Faradic Currents - How To Apply Them
Sequel to "Building a Medical Coil Set"
An extensive article accompanied by
working drawings and photographs
appeared in the June issue of this
journal, covering the construction
of a high grade electro-medical or
faradic coil. Methods were there explained
for testing out the polarity of the coil, and
thus it becomes easy for even the novice to
properly apply the positive and negative
electrodes as required in the following
directions for the treatment of various
ordinary ills, such as, headache, nervousness,
The accompanying illustrations show how
several people may join hands so as to
form a series connection to the medical or
shocking coil, and as many as eight or ten
people—or more, may thus join hands in a
circle, evolving a great deal of amusement
at parties and social gatherings. One of
the illustrations shows how a second person
may apply the faradic current for facial or
other massage with the hand. There are
two ways of giving this massage, and one
of the accompanying diagrams shows the
second method, whereby the person applying
the currents forms a shunt circuit to
the patient. Where a
mild current is desired,
the shunt method
while the series connection
gives a harsher
or stronger current.
For the purpose
of giving massage
is available on the
market special wrist
have a binding-post
terminal on them, to
which one of the secondary
the apparatus may be
connected. Many other
forms of electrodes,
brushes, massage rollers,
shown in one of the
produced by medical
induction coils is, as
explained in textbooks,
in the form
of an unsymmetrical alternating current.*
Where much of this work is being done,
it is always best to invest in a sensitive
milli-ampere meter which can be connected
in series with one of the handle cords, so
that the current strength in milli-amperes
being administered, can be regulated. The
proper current strengths for different ailments
is given in any of the works on
Electro-therapeutics, which may be consulted
at almost every library.
In treating diseases of an inflammatory
nature and fevers the positive pole is generally
utilized. This includes such ailments
as swellings, bruises, sprains, extraneous
growths and enlarged glands. In this treatment
arrange the poles, if possible, the
positive above the negative: while in debility,
numbness, inaction, tendency to decomposition,
treatment is given with the
negative pole. The rule of the positive
above the negative cannot always be followed
in this treatment.
The primary current starts at the dry
cell, passes thru one coil of wire (primary
coil) thence thru the circuit-breaker thru
the patient. The secondary is the induced
current in the finer wire of the coil and is
of much greater tension (voltage) than the
primary, but not of so much volume (amperage).
The primary current is used
particularly in the treatment of scrofula
ulcers, cancers, extraneous growths, enlarged
tonsils, enlarged joints, granulated
eyelids, enlarged glands, strictures, etc.*
The secondary current is applied in the
cure of nervous and inflammatory diseases
and acts as a tonic upon the system. There
are two methods of applying electrical currents
to the body viz: 1. General Electrization;
2. Localized Electrization.
By the first method the current is past
thru the entire body
or part of it. By the
second method, the
object is to influence
special nerves, muscles
or organs, limiting
the action of currents
to these parts,
or, instead of trying
to influence a muscle,
we may stimulate the
nerve supplying it,
thus reaching the
When the refreshing
effects of the current
are desired to relieve
fatigue or ward off
some suitable exercise
of the muscles
should be combined
with the galvanic current.
are better than long
ones. In ordinary
cases from two to
eight minutes or at the outside fifteen
minutes is long enough for a treatment.
The exceptions to this rule are in the
treatment of some chronic diseases, as
chronic articular rheumatism, etc., and in
general electrizations, where a little longer
time might be allowed.
No definite rule holds as to the frequency
of sitting, as much depends upon the nature
of the disease, the sex, age and habits of
the patient. Some acute cases require daily-sittings,
seldom more than that. In chronic
cases from two to four times a week may
Connect the rectum electrode to the negative
pole of the battery and place it in the
anus. At the same time the positive over
the stomach, liver and bowels. Use the
secondary current. A small internal dose
of cascara sagrada will sometimes prove
beneficial. However, the use of cathartics,
as a rule, is not advisable, and the above
treatment is much better without them.
Eat good plain digestible food. A dish of
oatmeal and milk eaten in the morning will
help to regulate the bowels.
Place the foot upon the foot plate, it
being attached to the negative pole of the
battery and apply the positive pole directly
to the corn, using a small piece of sponge
fastened to the ear electrode. Treatment
should last about ten minutes daily. Use
the primary current.
