Yes, I have a couple of these. No, I'm not a therapist, and no, I don't pretend to treat anybody with them.
But, I love these things for what they do.
They are muscle stimulation units in the most basic sense. They have the ability to help in recovery. But, they can also help us gain more strength and power if used properly.
Quick refresher on how muscles work:
When we want to use a muscle, the brain sends a signal to the nerve commanded to innervate that muscle. The nerve sends a signal to the muscle to do its job. That's a simplistic way of looking at it, but it's accurate.
The problem, though lies in what muscles the brain knows to use. Over time, be it from ignorance of use or from injury or plain laziness, we begin improper movements. We use muscles that we're not supposed to use. We begin compensating. We get to a point where the brain uses a minimal amount of muscle to do a movement.
In other words, if picking up something minimally required use of 25% of the muscle, then the brain would, over time, use 25%. Yet, the more efficient way to pick it up is to use 75% of the muscle. But the brain has used that 25% for so long now, it doesn't know that other 50% is there.
I use the Compex like this: Hook up an athlete and coach the athlete through proper movements while the Compex is stimulating - not 25% of the muscle - but 100% of the muscle. The Compex does this because it bypasses the brain. It tells the nerve to use all of the muscle, not just the minimal amount needed.
By doing this, picking up that something becomes more efficient, easier.
I continue to go over the proper movement patterns with the athlete for length of time needed. Then upon taking off the Compex and instructing the athlete to repeat the movement, we've "tricked" the brain because it is now "woke" to using all of the muscle.
Have done this with great success in strength, power and speed modalities.