Electrotherapy has come a long way. In its earliest phases, this niche of therapy and pain treatment manifested as ancient Egyptians put electric fish on their heads to relieve headaches. Now electrotherapy has been studied, tweaked, and developed so that it’s accessible, advanced, and effective. The tools for electrotherapy come in many shapes, sizes, and fashions. One of the latest offerings is the PlayMakar by iReliev. iReliev has been making over-the-counter TENS and EMS units for some time now, but the wireless and wearable PlayMakar is a pretty cool step towards next-level utility and versatility for electrotherapy.
The Basics of Electrotherapy
If you’re unfamiliar with the term electrotherapy, you’ll have a hard time appreciating the debut of the PlayMakar. Electrotherapy comes in several different forms, but iReliev specializes in two: TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) and EMS (Electrical Muscle Stimulation). Both of these therapies use electrode pads as conductors on the skin for gentle electrical impulses. In TENS, the signals stimulate the nerve endings, which in effect causes relief from pain at that location on the body. In EMS, the signals stimulate the muscles, which, in short, serves to contract and relax the muscles, increase blood flow, and help with strengthening and recovery. Both TENS and EMS are completely noninvasive and non-addictive. Both have been clinically proven as effective.
All About the PlayMakar
Remember your first smartphone? Those who appreciate new and quality things—which is probably most of us—probably took our time opening the package, looking over the sleek, shiny, undamaged exterior of an intelligent but compact piece of technology. Its intuitive interface, its simple buttons, and its clean design made iPhones and Androids instant hits.
When you first open the PlayMakar Wireless TENS Unit + EMS Therapy System, you’ll have a similar moment of appreciation. The unit is smaller than an iPhone, at less than five inches long and less than two inches wide. It fits nicely in the palm of your hand and feels good to hold. It’s controlled by a simple set of four buttons, arranged in a neat circle just where the thumb lands. It looks clean and modern, and is as easy to use as the original iPods. A display screen shows you which program you’re using, which channel you’re controlling, how much time is left in your therapy session, and which intensity level you’re set to. It’s easy to read and even features a backlight so that the unit can be used in dark gyms or at home at night.
The controller comes with two wireless pods. These 2.35 inch circles are the receiver pods, and act as the source of the electrical impulses used in electrotherapy. Pods can be placed anywhere that treatment is needed, from the back to the legs to the abs. The pods are rechargeable and will last up to three hours per charge. It’s easy to apply the pods, and easy to control the intensity levels using the controller.
Why You Should Use the PlayMakar
Preparing to invest a little money in a tool like the PlayMakar, the fiscally responsible adult often pauses to ask—will I even use this? It’s good to know the applications of something before you buy it, and whether or not you will actually find yourself using it often.
When you’re exploring this question for the PlayMakar, you should consider all of its applications. The TENS and EMS therapy can actually come in handy in more than one context for each individual. TENS itself is mainly used as safe, drug-free pain relief. Its effectiveness occurs quickly, especially since the therapy can be directed to the very specific location of pain. If you have a wireless, wearable TENS unit like the PlayMakar, you can have quick, effective pain relief on the go. Anyone who suffers from acute or chronic pain related to previous or current injuries can benefit from that.
On the other hand, EMS therapy is set to address several different needs most commonly sought after by athletes. EMS is great for enhancing a warm-up and athletes can wear the wireless PlayMakar pods during their regular warm-up routine for even better results. In fact, feel free to leave the pods on throughout the entire warm-up. The EMS treatment will help with strengthening and muscle endurance. When the workout is over, two specific programs on the PlayMakar—P2 and P3—are designed to help facilitate recovery and prevent soreness and muscle fatigue.
How to Get the Most Out of it
What keeps us from using the equipment we invest in? Like that breadmaker collecting dust in the pantry or that espresso machine you never really figured out how to use? Often times it’s a lack of convenience, or ignorance as to how to make the most of it. Since the PlayMakar is intuitive, rechargeable, wireless, and portable, it’s as simple to have on hand as your smartphone. Leave your PlayMakar charger by your phone charger to help you remember to get it ready for the next day or the next workout. If you have all of the components with you and ready to go, you’ll have no trouble thinking to use the PlayMakar during your workout. It’s easy to apply and becomes just as habitual as tying your gym shoes or filling up your water bottle.
The PlayMakar is great to use at home, too. When you’re recovering from a workout, you can apply the PlayMakar for a session while you’re relaxing after the gym, or even while you’re running errands. The same is true when using the PlayMakar for the TENS therapy to address pain. It’s easy and discreet to apply TENS therapy on the go, at home, at work, or wherever because of the small size and wireless feature of the receiver pods.
Should You Buy the PlayMakar?
If you’re invested in your performance as an athlete and want to make the most out of your training and recovery, the PlayMakar can quickly become your secret weapon. We always recommend this versatile tool to athletes. But the PlayMakar is also great for those who want to cut their dependency on painkillers and are looking for a new way to manage pain on a daily basis. It’s discreet, it’s versatile, it’s intuitive, and the treatment is customizable. If you ask us, that’s a lot of value for the just-shy-of-$200 price tag. Click here to view the new PlayMakar now!