Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) using TENS Ear Clips.

Updated: Oct 22, 2021

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 VNS 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. Without going into too much detail, we have highlighted the main points of interest from VNS.

  • 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.

How to use a TENS Machine for VNS?

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 VNS 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:

An adjustable Combo TENS Machine that suits your budget

2x Ear Lobe/Nipple Clip Electrode For All TENS Machines

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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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