When it comes to fitness, we're always looking for that edge that will boost our performance and push us past the competition. So it's no wonder that recovery aids and therapies like foam rolling, cryotherapy, and infrared saunas (which help us get back in the game quickly) are becoming increasingly popular. Now there's a new kid on the recovery block: electrical muscle stimulation therapy, also known as e-stim. Here's what you need to know-and whether you should use it before, during, or after your workout. First things first,
The Nervous System Controls Everything!
There are many diverse bodily functions: strength, balance, digestion, flexibility, sleep, blood pressure, anxiety, heart rate, elimination, breathing… pain. Let’s begin with the most important part of the nervous system… The brain. The brain has one overarching priority that will override any other desire. That priority is SURVIVAL. We are hardwired for protection.
Protection looks like reduction of output - weakness, apprehension, and limited range of motion.
Protection against abnormal movement patterns, guarding, compensation, and instability
Protection sacrifices motor function and performance
Protection produces pain.
We need to shift the body from a state of protection and inhibition to a state of accessibility and potential. We cannot do this by simply asking it to do more and work harder. By accessing the nervous system using the Neubie by Neufit, we can unlock your body’s ability to release abnormal tension, restore proper muscle balance, and build fitness, power, and performance.
What Is Electrical Muscle Stimulation Therapy?
Usually called neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) and also referred to as electrostimulation (EMS), the goal of E-Stim is to stimulate contractions in your muscles.
How it works: you attach pads connected to an E-Stim device to your skin, and the device sends electrical impulses to the nerves in your muscles, causing them to contract.
Why use E-Stim to trigger muscle contractions?
"It can improve blood circulation, reduce muscle spasms, speed recovery, relieve pain, and initiate muscle fiber recruitment to strengthen or re-train muscles," This can be valuable not only for anyone who trains hard, but also for those with injuries who need to "reteach" their muscles to fire.
Science supports e-stim's benefits, too. One French study, for example, found that soccer players who received electrostimulation for five weeks experienced performance benefits, including vertical jump height and sprint speed.
Another study, meanwhile, found that e-stim better supported recovery in college baseball pitchers between innings than rest or active recovery methods.
When To Use E-Stim
So, when can e-stim best benefit you? It depends on your goals
Before you get your sweat on, electrical muscle stimulation therapy can jumpstart blood circulation. This helps increase blood and oxygen transport to the muscle, preparing it for activity just as a dynamic warm-up would.
When used during training, e-stim can help increase your muscles' efforts by recruiting more muscle fibers, ultimately making your workout more effective and efficient.
Finally, when used after working out, e-stim can help bring fresh oxygen and blood into your muscles, facilitating toxin removal and helping to speed up recovery.
Using E-Stim Properly
In short, when used appropriately, e-stim can benefit pretty much every step of your fitness routine.
If you're interested in trying e-stim for yourself, consult with us to learn the best practices, including where (and where not) to place those electricity-delivering pads. We recommend avoiding placement of electrodes across the chest, anywhere above the neck, or near your genitals—and to avoid open wounds, rashes, or infected, red, or inflamed areas.
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