TENS therapy electronic pulse massager for $16


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Oh come on. Quack cures? This place is going downhill.


Oh hush. This is totally different from homeopathy. It’s electric and that means modren!


Can I use it as a dildo tho


If you do not experience chronic pain, you have no idea what this can do for you. TENS units have made it possible for me to keep from taking horrible medications that are supposed to relieve pain, but subject me to nasty side effects and possible addition.
This is not a quack cure. Grow up.


Thanks for the post, Mark, a great deal and I have just taken advantage of it.


Well @frauenfelder says it is unproven. If if seemingly works for some people then good for them. I will side with possible placebo effect of hey I am doing something so it should work or just that it distracts some people just enough to not mind the pain.


Andy Lewis is normally quite a good place to start for things like this.

A quick google suggests that it’s hard to test for properly, because you can’t develop a control - people know when it’s switched on.


Well at the least this product DOES SOMETHING, whether it does what it says it does or not and is safe, shrug like the brand new poster says it works for him, but anecdote is not data.


I seem to recall it has some popularity as a BDSM toy, but of course there’s no way I would know that.


I had something like this applied after tweaking my back to the point I couldn’t stand upright, it hurt to breathe and I couldn’t extend my arms. 20 mins of TENS at an urgent care center (by an MD) and I was a new man! I do biomedical research, and know well about the placebo effect, but damn if I wasn’t instantly convinced it works for me. A single person’s experience is nothing like a rigorous, double blind, randomized, controlled trial with crossover, but the magnitude of the effect was so great I find it hard to believe it wasn’t “real.”

That said, my friend tried it and found it excruciating and ineffective, so who knows. Also, I used something more like this: which was >$100, so the quality may be different. I can’t vouch for this $16 model.


I assure you that TENS actually works for those of us with nerve pain.


I don’t know why but this one always cracks me up


TENS. Up to eleven!


I’d never rule out the strength of the placebo effect. I know someone who gets immediate and nearly total pain relief from headaches the moment he swallows an Advil. He knows that the drug can’t possibly have gone to work yet, but the pain just vanishes. Wasn’t there that study that showed that even if you know its a placebo it can still work? Didn’t I also read something about boingboing about some people who are now suggesting that the placebo effect, rather than working weakly for everyone, works very strongly for some and weakly for others and it might have a genetic component?

I’ve never heard of TENS before now and don’t know how it works (or supposedly works). I do recall when I got my CPR training when they explained that the TV version of CPR where you pump and then suddenly their heart starts again is not very much like reality at all unless you know the heart was stopped by an electric shock, then you actually have a decent chance of restarting it (I was given CPR training by an electric utility so this was very relevant to us). It’s 100% plausible that a therapy that works for pain caused by one specific thing will just suck for pain caused by another thing. The fact that one person gets a lot of relief from it and one person doesn’t get any doesn’t necessarily suggest it is a placebo, it could be that the source of the pain is just different. And that could make it harder to test whether it works, especially if there is an unwitting selection bias towards people it works or doesn’t work for.


When we were teens, my buddy and I used to do that with a scary electron-tube-powered one from the 1950s (not the dick-n-balls stuff). We never got that thing even at 1/2 a full dial setting before it would result in muscle contractions that felt like they were going to break a bone.


Yes, I think I remember the one The Guardian covered in this article.
Maybe related: The placebo effect is getting more effective, but only in the US.


It also helps if you are a “met met”…
Genetic biomarkers of placebo response: what could it mean for future trial design?


Amongst would-be Trump voters.


My parents swear by these things. I found them annoying, but I think if my back pain got severe enough and there was one around I’d give it a shot.