Electro Muscle Stimulator Treatment NVQ Level 3 Beauty Therapy Clare Hargreaves-Norris The faradic treatment or electro muscle stimulator (EMS) uses the application of electrical pulses to the face to stimulate the muscles to contract, resulting in a tightening and toning effect.
Clare Hargreaves-Norris During the treatment the client does not have to participate, they simply relax; therefore, the treatment is classified as passive exercise. For most people this is a dream come true, however you must reinforce to the client that they will need to attend for treatments on a regular basis (usually 2-3 times per week for 4-6 weeks, a maintenance treatment will then be required once a month). In addition, the client should be advised about an appropriate skin care routine and facial exercise programme to complete at home. Clare Hargreaves-Norris
How does the treatment work? Muscles comprise of bundles of muscle fibres and there are many nerves that supply each muscle fibre. These nerves create the movement in the muscle. When the nerves are stimulated they cause the muscle fibres to shorten, therefore the muscle contracts and causes movement to occur. The nerves that create this movement are called motor nerves.
Normally a muscle would contract in response to an impulse from the brain received via a sensory nerve, a message would then be sent to the motor nerve, which would cause the muscle to contract. Stimulation by a faradic current activates the motor nerve directly to produce a contraction; basically it takes a short cut. Clare Hargreaves-Norris Natural stimulus Faradic current Message sent via sensory
nerve ending to the brain Stimulates motor nerve directly at the motor point Brain sends message via the motor nerve to the muscle Muscle contracts
Muscle contracts Clare Hargreaves-Norris What sensation will the client feel? Complete the task in your package Clare Hargreaves-Norris Sensations experienced When the current is initially applied, the client will firstly feel a tingling sensation as the sensory nerves are stimulated. As the current intensity is
increased the motor nerves will be stimulated, the client will now feel the muscles contracting. Clare Hargreaves-Norris The faradic machine A EMS unit produces an interrupted direct current, which is used to stimulate muscle contraction. The unit produces a low frequency, direct current of between 10
and 120 Hz. The facial machine is much less complicated than a body machine and has only a few controls. It will have an: On/Off switch, which controls the current flow, usually a light will indicate if the current is flowing. Intensity control, which allows you to treat each client and muscle to the required level. Outlet for the facial electrode wire to be connected. Facial electrode Clare Hargreaves-Norris The treatment is applied via facial electrodes that
are made from electrically conductive carbon impregnated plastic. The treatment can be applied via three different types of electrodes: Facial electrodes A hand held facial electrode, is individually placed over a group of muscles or over a specific nerve. The therapist will apply to stimulate the muscles 6-8 times working around the face 2-3 times. A facial mask may be used to stimulate all the facial muscles simultaneously. This does have an advantage of being speedier; however, some clients may feel claustrophobic with this method. Disc electrodes may be stuck to the skin to stimulate the motor points of the muscles simultaneously. This
is a more up to date, speedier method. Clare Hargreaves-Norris The uses of the faradic treatment To firm the muscles by increasing muscle tone, this will reeducate sagging contours. A preventative measure, to reduce the
onset of dropped facial contours. To prevent the skin wrinkling through loss of contour. Clare Hargreaves-Norris Restrictions to a faradic treatment In addition to the general contra-indications, the following will restrict treatment in the area: Migraine Excessive dental fillings or
bridgework Hypersensitive skin A very nervous client Clare Hargreaves-Norris Application techniques You must always refer to manufacturers instructions as there are different ways of applying a facial EMS treatment. When applying using the hand held electrode it is preferable to treat the same muscle groups on the opposite side of the face, one after each other. This will ensure that you apply a similar current intensity to similar muscle groups, which should result in a more precise treatment. When applying the treatment it is difficult to isolate individual muscles as many of the muscles insert into each other. Therefore, appropriate facial nerves are stimulated to produce a contraction.
Clare Hargreaves-Norris Motor point stimulation Clare Hargreaves-Norris Can you think of reasons for a poor muscle contraction? If there is a grease or make-up film on the clients skin The selected intensity is too low Insufficient saline solution on the electrodes Electrode pads are dirty Incorrect positioning of the electrodes i.e. not over the motor points Loose leads in the terminals Poor contact between the electrode pads and the skin Clare Hargreaves-Norris
Applying and adjusting to suit individual clients needs The current intensity will need to be varied depending on the: Clients needs Clients tolerance Muscle tone Area being stimulated Remember that as you move to a new area you will have to re-evaluate the intensity required. The
intensity used will depend on the manufacturers guidelines; however, you should use the minimum intensity to produce a smooth and comfortable contraction. Clare Hargreaves-Norris Effects of the faradic treatment Increased circulation brings fresh oxygen and nutrients to the muscles and removes waste products, thus improving the appearance and functioning of the muscles. Muscular contraction improves the tone of the muscle. Sensory nerve endings are initially stimulated producing a tingling sensation at the beginning of the treatment.
Motor nerves are stimulated resulting in muscle contraction. Clare Hargreaves-Norris Blood supply increases therefore bringing fresh oxygen and nutrients to the area. Waste products are more efficiently removed from the area. Vasodilation of the blood vessels improves the colour of the skin under the pads. Muscle contractions improve the lymphatic circulation in the area, which assists with the removal of waste products. Clare Hargreaves-Norris Consider the precautions you
should take when performing a faradic facial treatment. Clare Hargreaves-Norris Precautions
Always perform skin sensitivity tests. Remember that not all muscles are of equal strength, you can not expect a smaller muscle group to be able to receive the same current intensity as a larger group of muscles. Always ensure that all intensity dials are at zero before applying. Test the machine on yourself prior to application. Only turn up the intensity during the surge period. Do not move the electrode when the current is surging. Do not over treat the muscles. Always check the condition of the wires and electrode pads before commencing. Ensure the electrode pads are moistened with sufficient saline solution, conductive product or water. Therapist must ensure that they have a clear view of the treatment.
Do not stimulate muscles that do not require strengthening, for example the corrugator muscle. Clare Hargreaves-Norris Muscle fatigue Muscle fatigue can be recognised as a muscle that fails to relax completely, causing the muscle to go into spasm, which generally results in some discomfort in the area.
This is due to over exercising the muscles using a EMS type unit. The blood flow is restricted to the muscle fibres as the blood can only flow through the capillaries when the muscle is relaxing. The causes of muscle fatigue are lack of oxygen and nutrients to the muscle and the accumulation of waste products, mainly lactic acid. If you continued to treat the client with a faradic unit it would cause severe muscle fatigue and the muscle may fail to work as it would become exhausted. It would also be very uncomfortable for the client. Stop treatment immediately and massage Clare theHargreaves-Norris muscle to
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