Do EMS pelvic floor trainers work? Studies & scientific evidence supporting pelvic floor therapy trainers.
Do EMS Pelvic Floor Therapy Trainers really Work?
Science class was not my favorite subject. I preferred the arts to the sciences. Nevertheless, for many of you considering something like my YoniFlex Pelvic Floor Trainer you will want to know in detail how it works, and whether it will work for you, based on scientific evidence. I'll do my best to break everything down below (yes, pun intended):
In this article I will break down:
- Scientific Evidence & peer reviewed clinical studies supporting the use of my YoniFlex EMS pelvic floor therapy trainer to improve the strength of your Pelvic Floor muscles.
- Scientific evidence supporting better pelvic floor strength leads to: Reduction of incontinence, Improved Sexual Function, Reduction of prolapse, Improved overall sensations
- Explanation of what an EMS (Electrical Muscle Stimulation) device is and how it works - down to the nitty gritty details.
Are you ready?
Do you have your thinking caps on?
Have you had your cup of morning coffee?
Let's begin discussing the scientific evidence supporting the use of Pelvic Floor trainers to strengthen you pelvic floor muscles!
Part 1: Scientific Evidence supporting the use of my Yoniflex EMS Pelvic Floor Therapy Trainer to improve the strength of your pelvic floor:
Electrical Muscle Stimulation (E.M.S.) is a technique that gently stimulates your muscles using a controlled electrical current. Electrical Muscle stimulation - shortened to E.M.S. delivers small low-voltage electrical impulses to your muscles via a specialized probe, or in some cases electrodes. These impulses cause your muscles to contract (tighten/squeeze) automatically - out of your control.
The muscle contraction and relaxation has two distinct purposes. The primary purpose is to strengthen and tone your pelvic floor muscles without involving your nervous system.
The secondary purpose of EMS therapy is to increase the blood flow to your pelvic floor. By improving the blood flow to your pelvic floor, your own body will work to restore your muscles, fibers, and nerves. This process will also help to reduce pain and discomfort, and provide a method for your body to naturally repair its damaged muscles and nerves.
Working out the muscle without using your brain avoids the fatigue and discomfort of 'manually' performing the exercise -which requires mental strength and concentration. Think of manual kegel exercise like riding a bicycle, and using the YoniFlex like riding a scooter!
The process of stimulating your muscles into contractions is identical to the manual process known as 'doing a kegel' or 'excising your pelvic floor' in that the internal pelvic floor muscles are being tightened (contracted) and released (relaxed). The difference is - with YoniFlex, this process happens automatically, dozens of times a minute! This way, you don't even have to think about it - it just happens on its own as you go about your life.
Don't be confused - The YoniFlex Therapy Trainer is vastly different from other 'electrode massagers' on the marketplace - such as "Dr. Ho" - as they use what is called "T.E.N.S." (Trans-cutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) which is designed to reduce nerve, muscle, and joint pain, as well as migraine pain. T.E.N.S technology is not designed to work muscles and promote strengthening of the muscles in your body like the YoniFlex is..
There have been an number of studies and research done on Electrical Muscle Stimulation across the world for many years. Here are just a handful of examples scientifically proving the effectiveness of electrical muscle stimulation:
From Science Direct: "Electrical Muscle Stimulation" (EMS) - has been shown to increase muscle strength and mass... Low-frequency stimulation appears to have greater effects on strengthening, while high frequency favors an increase in muscle mass... EMS also promotes compositional changes of the muscle fibers and improvements in the oxidative enzymatic activity and glucose uptake." -Source
Excerpt from the book "Clinical Sports Medicine" by Joel M. Press & Deborah A. Bergfeld: "Electrical Muscle stimulation may help prevent strength loss as well as prevent muscular atrophy... Eriksson and Haggmark showed better muscle function in a group of patients... when treated with electrical muscle stimulation and isometric exercises then with isometric exercise alone. In a study of rats and prevention of atrophy after 1 week of disuse found that electrical stimulation was effective in preventing deterioration of maximum tension and oxidative capacity. - Source
Excerpt from Silvia Lieber on a study comparing manual muscle contraction with EMS for patients after surgery states: "Electrical Stimulation and voluntary muscle contraction treatments, when performed at the same intensity, are equally effective in strengthening skeletal muscle that has been weakened." - Source
Part 2: Strong Pelvic Floor = Better Health
A weak pelvic floor can lead to a host of health concerns. While these health issues are necessarily the result of a weakened pelvic floor, it is by far the most common reason, and the most suggested at home method that personal health professionals, doctors, physiotherapists, and specialists recommend to people who experience these symptoms.
