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Electric muscle stimulation (EMS) is touted as having the ability to strengthen muscles, reduce weight, minimize body fat and improve local blood circulation. During physical activity, your brain (inside source) sends a message to nerves to signal the contraction of certain muscles. EMS uses an outside electrical source to communicate with nerve fibers. When the stimulation is applied, the brain sends a nerve impulse to the motor point of the muscle. This signal causes the muscle to expand and contract. Livestrong

Is physical training with electrical muscle stimulation safe and effective?

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Is EMS the same as TENS? If so, this is a duplicate: skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/4877/… –  Oddthinking Aug 6 '12 at 11:04
    
"Today many people confuse TENS with Electro Muscle Stimulation (EMS). EMS and TENS devices look similar, with both using long electric lead wires and electrodes. TENS is for blocking pain, where EMS is for stimulating muscles." Ref Sounds like the original question/advert used the wrong terms? –  Oddthinking Aug 6 '12 at 11:09
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safe and effective are bad subjective terms. There is risk in breathing air... And what is effective? Losing weight, gain muscle, gaining stamina in actual use, providing an excuse to sit around and watch TV instead of exercising? –  Chad Aug 6 '12 at 14:17
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@Chad You are right that "safe" and "effective" are highly subjective. But neither are completely useless as long as we are prepared to use clear definitions. Here I expect we should demand some objective way to measure whether outomes are achieved (=effectiveness) and whether there are any undesirable side effects (=safety). The significance of those results will be subjective (depending on how individuals rate their importance). But the objective results will be useful. –  matt_black Aug 6 '12 at 16:59
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1 Answer 1

The purpose of this research was to consider and compare the effect of faradic and aerobic exercise on circumference, % fat and endurance of abdomen in non-athlete women. 20 non-athlete women participated randomly in this research (K-S test used). They were divided into two groups: Faradic (F) and Aerobic (A). Before the research, their circumference was measured by a tape measure, % fat by caliper and endurance of abdomen by digital equipment for 30 seconds. After 24 sessions, those tests were repeated (after two months).

Results indicated that circumference of abdomen decreased only in faradic group (p=0.000) while %fat decreased (faradic: p=0.018, aerobic exercise: p=0.004) and muscular endurance of abdomen increased in both groups (faradic: p=0.004, aerobic exercise: p=0.024) significantly.

Independent t test showed a significant difference in endurance (p=0.001) but no significant difference in %fat (p=0.851) and circumference of abdomen (p=0.765) between the two groups. Also, the results showed that both protocols of training (faradic and aerobic) decreased circumference and %fat of abdomen but the significant effect of aerobic exercise on muscular endurance of abdomen was observed compared with faradic group.

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Welcome to Skeptics! Is this a peer-reviewed journal? I can't find much about it, except that the Editor-In-Chief seems to be qualified in agriculture?! –  Oddthinking Apr 16 '13 at 14:46
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