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Pulsetto Vagus Nerve Stimulator vs CareMax Tens Machine | Benefits, Side Effects, Price & Review

Pulsetto Vagus Nerve Stimulator vs CareMax Tens Machine | Benefits, Side Effects, Price & Review

Key Takeaways

  • Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) are both non-invasive methods to manage various conditions.
  • Pulsetto is a VNS device that targets stress and anxiety by stimulating the vagus nerve, while CareMax is a TENS machine primarily used for pain relief.
  • Both devices have unique features and benefits, but they cater to different health and wellness goals.
  • Understanding the side effects, cost, and user reviews is crucial before making a decision on which device to invest in.
  • When choosing between Pulsetto and CareMax, consider your specific health needs and consult with a healthcare professional.

Pulsetto vs CareMax Overview

When it comes to managing health and enhancing wellness, technology offers us some powerful tools. Two such innovations are the Pulsetto VNS device and the CareMax TENS machine. Both promise to improve quality of life, but they do so in very different ways. 

Defining VNS and TENS Technologies

VNS involves sending mild electrical impulses to the vagus nerve, which runs from the brain through the neck and into the abdomen. It is often used to manage conditions like depression, anxiety, and epilepsy. On the other hand, Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, or TENS, is a method that uses electrical currents to relieve pain by stimulating the nerves. It's commonly used for chronic pain, muscle soreness, and conditions such as arthritis.

The Pulsetto’s design allows it to target the neck region–the most optimal area for stimulating the vagus nerve. 

Initial Considerations for Potential Users

Before you decide to use a Pulsetto VNS device or a CareMax TENS machine, it's important to consider your specific needs. Are you looking to manage pain, or are you seeking relief from stress and anxiety

It’s also a good idea to consider your lifestyle. Do you need a device that's portable and discreet, or is your treatment going to be primarily at home? These are the kind of questions that will guide you to the right choice for your well-being.

Pulsetto vs. CareMax Comparison 

Let's put these two devices side by side to see how they stack up against each other. This comparison will give you a quick snapshot of their features and how they can serve your health needs.

Quick Reference: Feature-by-Feature

Understanding the key features of each device will help you make an informed decision. Here's a breakdown:


Pulsetto VNS Device

CareMax TENS Machine

Method of Stimulation

Patented vagus nerve stimulation technology

TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation)


- Personalized relaxation programs

- Compact, wearable design

- Smartphone app integration

- 2 channel output

- Customizable programs

- Adjustable intensity, pulse width, and rate


- Rapid stress/anxiety relief

- Improved sleep quality

- Enhanced focus and relaxation

- Pain relief for muscle and nerve pain

- Muscle recovery and strengthening

- Enhanced athletic performance


Starts at $269

Starts at $45

Battery Life

One week per charge

Five to eight hours per charge

Connecting Technology with Treatment Goals

Choosing the right device comes down to your treatment goals. If you're dealing with chronic pain, a CareMax TENS machine could be a great fit. But if you're looking to manage stress and anxiety, the Pulsetto VNS device might be the better choice. 

Differences between Pulsetto vs. CareMax

Understanding the differences between Pulsetto and CareMax is crucial for making an educated decision. It's not just about the conditions they treat, but also how they fit into your daily life.

Technology and Mode of Action

Our VNS, Pulsetto, operates by stimulating the vagus nerve, which can influence your mood and stress levels. This is because the vagus nerve plays a pivotal role in regulating the parasympathetic nervous system, which controls rest and digestion. Conversely, the CareMax TENS machine uses electrical stimulation to target nerves that transmit pain signals, thereby providing relief from discomfort.

User Experience and Comfort

When it comes to user experience, both these devices are designed to be user-friendly and easy to incorporate into your routine. Their non-invasive nature means you can use them without any major disruptions to your day.

Targeted Conditions and Indications for Use

Our device is primarily aimed at improving heart rate variability (HRV) and reducing symptoms of stress and anxiety. Meanwhile, CareMax, on the other hand, is tailored towards those who need pain management. It can be particularly useful for individuals dealing with conditions like arthritis, back pain, or sports injuries.