Here are a list of weakened Pelvic Floor Symptoms (from Victoria's public health website) - Source
- Leaking Urine when coughing, sneezing, laughing, or running. This is called 'Stress Incontinence'.
- Failing to reach the toilet in time (a.k.a. sudden and urgent need to urinate) - this is called "Overactive Bladder"
- Leaking small amounts of urine through the day. This is called 'Urge Incontinence'
- Passing wind from the anus of vagina when bending over or lifting
- Reduced Sensation in the vagina
- Tampons that dislodge or fall out
- A distinct bulge in the vaginal opening
- A sensation of heaviness in the vagina
In addition to the above mentioned symptoms, other symptoms - according to Healthline - can include: - Source
- Constipation or bowel strains
- Lower back pain
- Discomfort during sex
- Pressure in the pelvic region or rectum
- Muscle spasms in the pelvis.
So there you have it folks - In part one of this article we showed that using EMS stimulation can help to grow and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Using the Yoniflex with EMS technology targets your pelvic floor muscles to help them strengthen and grow. Now in part two, I've shown that weakened pelvic floor muscles can cause a host of issues and challenges.
Now to the third and final part...
Part 3: The Science of EMS (electric Muscle Stimulation)
Now that we have shown you how effective EMS technology is to stimulating your muscles to strengthen, and shown you the negative effects of having weak pelvic floor muscles, its time to dive into the science of how the YoniFlex uses EMS to improve your muscle tone of your pelvic floor.
The YoniFlex uses electrical pulses directly on your body to cause your pelvic floors to activate (contract). While it may seem strange to use electricity on your body, your body already uses electrical messages to tell your muscles what to do, so EMS is essentially 'taking out the middle man' in this situation. Instead of your brain telling your body to 'tighten that muscle' - our YoniFlex machine is taking the place of your brain, and contracting that muscle automatically.
Now let's get technical:
Its not enough simply to stimulate your muscles into contracting. Different muscle groups respond differently to different stimulation. After many years and thousands of hours of research done by many scientists over the past 20+ years it has been determined that different muscles react to different levels of stimulation.
Here is a breakdown of the specifications within the Yoniflex product: NERD ALERT!
Hz (Hertz) - This is the number of electric pulses per second. It is understood after many studies that lower levels of Hz (1-15) are better suited for slower responding muscles, and higher levels (35hz-45hz) are better suited for fast responding muscle fibers. More then 45Hz is designed to treating muscle fatigue and promoting muscle strength and flexibility. We use this data to optimize our workout programs based on your specific needs.
uS (pulse width) - This is the duration of a single pulse. The wider this pulse is, the more muscle penetration will occur.
Taking these two primary metrics into account, we have developed a number of exercise routines targeted toward specific challenges you may be experiencing.
YoniFlex Pelvic Floor Workout Example:
We have a program designed specifically for a lack of sensitivity of your vagina. If you are finding you just can't feel like you used to, this program is for you! Here are the details of this program:
Lack of Sensitivity Workout Details:
- Phases 5 - From 3-10 minutes per phase
- Hz - Range from 3hZ to 40Hz
- Pulse width range from 200-250
- Work time (in seconds) - 4
- Rest time (in seconds) 4-6
- Duration of workout: 25 Minutes
So in this example you can see how we have specifically designed a workout routine around those with lack of sensitivity issues. The Hz, or number of contractions per second - gradually will increase throughout the workout. Each muscle contraction will last 4 seconds, with the rest time between contractions increasing from 4 to 6 seconds as the workout moves along. The pulse width - or the width of a single pulse will reduce near the end of the workout.
