TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electronic Nerve Stimulation. Simply put, an electric signal applied to the nerves across the surface of the skin. Typically this is a foreign (to the nerves) square wave signal delivered at a high frequency to incapacitate the nerves, or to inhibit nerve function by over-stimulating them. Although some TENS devices are adjustable in terms of frequency or amplitude, once set, the outgoing signal would be the same for each user for the entire duration of treatment. A standard TENS machine sends its signal from one electrode to another placed in close proximity, usually 6-8" apart. This creates an electric analgesic effect; as it numbs the small treatment area. While this may offer some degree of temporary, localized pain relief, disrupting nerve function is no solution and usually exacerbates (or causes) numbness issues. these "toys" are factory permanently set to deliver their coarse signals via 2" x 2" conductive electrodes and are not adjustable to the different impedance when different application methods are used such as conductive garments, etc. Thus they can cause great harm. Repeated use of a standard TENS can cause permanent numbness..
The ReBuilder® also sends electrical signals to the nerves across the surface of the skin, and therefore by FDA definition is also a TENS, but it is a very specialized and vastly more precisely controlled version of nerve stimulation, unlike anything you have ever seen before. The ReBuilder's intelligence incorporates 3 microprocessors to control its sophisticated biofeedback circuitry and at the same time, provides a muscle stimulus component to its output. This allows the ReBuilder to be used in a unique way and provides an altogether-different patient experience and treatment outcome. You see, it is not just that you stimulate the nerves, but more importantly, how you stimulate them.
The ReBuilder's biofeedback circuitry allows its signal to be sent from foot to foot (or hand to hand), effectively stimulating the entire nerve pathway from the tips of the toes (or fingers) to the base of the spine on both legs (or hands) simultaneously; a much greater area than standard TENS. This same biofeedback mechanism continuously modulates the outgoing waveform in accordance with your body's response to the previous signal. This happens in real-time, 7.83 times per second. Not only will each user receive a custom-tailored impulse, but it will change as your body favorably responds to the healing impulses during the treatment time.
Additionally, 20% of the ReBuilder's signal stimulates passive exercise of the skeletal muscles to increase circulation by way of the body's venous blood pump mechanism. A standard TENS machine does not stimulate muscles.
By self-regulating its outgoing waveform, the ReBuilder is able to 'talk to your nerves' in a way that is not foreign to them and control pain and discomfort without inhibiting the nerve's ability to propagate an impulse. It does not cause or exacerbate numbness to do its job. This is critical for a neuropathy sufferer, who may already be struggling with balance and gait issues and especially important when you are stimulating the entire leg. Could you imagine purposefully numbing the whole leg (or both) and what implications that may have?
The ReBuilder also stimulates muscle activity via the motor neurons, causing steady, rhythmic contractions to gently move venous blood toward the heart and assist the lymphatic system. This reduces edema and helps flush away toxins while at the same time, aids the delivery of fresh, nutrient-rich blood to the nerve endings. Since the signal originates at the most distal point (the foot), it makes the most of this natural squeezing effect, almost like toothpaste in a tube. Over time, this will also help strengthen atrophied muscles.
Your body wants to heal itself. We just have to give it the tools to do so. By eliminating pain without causing numbness, mobility is not compromised. By controlling symptoms without the use of drugs, there are no debilitating side-effects. By controlling your dysfunctional nerves electronically instead of by drug use, a direct substitution allows you to reduce or possibly discontinue (under your physician's guidance) your pain meds, eliminating side-effects you already may be experiencing as a result of ever-increasing dosages. By increasing circulation in the extremity, you fuel the body's own natural healing process. You can further improve this with proper nutritional supplementation.
The ReBuilder costs more because it is a real medical device that has safety circuits and adapts to your own dysfunctional nerves. As they get better, the ReBuilder's impulses change accordingly. There is no comparison to any other device. The ReBuilder has been manufactured in the USA since it was first introduced in 1987. It has, of course, had many technical improvements as science has advanced.