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Achieving physical rehabilitation, weight loss with electro muscular stimulation

By Chukwuma Muanya
28 October 2021   |   4:00 am
ASspart of efforts to encourage physical rehabilitation of stroke patients, induce weight loss and encourage physical fitness, Euracare Wellness Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, has introduced Electro Muscular Stimulation (EMS).

Prof. Akin Abayomi

•Euracare introduces EMS, says centre for those who don’t visit gym regularly, new way to achieve fitness goals for less time

ASspart of efforts to encourage physical rehabilitation of stroke patients, induce weight loss and encourage physical fitness, Euracare Wellness Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, has introduced Electro Muscular Stimulation (EMS).

EMS, also known as neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) or electro-myostimulation, is the elicitation of muscle contraction using electric impulses.

Commissioner of Health in Lagos State, Prof. Akin Abayomi, while going through the EMS studio, at the opening of the wellness centre, was amazed at the magnitude of what can be done with technology in fitness. Abayomi, who is also a public health physician said: “Can we say that the busy executives now have an alternative for going to the gym daily? The healthcare industry in Nigeria is definitely growing as major players are stepping up their investments to match the world in healthcare.”

On why the centre introduced EMS, Manager, Euracare, Dr. Busola Ayelowo, told journalists: “In Nigeria today most especially in Lagos everyone is busy. People are going about their days with busy schedules and getting stressed out from having meals at awkward times to facing incessant traffic. All these affect the body system and this is why living a healthy lifestyle is key. To maintain a healthy lifestyle, staying fit is very important.”

Ayelowo said fitness has become an integral part of people’s lives and to keep fit, people have different goals from weight loss, toning of the arms to being more active. The fitness expert said people are trying to live a healthy lifestyle because everyone understands now that maintaining a good level of physical fitness is important. Ayelowo said to achieve their fitness goals, a lot of people go to the gym to workout. The physician said over the last few years, lots of gyms have opened all over the country which is perfect for those who have time to go daily but how many people can actually keep up the routine? The fitness expert, however, said going to the gym is time consuming and the time invested on it can be used to achieve other thing. That is why for those who don’t have the opportunity to visit the gym on a regular basis there is a new way to achieve body goals for less time.

Ayelowo added: “In everyday life our central nervous system constantly sends electrical impulses to control our muscles and EMS uses this natural principle to reach deeper muscle layers which are hard to activate through conventional training. In summary what you do for up to six hours in a conventional gym can be achieved in 20 minutes.”

The physician said this is a big relieve for Nigerians especially those who have not been able to achieve their fitness goals because of lack of time. “The health care industry in Nigeria is fast becoming as technologically advanced as in developed countries. Euracare is partnering with Pulse in South Africa to bring this fitness innovative technology to Nigerians. Euracare, which also owns a multi-specialist hospital in Nigeria and Ghana is owned by Eurapharma which is a subsidiary of CFAO,” Ayelowo said.

In medicine, EMS is used for rehabilitation purposes, for instance in physical therapy in the prevention muscle atrophy due to inactivity or neuromuscular imbalance, which can occur for example after musculoskeletal injuries (damage to bones, joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons). This is distinct from transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), in which an electric current is used for pain therapy. In the case of TENS, the current is usually sub-threshold, meaning that a muscle contraction is not observed.

For people who have progressive diseases such as cancer or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, EMS is used to improve muscle weakness for those unable or unwilling to undertake whole-body exercise. EMS may lead to statistically significant improvement in quadriceps muscle strength; however, further research is needed as this evidence is graded as low certainty. The same study also indicates that EMS may lead to increased muscle mass. Low certainty evidence indicates that adding EMS to an existing exercise programme may help people who are unwell spend fewer days confined to their beds.

During EMS training, a set of complementary muscle groups (example, biceps and triceps) are often targeted in alternating fashion, for specific training goals, such as improving the ability to reach for an item.

EMS devices cause a calorie burning that is marginal at best: calories are burnt in significant amount only when most of the body is involved in physical exercise: several muscles, the heart and the respiratory system are all engaged at once. However, some authors imply that EMS can lead to exercise, since people toning their muscles with electrical stimulation are more likely afterwards to participate in sporting activities as the body becomes ready, fit, willing and able to take on physical activity.