OK, so in the past couple posts I’ve introduced electromuscular stimulation (EMS) as an option for rehab, training as well as recovery for runners. The unit I used was manufactured by Globus Internationalhttp://www.globussht.com/home28
and Giovanni Ciriani. Globus Sport & Health Technologies is the exclusive distributor of Globus Italia and of Domino, its manufacturing affiliate. Globus Sport and Health Technologies offices and warehouse are in Connecticut.
The version I use is the Premium Fitness model. It has 4 leads from the device (therefore 4 muscle groups can be stimulated at a time i.e. two groups on each quadriceps).
There are numerous settings and specific programs by muscle emphasis: warm-up, maximum force, resistance force, reactivity, aerobic resistance (endurance – the one I used), active recovery, jogging and fitness. You can set milliamp settings, time durations and tailor anything you like into this.
Once you have it set up (I had Jonathan to help me on this) you can memorize past workouts. This makes it much easier. When you start up the next time it leads you through choosing memorized programs. Four little clicks and you are up and running.
Applying the reusable 2″X2″ electrical stimulation pads is easy. You put them back on the plastic media after using them and seal them in a ziploc baggy. WARNING: If you are hairy, trim it down or you will regret it when you remove these suckers! Also, I tried to get more electrodes through a medical supplies company and they required a prescription. They said it is a federal law and cannot be dispensed without it. So, stick with ordering them online.
The manual that comes with the unit is typical of manuals that come from technical companies. It does not provide all the answers. The wording appears to have been translated from another language (most likely Italian in this case since that is where the parent company is located). Not well articulated – almost like they wanted it so succinct but in the process it loses meaning.
It does make scary reading! The number of contraindications are long numbering 11 – including that you should not hook this up to your genitals. The warnings and precautions are longer A through Q. This all along with two adverse effects and four risk/benefits. There are obviously too many lawyers who have time on their hands. And if you want to apply this to your genitals you should be locked up… not the maker of the device.
Most obviously missing is a parts replacement order form & price list. The guide tells you what you should have when you receive it. One paragraph in the book states to contact Globus for replacement parts and only gives the website which also has no order form or price list. (Or at least not easily found if it is there.)
I do not believe that most athletes could use this unit without the help of a professionally trained individual on the application and use of it. Even with a medical, coaching and athletic background, I was at a loss. As Giovanni mentioned to me (and I quoted in the first post) that if this is not used properly in a structured program the results will be effected. It is this in fact that most practitioners here in the US don’t quite get (my paraphrasing).
These units do not come cheap. There are different levels of models that Globus manufactures: The Premium Fitness model goes for $599, the Premium Sport is $899 and the Premium Sport+ is $1100. Compex is a competitor and has units for $699-999.
Even with that here is a cost analysis for you. I spent over $360 in co-pays for physical therapy and made no improvement. If you don’t have insurance that will easily be four-fold. After six weeks of PT I was not better and could not run. After 3 treatments with EMS I could run. After a couple weeks I was running 20-25 miles per week virtually pain free. Only you can decide what your running is worth to you.
The Globus support and customer service appears to be extensive and of very good quality. They (by “they” I mean Giovanni) are not only passionate about what they do; they also want you to be successful!
If you are not truly motivated to improve your performance or you are not dedicated and disciplined – pass this gadget up. Everyone else – take note; it might be just the thing to get over recurring injuries; gain strength beyond what you imagined; and maybe… just maybe… breakthrough to new performance highs!