In-Depth Review Of The TEC.BEAN Tens Unit

The TEC.BEAN Tens Unit FDA Cleared Rechargeable Mini Massager with 16 Modes and 8 Pads Muscle Stimulator for Pain Relief and Management is a TENS unit par excellence.

Thanks to the unit’s friendly interface and oddly shaped electrodes, you should be able to get your TENS stimulation started quickly and easily.

In this article, we’ll do a breakdown of the TEC.BEAN so that you will know everything there is to know about its features, its strengths, and its weaknesses. We’ll go over the most common user comments about the TEC.BEAN and judge their merit.

At the end, we’ll give you a verdict regarding whether the unit is a worthwhile addition to your home therapy suite or not. You’ll be a more informed consumer as a result.

Features

The TEC.BEAN is an excellent TENS unit because it is made with the user in mind. No matter what kind of pain you have, you will benefit from the following features:

  • Four electrodes
  • Unique electrode pad shapes
  • Backlit user interface
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    Strength meter
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    Timer
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    Step-by-step visual instruction guide on the machine itself
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    Audio cues
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    16 different pain reduction modes
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    Several built-in timer protocols
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    Automatic shutoff

The TEC.BEAN is one of the easiest TENS units to use. The user interface is broken down into six panels and three indicator bars.

The first panel is a protocol picker which visually indicates the kind of pain that the protocol is intended for. The visual indicators also represent any assistive technology like acupuncture that can be used with the protocol.

The six basic panels are TENS protocols for use with massage, TENS protocols for use with acupuncture, TENS protocols for the gastrointestinal system, TENS protocols for the central nervous system, TENS protocols for the joints and bones, and TENS protocols the ears.

These protocols are not uniformly validated by FDA approval or scientific investigation, which might be a plus depending on what you want to do with your TENS unit. Unlike other TENS units, the TEC.BEAN is not locked down into musculoskeletal stimulation only.

For these other TENS units, you couldn’t do anything like central nervous system stimulation or certain organ stimulations. You would need to invent your protocol, which might be more dangerous.

With the TEC.BEAN, you will get assistance in all of these protocols so that you will not need to risk your health by inventing a new protocol. The efficacy of these protocols is not guaranteed, but you may find that they help your pain regardless.

The other panels on the TEC.BEAN interface are the strength meter and the timer/battery meter. You should be recharging the battery on the TEC.BEAN after every use, but technically it can perform multiple 10 or 20-minute sessions on one charge.

The TEC.BEAN can probably only run one 60-minute session per battery charge. You may want to avoid the 60-minute settings because they are more than twice as long as most TENS protocols suggest. There is a chance that the longer durations provided by this unit will be the difference between suffering and pain relief, however.

What Others Say

Users have a lot of praise for the TEC.BEAN. They specify that it is helpful for dealing with issues that are not traditionally considered to be the realm of TENS units like menstrual pain, which goes hand-in-hand with the unit’s ability to stimulate non-musculoskeletal areas.

A small minority of users have claimed that the unit suffers from spontaneous failures due to defective batteries. While the build quality of the unit is largely praised, you may need to take advantage of the unit’s warranty if you find that it is suddenly turning off despite claiming to have a full battery meter.

Finally, users are saying that the TEC.BEAN is effective for their chronic lower back pain. This is important because it means the TEC.BEAN is effective at things which are typical for TENS units to address as well as those which are more uncommon.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Great for non-musculoskeletal pain
  • Good for chronic lower back pain
  • Simple electrode placement
  • Unique electrode shape
  • Easy to use graphical interface

Cons

  • May suffer from battery quality issues
  • May not be ideal for complex musculoskeletal pain
  • Not as many intensity options as other units
  • Fewer safety features than other units

The Verdict

In our view, the TEC.BEAN deserves a rating of 4.5 / 5 stars. The unit is great because of how effective it is at addressing issues that most other TENS units do not approach.

We deducted half a star because of a few reports of build quality issues and also because it only has four electrodes. The fewer electrodes is not a huge problem because it makes the unit easier to use, but it does preclude the use of the TEC.BEAN on complex muscle and nerve injuries.

These injuries may have multiple loci of pain, which require multiple electrodes or multiple sessions to address.

Aside from these minor issues, the TEC.BEAN is powerful and effective. It gives the patient the ability to use their machine for the purpose that they want to use it for rather than having them be restricted by the machine or by regulatory guidelines.

Nearly all users will find the TEC.BEAN to be among the easiest TENS units they have ever picked. They will also find that the freedom it affords can be abused. So, if this is your first TENS unit, you should remember to stick to the established protocols before you get a feeling for the unit.

Moving beyond the established protocols will probably not be necessary for most users. For those that really want to tweak the settings and get to the ideal level of pain reduction, however, the unit is a wonderful tool that will work with you instead of against you like some other units might.

Our Rating

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