How it works:
It works by sending electrical impulses through the skin to nerves in tissue to elicit muscle contractions and sensory impulses(1,2). These impulses mimic action potentials from both the peripheral and central nervous systems, which is how they communicate with other parts of the body(3). The impulses then communicate with sensory and motor neurons to activate contractile and sensory muscle fibers, resulting in the stimulation of muscle, tissue, and nerve activation, and increasing blood flow(2-7).
Incorporating NMES into training and therapeutic rehabilitation programs can enhance long-term outcomes by supporting the adaptation of cells in muscles, blood vessels, and nerves(8). NMES has been used clinically for a variety of conditions, including orthopedic issues(1,9-17) neurological conditions like stroke and spinal cord injury(18-23), and in training, regimens to improve overall fitness and health at any age(24-30).
The NEUBIE is a unique NMES device for several reasons. It uses pulsed direct current (DC) as opposed to alternating current (AC); it has unique effects on the body’s tissues to promote healing; and it has unique effects on the nervous system that, when combined with the NeuFit System, allows practitioners to provide a meaningful dose of neuromuscular re-education.
Using DC is important because it has numerous, positive biological effects. DC fields have been shown to accelerate the body’s own physiological processes of healing, repair, and regeneration,(31-36) and to have unique effects on the nervous/neuromuscular system.(36-39) Although this has been known for a long time, most devices out there are alternating current (AC). These devices are cheaper and easier to engineer, and most people don’t know the difference. Unfortunately, they won’t have anywhere near the same effect at the cellular level.
The Neubie’s DC technology enables practitioners to use an “input-based” approach to rehab and training: sending inputs into tissue that can influence the body’s outputs and responses to stimuli. The unidirectional flow of DC fields is able to achieve more input stimulation to sensory afferent signaling compared to the bidirectional flow of AC, which can cause a co-contraction that suggests both input and output stimulation to the nervous system. Further, DC allows for more specific contractile movement at higher amplitudes, making it more useful and efficient for training and rehabilitation. DC has a longer phase duration than AC, requiring less intensity (amplitude) to evoke an action potential. Additionally, activation of denervated muscles requires a longer pulse length, achievable with DC(40) but not with AC. In the past, the power of DC devices has been limited, as DC fields can cause charge build up that leads to skin irritation. But the Neubie beats the build up by including an additional waveform that dissipates heat and charge buildup, allowing for higher intensity stimulation without irritation!
In addition to having positive effects on tissues, the Neubie is used along with the NeuFit System for neuromuscular re-education. The NeuFit system is based on new research showing that electrical stimulation can affect reflex patterns,(40-43) brain activity,(44-47) muscle output,(48-49) and pain(59-52).
Treatments with the Neubie and NeuFit System are active rather than passive. Traditional e-stim treatments have patients lying down, passively accepting the current and not moving. In contrast, the DC signal of the Neubie actually permits movement, even at therapeutic levels of stimulation. This allows for optimal, eccentric contractions, which research is proving to be a major factor in effective rehabilitation(53-55). The combo works so well because it generates neuromuscular adaptations while allowing adjustment of motor control in voluntary movement, which is more effective and efficient than either alone; The combo results in greater induction of muscular adaptations, improved performance of complex dynamic movements, and accelerated recovery of muscle contractility and functional abilities(56).
1. Longoria, Kevin, Martin, Kerry, Gielen, Willem, & Von Leden, Ramona. (2021). Investigating the therapeutic effects of Neubie Direct Current Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation treatment on pain, range of motion, and biometrics measured by the Biostrap wrist-worn photoplethysmography (PPG) device. [View Study
2. E. Vasenina, R. Kataoka, W.B. Hammert, A.H. Ibrahim, S.L. Buckner (2022) The acute muscular response following a novel form of pulsed direct current stimulation (Neubie) or traditional resistance exercise.
*** Information from https://neu.fit/providers/research/