A device for stimulating a muscle by passing a current of electricity through the skin. Electric muscle stimulation (EMS) is used to treat muscle injuries and muscle atrophy when a limb has been immobilized. It is claimed that regular EMS passively exercises muscles, reducing fat levels, but it has been shown that 30 minutes of EMS results in less than 10 extra calories being used.
Charlie Francis 1948–2010 the Canadian athletics coach, believed that EMS can accelerate muscle growth. He used the technique to train his squad of elite athletes, which included Ben Johnson. The general opinion of exercise scientists, based on existing scientific literature, is that EMS appears to be a valuable aid to rehabilitation, but that its use for muscle building is unproven. Improper use of EMS or poorly designed devices can be dangerous. In 1970, a home EMS device was banned by the Food and Drug Administration after users testified that they suffered varying degrees of injury, including severe burns.
Subjects: Medicine and Health.