Pulsetto: Features, HRV Benefits, Side Effects, Price

Pulsetto Features

Pulsetto boasts a variety of features that cater to enhancing mental well-being. It's a sleek, portable device that you can use almost anywhere.

Pulsetto vagus nerve stimulation device

The Pulsetto device is worn around the neck, allowing for hands-free VNS. 

Design and Usability

We’ve designed Pulsetto to be compact and easy to use, with simple controls and an intuitive interface. Its discreet nature means you can use it while at work or relaxing at home without drawing attention.

Technical Specifications

Pulsetto uses a polyphasic rectangular waveform with a 4500 Hz pulse frequency, designed to effectively stimulate the vagus nerve. The pulses repeat in bursts at a 25 Hz rate, which is optimized for stress reduction.

Innovative Treatment Programs

We’ve designed several programs tailored to different needs, including stress reduction, sleep improvement, and pain management. Each program is crafted to maximize the therapeutic benefits of VNS.

Pulsetto HRV Benefits

One of the main benefits of our device is its impact on HRV–a measure of the variation in time between each heartbeat. A higher HRV is associated with a healthier autonomic nervous system and a greater ability to handle stress.

Improving Autonomic Function

By stimulating the vagus nerve, Pulsetto can help balance the autonomic nervous system, promoting relaxation and a sense of calm. This can be especially beneficial for those who experience high levels of stress or anxiety.

Pulsetto Side Effects

Pulsetto may have side effects for some users, but these are generally minimal. These can include mild discomfort at the site of stimulation or temporary changes in voice or breathing during use.

It's essential to follow the manufacturer's guidelines and consult with a healthcare professional before using the Pulsetto device, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are pregnant.

Pulsetto Price

The Pulsetto VNS device is priced at a premium, but right now, a promotion is bringing its price down to just $289 (from the regular price of $469). This deal also includes free gel and a free trial of the Pulsetto Premium app.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

When considering the cost, weigh the benefits of reduced stress and improved well-being against the price. For many, Pulsetto’s immediate positive impact on mental health and quality of life is well worth it.

Insurance Coverage and Affordability

VNS devices are typically covered by insurance, but coverage can vary widely based on several factors. It's worth checking with your provider to see if it's covered under your plan. Additionally, financing options may be available to make the device more affordable.

CareMax: Features, HRV Benefits, Side Effects, Price

CareMax Features

The CareMax TENS machine is known for its versatility in treating various types of pain. It comes with multiple settings that can be adjusted to cater to individual pain thresholds and preferences.

The interface of the Caremax 2.0 Classic TENS & EMS & Massage 3 In 1 Combo Machine.

Operational Versatility

CareMax offers a range of programs and intensities, making it suitable for different pain management needs. Whether you're dealing with acute or chronic pain, there's likely a setting that can help alleviate discomfort.

Physical Attributes and Wearability

CareMax machines are typically designed for ease of use and can often be worn discreetly under clothing, allowing for pain management on the go.

Battery Life and Maintenance

Most CareMax models come with rechargeable batteries and are designed for low maintenance, ensuring that you can use the device for extended periods without frequent charging or upkeep.

CareMax Benefits

Using a CareMax TENS machine can offer several benefits, particularly for pain management and recovery. Here's how it can help:

Enhancing Pain Management

TENS therapy is effective in reducing pain from various sources, including post-operative pain, arthritis, and muscle strains. It works by disrupting the pain signal pathway to the brain, providing relief.

Role in Rehabilitation and Recovery

Besides pain relief, CareMax can play a role in rehabilitation by improving circulation and promoting muscle relaxation, which can aid in the recovery process.

CareMax Side Effects

While TENS therapy is generally safe, there are potential side effects to be aware of, such as skin irritation from the electrode pads or discomfort if the intensity is set too high.

To minimize risks, always start with the lowest intensity setting and gradually increase it to a comfortable level. Ensure that the pads are properly placed and that you're using a device from a reputable brand.

