I decided to revisit electrotherapy. We’ll start with a condensed reprint of several posts, mainly from 2012 and 2013.
Shepardson in 1901 described how plants can be nourished by electrostatic fields. Charge was used as a replacement for light, both in nature and by human experimenters.
In my reading of 1901-era technology, I’d noticed considerable action in the area of ‘electrotherapy’, using small currents to help or cure various medical and mental conditions. Wasn’t paying much attention to this; had always heard that it was quackery.
A recent bit of science news described a similar use of small currents across the head (now called TCDS), with seeming benefit in mood and memory performance.
Decided to look closely, and found that electrotherapy was emphatically NOT quackery, though some practitioners overstated its benefits. Early big-name neurologists like Erb and Duchenne were experimenting with electricity, and they had a precise understanding of how it worked. They knew which locations, which polarities, which current strengths to use for various conditions, how to stir up an inhibitory or excitatory response, how to dilate or constrict blood vessels.
They were able to document positive results in many areas, including improved mood, sleep, and memory; helping broken bones mend; and clearing cataracts.
Most impressively, they had a solid understanding of emotional conditions, and a properly humble view of their ability to fix or repair them. When electricity helped, they used it. When it didn’t, they abandoned it.
All of this was firmly established several decades before Freud came along.
Well, what did Freud do? He replaced their direct and careful experimental results with a pile of non-observable and wildly complicated fantasies and epicycles. He replaced the long-standing (and probably innate) ‘healer’ model with a sequence of non-observable interactions THAT NEVER WORKED. Freud’s system failed from the start. It’s been exposed as a failure over and over, from within the psychiatric profession. But the Freudians are in charge, so any attempt to reassert facts is ruthlessly smashed.
Modernists always commit the same crime when they infest any field of human endeavor. They toss out centuries of facts and experiments and functional theories; replace the facts with instantly disprovable theories, lies, abstractions and epicycles THAT DON’T WORK; then ferociously obliterate anyone who tries to restore the facts. You can see it in climate “science” with Michael Mann, John Holdren, Lord Stern; in politics with Marx, Betty Fried[m]an, Irving Kristol; in economics with Marx, Milton Friedman, and Paul Krugman; in jurisprudence with Louis Brandeis and Stephen Reinhardt; in physics with Einstein.
2021 addendum: Now you can see it in the field formerly known as “medicine”, which has been satanically transformed into HOLOCAUST AND TORTURE.
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Polistra and Happystar will demonstrate one particular use of electrotherapy, described in this book on p.38. Caught my attention because it’s a wonderful gadget with a wonderful name, because it supposedly cured tinnitus, and because it sort of resembles a modern impedance audiometer.
The inventor, Dr Henry Houghton, was attempting to provide simultaneous physical and electrical manipulation to the auditory system. He added electrodes to a stethoscope, pushing electrons into the ears in pulses. The circuit is closed by an anode on the back of the head. Simultaneously, pulses of air are pumped into the stethoscope itself.
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Well, let’s try it. Happystar is feeling low, oppressed by tinnitus and anxiety.
Polistra decides to try Houghton’s Phono-Faradic** device. At lower left is the air diaphragm; in the middle is a magnetically-pulled pendulum or metronome that turns the current and the diaphragm solenoid on and off.
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**Footnote: Phono refers to sound, of course. The electrotherapists used faradic for treatments where a pulsed current flow was the important variable, and galvanic for treatments where a steady voltage gradient was the important variable.
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Along with Faradic therapy (point-to-point current) the electrotherapists also used Galvanic or Franklinic methods, with high-voltage electrostatic fields.
Polistra is suffering from vapors and miasmas, and she happens to find an Electrotherapy clinic…….
Mr Star describes the difference between the Faradic and Franklinic machines.
He recommends the Franklinic, and Polistra gets hooked up. The high-voltage field is applied without direct contact, between the ‘crown’ headpiece and the ground platform:
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Artistic note for Poser types: I’ve released these machines on ShareCG.