Fun With Tens Machines

 Stampede is here and everyone is distracted. 

Even those of us that don't go wind up taking it easy, or slacking if we can.

Unless you're driving. Then it's as though we are all trying to recreate every racing movie you've ever seen. Speed, diving into other lanes, disregard for all laws, and safe following distance. And indicating? Never heard of it. 

Some of you may be wondering how that is different from most days on the Deerfoot. It just is. It isn't just the BMWs that ignore the little stick on the steering column. It doesn't help that we are having a full moon this week and that it is stupid hot. We haven't even had any of the good stampede afternoon thunderstorms to cool everyone down. It's a risky combination. 

But here comes the upswing.

There is something new at the stampede. I am not talking about the Kraft dinner soft serve or the fried chicken in pop rocks. 

There is a new booth in the marketplace. 

This one isn't selling knives or some MLM product. It isn't selling spices or a magic mop. Instead, it is shedding light on something that isn't addressed openly. The company is called Some Days and through a brilliant campaign, they are not only making themselves go viral. They are shining a light on period pain.

Their premise is quite simple. They take a young man and hook them up to a tens machine (a machine that sends jolts of electricity into your muscles usually used in physical therapy) and then increase the voltage. They capture the reactions on camera and post them to their social media feeds. While on the surface it can be seen just as something simple and funny. But looking deeper, it is starting a conversation. 

People with painful periods suffer. Not just from what you're thinking. Most of us have been trained to not acknowledge the pain we suffer. We are told that our pain probably isn't as bad as we are making it and that we need to suck it up and move on. 

Instead, this company is highlighting the pain and the fact that those with this pain just keep going. As the intensity heightens, the person controlling the device reminds the person wearing it that there are still groceries to pick up, a job to go to, and an exam to take. Acknowledging it takes it out of the darkness and less secretive. Almost half of the population gets periods. And until recently seeing a commercial for a period product still meant that they used the blue liquid to show absorbency. And the people using the product in the commercial wore flowing white outfits and twirled in fields. 

Even those commercials were something of a scandal when they first came out. When my mom was young, they didn't talk about it more than the basics. In fact, my mom when she got her first period thought she was dying, as did many other young people of that time.

A tens machine and some laughs aren't going to make the pains go away, but at least now people are seeing that they aren't something to be ashamed of, and maybe also showing people that if you are really suffering, it's ok to ask for help.


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