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Easing Aches and Pains
Over the years, the one area of my body that has caused me the most problems and discomfort has been my legs and feet. It all started with a case of crossed toes which needed to be broken and then straightened. Later an in-growing toe nail, which needed to be removed five times including the trimming of the fleshy part of my toe on the last occasion, caused me problems. Several years later a varicose vein needed to be removed from my left leg. I then had to wear inserts in my shoes to reduce a problem with pain when I walk. Currently I am due to have a scan to discover what is causing my left foot and ankle to swell on a daily basis. All in all this is certainly a foot-fest of ailments.
The reason for my recounting these various medical issues is the arrival of the Circulation Pro product from HoMedics. This produce comes with the promise to soothe tired feet and legs, alleviate aches and pains plus ease tiredness using scientifically proven Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) technology. HoMedics feels this product should be beneficial to those who suffer from diabetes, neuropathy and oedema with symptoms that include pains, aches, swellings and leg cramp. While tending to concentrate on the feet and legs, Circulation Pro can also work on other parts of the body through the use of Gel pads.
Along with the cream coloured central foot rest component, this kit includes a small remote control unit powered by a couple of AAA batteries and a mains power lead. There is an option for battery power (four AA batteries) to power the Circulation Pro unit but these are not included in the box. You also get four electrode Gel pads with plastic protectors and leads for linking to the central unit when acting as a TENS unit on the body.
With dimensions of 338 x 324 x 48mm (L x W x H), the Circulation Pro device can be laid flat on the floor or raised at an angle by two foldaway feet at the front of the unit if that suits better. The Circulation Pro features a centrally positioned control panel. Arranged around the power on/off button are options to increase / decrease the output intensity for the sole of the foot and body plus adjusting the duration of the treatment that can be between 1 and 60 minutes. There is also an Auto/Mode option with a setting of 14 for feet and 10 for the body.
A 10 x 3cm LCD is mounted above the control panel. This screen provides feedback regarding settings and status. Slightly raised and dimpled foot pads sit on either side of the unit for placing your feet during treatment. Connection sockets are provides for mains power and linking the electrode Gel pads.
When using this device in its main mode for reducing poor circulation problems affecting legs, you need to place your bare feet on the appropriate foot pad. Using the control panel or the remote control unit, which has a range of around 65cm and duplicates, both in appearance and features, the functionality of the main panel, you can adjust the time period and the intensity of the tiny electrical impulses that are directed through the soles of your feet. This not unpleasant tingling sensation is designed to cause your calf muscles to contract and release thus forcing the blood back up through the veins in your legs. Both feet need to be in contact with the foot pads for the device to work. A favourite group of massage settings can be saved for future use.
While I was generally satisfied with the ease of use and performance of this device, there were a couple of features that I would like to be considered for a future version of the product. Possibly due to the swelling problem I have with my left foot that I mentioned earlier, my right foot is more sensitive to outside influences such as the tingling effect produced by this device. I could clearly feel the effect in my right foot but nothing with my left foot. As a result I would like to have the ability to set different levels of intensity for each foot. The second item on my wish list would be for an audible warning to advise when the current treatment had ended.
The supplied electrode Gel pads can be attached to parts of the body, such as a shoulder or hips that might be painful, and linked to the Circulation Pro for a focused TENS pain relief session. As with the foot element, you can set the duration and intensity of the electrical impulses.
HoMedics has priced the Circulation Pro at £249.99. The product is currently available from Boots.com and Amazon.co.uk.
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