This is just one of the 11 different programs we have setup with our YoniFlex. We have pelvic floor workout programs targeted at the following issues:
- Pain Relief
- Prolapse (organs moving into vaginal area or extending out of the vagina)
- Stress Incontinence (Dribbling during exercise/jumping/bending over)
- Overactive Bladder (Frequent urge to urinate)
- Lack of Sensitivity
- Endurance Training
- Pelvic Floor Relaxing
- New Mother's after childbirth
I hope this article helped explain to you the science behind the YoniFlex EMS pelvic floor exercise machine! There are many additional scientific research articles, papers, and books written about Electric muscle stimulation that are available. If you would like to learn even more, just contact me and ask!
YoniFlex is now available! Free Shipping in North America!
But wait... There's even more!
If you want to really deep dive into the science, here are a number of additional journal entries, studies, and research done on Electrical Muscle Stimulation in many different forms. Here are a handful of interesting ones to review:
From US National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health:
- "Pelvic Floor exercises, electrical stimulation, and vaginal cones are... effective treatments and are far superior to no treatment in women with urodynamic stress urinary incontinence." ---- STUDY: Single-Blind, randomized, controlled trial of Pelvic Floor Muscle training, electrical stimulation, vaginal cones, and No active treatment in the management of stress urinary incontinence.
- "Improvement of non-neuropathic urinary incontinence was significantly higher... Electrical Stimulation is a potential effective modality in treating non-neuropathic urinary incontinence" --- STUDY: Pelvic Floor electrical stimulation and muscles training: A combined rehabilitative Approach for management of non-neuropathic Urinary Incontinence in children
- "EMS Exercise induces beneficial effects in muscle strength... These effects mainly concern muscle groups directly stimulated, but there is also evidence of effects in the muscle groups not stimulated. EMS application constitutes a promising means of muscle strength preservation" --- STUDY: Electrical Muscle Stimulation: An effective form of exercise and early mobilization to preserve muscle strength in critically ill patients.
- "The scientific analysis revealed that EMS is effective for developing physical performance... The EMS offers promising alternative to traditional strength training for enhancing the strength parameters and motor abilities" --- STUDY: Electromyostimulation - A systematic review of the effects of different electromyostimulation methods on selected strength parameters in trained and elite athletes.
From the Simon Foundation for Continence:
- (EMT) is a useful therapy or treatment for men and women who would benefit from pelvic floor exercises due to stress urinary incontinence, or as a preventative step before prostate treatment. --- ARTICLE: Electric Stimulation of the pelvic Floor Muscles
From the Journal of Applied Physiology:
- "The principle finding from this investigation was that a group of sedentary adult subjects demonstrated significant improvements in exercise capacity as a result of a period of EMS training... We demonstrated that improvements in physical fitness are associated with unloaded EMS-induced muscle contractions." --- SOURCE: Prolonged electrical muscle stimulation exercise improves strength and aerobic capacity of healthy sedentary adults.
From Critical Care Journal:
- "EMS sessions prevent the development of CIPNM in critically ill patients and also result in shorter duration of weaning." --- SOURCE: EMS prevents critical illness polyneuromyopathy: A randomized parallel intervention trial.
From Urology gold Journal
- "We found that intra-vaginal electrical stimulation to be a valuable alliterative to medical and surgical intervention in patients" --- SOURCE: Pelvic floor stimulator for female stress-urge incontinence A multi center study.
- There is strong evidence to suggest that PFM (pelvic floor muscles) exercises are effective at reducing the symptoms of SUI (stress urinary incontinence)... when the results are combined there is strong evidence to suggest that electro-stimulation is superior to sham electro-stimulation." --- SOURCE: Conservative treatment of stress urinary incontinence in women: A systematic review of randomized clinical trials.
In all cases above, I added the emphasis ;)