Mighty Mouse, Indeed.

Many thanks to Rob Cherry for sending me this gem:

The USB Electrical Muscle Stimulation Mouse

While I somehow feel that this device will be used more for its shock-delivering effects (read: accessory to online porn surfing), I feel inclined to comment on its applicability as a muscle-builder.

Ahem.

Simply put, it has none. In fact, one could arguably say, it has no applicability as a muscle stimulator of any significance. Based off of the TENS electrical stimulation units used in physical therapy, this gadget (and others like it) are marketed as a way to cause intense muscular contraction without volitional work being done – in essence, having a machine “work you out.” The shocks these machines deliver fall far short of the zapping capabilities of a TENS unit, and unlike the TENS, result in muscular contractions that can be called nothing more than mere twitches.

Last I checked, it requires a slightly more powerful stimulus than induced twitching to cause positive adaptation in muscle tissue, although it has been awhile since I was last in a physiology class.

A machine that could deliver the shock required to induce a muscular contraction intense and prolonged enough to cause a positive adaptation would be a retail disaster. Either no one would buy it because it was too painful to use, or the manufacturer would go bankrupt fending off lawsuits from people with ruptured muscles from turning the machine up too high too soon.

But, then again, things like this are why I love Japan.

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