CareMax Price

CareMax TENS machines are generally more affordable than VNS devices, making them accessible to a wider range of users. The Caremax 2.0 Classic TENS & EMS & Massage 3 In 1 Combo Machine, for instance, is retailing for only $45 (regularly priced at $99).

Hidden Costs and Warranty Options

Before purchasing a TENS machine, consider any additional costs such as replacement pads or batteries. Also, check the warranty options to ensure you're covered in case of device malfunction.

More than a TENS machine, the CareMax 2.0 can also be used for electronic muscle stimulation and massage.

Customer Reviews and Testimony

Customer reviews and testimonies offer insights into how the Pulsetto VNS device and CareMax TENS machine perform in everyday scenarios.

Pulsetto Review

Users of the Pulsetto device often share their experiences with how it has impacted their stress levels and overall sense of well-being. Many report feeling a significant reduction in anxiety and an improvement in sleep quality.

I had my cortisol levels tested by a professional institute and discovered they were alarmingly high, indicating chronic stress. To tackle this, I began using this device, in addition to taking supplements like St. John's wort, valerian root, and Rhodiola, and engaging in regular exercise.

The results are quite telling. I've attached results showing my stress levels in September (red), before using the device, and in December (green), post-usage. While I can't definitively attribute the improvement solely to this device, there's a noticeable reduction in my stress levels.

–Review by "Bulleta" for Amazon 

CareMax Review

CareMax TENS machine users often focus on the pain relief aspect of their reviews. Many have remarked on the device's effectiveness in managing chronic pain conditions without the need for medication.

I tore my rotator cuff and was in acute pain for about 5 weeks. I then purchased the Caremax 2.0 Pro TENS machine and within 2 weeks of use my rotator cuff was completely healed. After the first use on the Tens setting the pain was markedly reduced and the EMS setting did all the healing. It comes with 4 pads which after 2 weeks of daily use, I'm still using. I bought my partner one as he often has leg pains and already he is feeling the benefits. I thoroughly recommend this product.

–Review by unnamed customer for Amazon

Investing in Your Health with Pulsetto VNS

Investing in a Pulsetto VNS device is a commitment to improving your mental health and resilience to stress. It represents a proactive approach to wellness, where technology meets the human need for balance and peace of mind.

By using Pulsetto, you're taking a step towards a healthier autonomic nervous system and a more harmonious life. The benefits of increased HRV and reduced stress can extend to all areas of your life, from work to personal relationships.

Wellness Goals and Interactive Health Technology

Setting wellness goals is a personal journey, and interactive health technology like Pulsetto can be a powerful ally. By providing tangible feedback on your HRV and stress levels, Pulsetto helps you track your progress towards these goals.

Whether your aim is to improve sleep, reduce anxiety, or simply feel more balanced, Pulsetto's technology can support you every step of the way.

Maximizing the ROI of Health Devices

The ROI of health devices like Pulsetto is measured not just in monetary terms but in the improvement of your quality of life. Consistent use, combined with a healthy lifestyle, can lead to long-lasting benefits.

Remember, investing in your health is one of the most important decisions you can make, and tools like Pulsetto can be part of a comprehensive strategy to achieve your wellness objectives.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the primary difference between VNS and TENS?

The primary difference lies in their applications: VNS is used for managing stress and improving heart rate variability, while TENS is focused on pain relief.

Can I use Pulsetto or CareMax while taking other medications?

Generally, yes, but you should always consult with your healthcare provider before combining treatments to ensure there are no contraindications.

How do I know if Pulsetto or CareMax is right for my health condition?

Discuss your health condition with a professional who can advise on the best course of treatment and whether these devices are suitable for you.

Are Pulsetto and CareMax devices covered by health insurance plans?

Coverage varies, so check with your insurance provider. Some plans may cover these devices, especially if they are prescribed by a doctor.

What should I do if I experience side effects using either device?

If you experience side effects, stop using the device and consult with your healthcare provider.

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Pulsetto does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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