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Vagus Nerve Stimulation (tVNS) using TENS Machine Ear Clips.

Updated: Feb 7

If your here, you’ve probably heard of VNS using a TENS Machine before. Lets take a look at the basics and what it can do for you. Its a pretty big deal.

What is the Vagus Nerve?

The Vagus Nerve, starts in the brain and runs down the trunk of the body, with branches supplying the major organs. It plays a big role in the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and HPA axis. It interacts closely with the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) and helps to regulate the heart, lungs, digestive system and more. It's a bi-directional nerve, meaning it both sends signals from the brain to the organs and the organs send messages back to the brain.

What does tVNS using a TENS Machine do?

Using a TENS Machine to stimulate the Vagus Nerve via the outer ear has many documented and well researched benefits. We have highlighted the main points of interest from tVNS.

  • Boosts "rest and digest" parasympathetic activity and reduces "fight or flight" sympathetic activity in adults.

  • Quality of life, mood and sleep changes may be improved with transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation administered for 15 minutes every day for two weeks.

  • Improvements in depression, anger, tension, confusion and low energy.

  • Conditions like leaky gut, gut dysbiosis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, heart disease Alzheimer’s disease and chronic fatigue syndrome are associated low activity of the vagus nerve.

  • Vagus nerve stimulation helps prevent and lessen the recovery time from seizures by sending, mild eletrical pulses to the brain via the vagus nerve.

Studies have shown that transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (tVNS) using a TENS machine can have therapeutic results that are comparable to those of vagus nerve stimulation, its invasive equivalent (VNS).

The auricular branch of the vagus nerve (ABVN) and the cervical branch of the vagus nerve in the neck are the most frequently targeted areas of the vagus nerve using the non-invasive technique known as transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (tVNS). The ABVN can be targeted with TENS ear clips using a suitable TENS Machine.

Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation (tVNS) using a TENS machine with ear clips is a non-invasive technique that aims to modulate the activity of the vagus nerve. tVNS involves delivering electrical impulses to the vagus nerve through electrodes placed on the skin, particularly on the ear where branches of the vagus nerve are accessible.

  1. Mechanism of Action: tVNS works by delivering electrical stimulation to the vagus nerve, influencing its communication with the brain and various organs. By modulating vagal activity, tVNS can potentially regulate autonomic functions, mood, and overall well-being.

  2. Benefits: tVNS has been studied for its potential therapeutic benefits in various medical conditions, including epilepsy, depression, anxiety, and chronic pain. It may help reduce seizure frequency, alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety, and manage chronic pain conditions.

  3. Epilepsy: tVNS has been approved as a treatment for epilepsy in some regions. By modulating the activity of the vagus nerve, tVNS can help reduce the occurrence and severity of seizures in individuals who are not responsive to medication.

  4. Depression and Anxiety: Research suggests that tVNS may have antidepressant and anxiolytic effects. By influencing vagal tone and neurotransmitter activity, tVNS can potentially improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

  5. Chronic Pain: tVNS may also be effective in managing chronic pain conditions, such as migraines, fibromyalgia, and neuropathic pain. It works by modulating pain signals transmitted by the nervous system, providing relief from persistent pain.

  6. Safety and Considerations: While tVNS using a TENS machine with ear clips is generally considered safe, it's important to use the device according to manufacturer instructions and under the guidance of a healthcare professional. Some potential side effects may include skin irritation, dizziness, or discomfort during stimulation.

  7. Research and Future Directions: Ongoing research continues to explore the potential applications of tVNS in various medical conditions. As our understanding of the vagus nerve and its role in health and disease advances, there may be new opportunities for utilizing tVNS as a therapeutic intervention.

tVNS for Common Health Conditions:

Read full article here:

How to use a TENS Machine for tVNS?

Targeting the Vagus nerve can be accomplished by stimulating the anterior wall of the outer ear canal, landmarked notably by the tragus (A1), or cymba conchae (A2). Sham stimulation is administered to the earlobe (S).

Simply connect our TENS Ear Clips specially designed for tVNS to a TENS Machine that supports custom parameters and follow the settings below.


  • Pulse width: 200 milliseconds

  • Mode: Normal mode

  • Pulse frequency: 30 Hz.

  • Intensity: to your comfortable tolerance

  • Duration 15-20 minutes every day for 2 weeks

What you’ll need:


Beatrice Bretherton, Lucy Atkinson, Aaron Murray, Jennifer Clancy, Susan Deuchars, Jim Deuchars. “Effects of Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Individuals Aged 55 Years or Above: Potential Benefits of Daily Stimulation.” Aging (First published: July 30, 2019) DOI: 10.18632/aging.102074

Susan A. Deuchars, Varinder K. Lall, Jennifer Clancy, Mohd Mahadi, Aaron Murray, Lucy Peers, Jim Deuchars. "Mechanisms Underpinning Sympathetic Nervous Activity and Its Modulation Using Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation." Experimental Physiology (First published: November 11, 2017) DOI: 10.1113/EP086433

Meghan E. Addorisio, Gavin H. Imperato, Alex F. de Vos, Steve Fort, Richard S. Goldstein, Valentin A. Pavlov, Tom van der Poll, Huan Yang, Betty Diamond, Kevin J. Tracey, and Sangeeta S. Chavan. "Investigational Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis with a Vibrotactile Device Applied to the External Ear." Bioelectronic Medicine (First published: April 17, 2019) DOI: 10.1186/s42234-019-0020-4

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