I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with canucksgirl; the wrong voltage/amperage combo in the wrong place could to a lot of damage, even stop your heart if it was placed so that power went from machine to ground across your heart. A homemade TENS unit would be fraught with a lack of methods to insure safety
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The one used at NOVACARE is a rechargeable one but it still deliver a powerful charge.
The one I have uses 2 AAA batteries, but like Goodhart mentioned, (even a battery TENS unit) can stop your heart (that's also why people with pace-makers etc cannot use them).
Thank you for your help. I always thought that you had to be in the therapy business to be able to get one of these.
That's what I thought too. I can't speak for other models, but this one is totally worth the money and has enough settings to deal with all your woes (comes with a DVD and information booklet as well as additional gel pads). My parents have had theirs for about 4 years and no problems as of yet. :-)
I have a cheaper brand one at home I haven't used for a long while, and it warns about the same "not across the heart / don't ground yourself" problems. It runs on a few AA batteries also.
I wouldn't recommend a DIY build.... There are just too many things that could go wrong (IMO) and your not going to get the same features. I have a similar unit. I use it all the time for my back and they cost less than $200 (I got mine recently for $80). As a matter of fact, everyone in my extended family has one of these and they get used regularly (that's how I heard about it). Here's the company's website (if you're interested), but you can buy elsewhere (online and in stores).