Firstly we’re going to record and define key concepts such as electro-stimulation, intensity and different types of impulse such as relaxing, warm-up, drainage, Tens, etc…so as to later go on to explain the programme models which are most recommended and which are normally found in the best electro-stimulators.
Electro-stimulation and stimulus intensity.
We are going to give as an example characteristics of an electro-stimulator which is very competitive in relation to its price-quality ratio, such as the T-ONE EVO II, so that the particular types of current mentioned are found on the mentioned equipment.
Electro-stimulation is based on the passing of electrical micro-impulses through the body, created by an electro-stimulator and transmitted by electrodes situated on the body by means of the connector cables. The fields of application of electro-stimulation are: therapy for reducing pain, muscular trophism recovery after a trauma or surgical intervention, athletic training or aesthetic treatments. For each one of these applications, determined electrical impulses are used. The intensity of the stimulus can be seen on the electro-stimulator screen on each channel, with an increasing scale of 0 to 120. In the Sports and Beauty programmes the intensity is distinguished according to the type of muscle or the programme used; presently we will specify how to establish the right intensity according to the impulse used. The types of pulses can be subdivided as follows:
Electro-stimulation for warming-up: The intensity of the charge applied to the muscle is progressively raised so as to prepare it for heavier training afterwards. In this case it is necessary to produce an intense stimulus gradually, so as to raise the metabolism of the muscle in question. This process is similar to that which happens with a car; before pushing it to its maximum, it needs to first be warmed up.
Toning Contraction, stimulant and amyotrophy: during the stimulating impulse the treated muscle will tend to increase in volume. It is advisable to elevate the intensity gradually, in the first contraction, to come to a comfortable level of stimulus. For the second stimulus contraction, the intensity is raised again afterwards until the comfort threshold is reached. This operation should be repeated contraction to contraction, until the level of intensity advised for each individual programme is reached. It is also recommended that you write down the intensities reached to try to improve the level of stimulus and, consequently, the benefits.
Electro-stimulation for massage, relaxation and active recovery: the intensity will have to be regulated so as the sensation is comfortable and the result is a massage of the treated muscle. It is advisable to keep the intensity to these values so as the massage is totally comfortable. Keep in mind that for pursuing these benefits, it is not necessary to resists high intensities, because it is a massage; raise intensity without excess.
Electro-stimulation for capillarisation: gradually increase the intensity until a constant and visible stimulus is produced in the treated area; we’re looking to reach a medium stimulus threshold, below the pain threshold.
Electro-stimulation for lipolysis and drainage: the “pump” effect is produced by sequential tonic contractions. The intensity has to be high enough to produce these contractions; the greater the contraction, the stronger the pump effect. However, it is not useful to withstand intensities high enough to cause pain. It is advisable to perform the first electro-stimulation sessions at a low intensity so that the body can adapt to the new sensations. In this way the rise in the intensity will be gradual and untraumatic.
Electro-stimulation and TENS: in the TENS programmes the intensity should be regulated between the thresholds of perception and discomfort. The maximum limit is represented by the moment that the muscle surrounding the treated area begins to contract. It is advisable to not exceed this limit.