had 72 hours as I rested over the weekend. So maybe EMS tolerance is greatest if you have that longer rest period. Or maybe I used a different machine and there is some variability in output. I’ll pay attention to both going forward.
Thoughts on TENS modulation: I don’t like amplitude modulation, it feels boring just like stim getting stronger and lighter at a given frequency. It feels like EMS ramping up and down. If I’m going to do that, I would rather just do EMS. Frequency modulation feels novel however, and I think might be psychologically more interesting, distracting, and might thus decrease pain levels more so than regular TENS or intensity modulation. I think it feels better so I might have my employees try both and see which they subjectively like better. When playing around with different programming parameters on my Globus Genesy, I settled on the following as my favorite:
Name: tens fr mod
Type of stimulation: TENS
Number of phases: 1
Phase duration: 30’
Program name: Symmetric TENS
Type of modulation: Frequency Modulation
Start workout frequency: 2Hz
End workout frequency: 80Hz
Workout pulse width: 450 uS
Workout duration: 15s
Comparison amplitude modulation settings
Name: tens amp mod
Type of stimulation: TENS
Number of phases: 1
Phase duration: 30’
Program name: Symmetric TENS
Type of modulation: Amplitude Modulation
Workout frequency: 120Hz
Start workout amplitude: 100uS
End workout amplitude: 450 uS
Workout duration: 15s
Just noticing lately that I have been doing EMS to neck and core on the reg, 2-3 days per week, but the mA I am working up to is way less than it was last year or earlier this year. So on neck I’m starting at ~40 mA lately and working to 50 mA, maybe 60 mA, but certainly not the 90 mA I got to several months ago. On core 2 I have been starting around 30-40 mA and working up to 50-70mA, which feels strong as hell- such that I have no idea how I ever got to 105 mA last year. If anything, I’m more fit, muscular and leaner now because I have been doing the intermittent fasting, combined with 4 scoops of whey protein per day over the last couple months. So I think the higher sensitivity to the current is because I’m leaner by a couple percent of body fat while my overall muscle mass has increased with my combination of weights and EMS (right now to different body parts). Charlie Francis talked about that in his book, how the leanest athletes with the most type II muscle fibers often required the least EMS because fat is an insulator and type II nerves and muscles contract with EMS particularly well. At this point it’s the only thing I can think of that would explain it