This is caused by indigestion. Let the
patient live upon a light milk diet for a
few days. Thoroly wash the mouth and
throat frequently with borax or boracic
acid diluted with water. Electrical treatment:
Place the positive at the nape of the
neck on the spine and apply the negative
to the stomach. This treatment should last
about ten minutes. Use secondary current.
Another treatment is to place the tongue
electrode in the mouth having previously
attached it to the positive pole of the battery
and apply the negative to the neck and
throat. Use primary current. A general
tonic treatment two or three times a week
will be beneficial.
Diabetes seems to be a nervous disease,
and for that reason we recommend what is
called Central Faradisation. The object is
to bring the whole central nervous system
under the influence of the primary current.
Place the negative pole at the pit of the
stomach and pass the positive over the head
and forehead, down the back of the neck
and along the whole length of the spine.
Use a very light current about the head and
increase gradually. Do not apply the current
to the head more than one or two minutes
at a time. The spine will stand a much
stronger current than the head. The back
may be treated about five or six minutes.
After this give tonic or general treatment
for ten minutes, with the secondary current.
People who have to all appearances been
dead, have been restored to life by electricity.
The test is as follows: Place the
sponge electrode (positive pole) to the
back of the neck, and apply the negative
to the body over the lungs and heart. A
mild secondary current is first used, gradually
increasing it until the patient shows
signs of life. Keep this treatment up for
about five minutes, also apply the negative
electrode to the arms, wrists and hands.
Now sponge the whole body with the
negative while the positive electrode is at the
base of the spine. The room should be well
aired, and the patient's feet and hands
should be kept warm with hot water and^
The treatment of headaches depends upon
the cause. -If caused by disordered
stomach or bowels, what is called a sick
headache, place the positive electrode at
the base of the brain and apply the negative
over the stomach, liver and bowels, using a
mild secondary current. General tonic
treatment of the whole body with secondary
current will cure or help some patients,
while central faradization (as described
in treatment of diabetes) will help
Place the positive at the back of the neck
and sponge the region of the stomach and
bowels with the negative. Another method
is to place the positive electrode on the
tongue and the negative at the pit of the
stomach. Use secondary current. If the
patient is debilitated give general tonic
treatment of the whole body.
If properly treated, neuralgia is one of
the diseases that yield most readily to electrization.
There is one difficulty in the
treatment of neuralgia by electricity and
that is the intensity of the pain. Often the
first few treatments aggravate the pain,
especially if the current is too strong or
the treatment is continued too long. Not
over one treatment a day should be given.
Give a general tonic treatment of the whole
body every other day. For local treatment,
where there is no swelling, apply the negative
to the painful parts, and the positive
at the hands or feet. If there is swelling
apply the positive to the disease, and the
negative at the hands or feet, using a secondary
Rheumatism—Inflammatory and Acute
Either of the above kinds of rheumatism
may be treated with the positive electrode.
If the trouble is about the head, neck, arms
or shoulders, hold the negative in the hands
and apply the positive to the painful parts.
If the pain is below the arms, apply the
negative electrode to the feet and the positive
to the affected parts. Drink freely of
lemonade. Avoid alcoholic liquors, meats
and fatty food. A rigid diet for a few
days is to be recommended.
Chronic rheumatism is much more obstinate
and resists a cure more than the acute
kind. Very often the general tonic treatment
will give relief. For local treatment,
treat with the negative electrode instead of
the positive as in the acute form. Also
use the primary and secondary currents
alternately. If the joints are enlarged treat
with the positive electrode, using the primary
current. Keep the body warm and
the feet warm and dry. Do not allow the
patient to expose himself to any dampness.
The electric bath is to be recommended.
In most cases of sunstroke, electricity is
a valuable agent in restoring persons who
have been overcome with the heat. General
tonic treatment should be given, also
central galvanization as described in the
treatment of diabetes. Local treatment to
the head may be given and a very light secondary
current should be used, positive
electrode at the head and negative at the
base of the spine. In all cases have the
attention of a good physician.
* For further details on the action of induction
coils, including the wave form of the secondary or
induced current, as well as the primary current,
reference may be made to several works on induction
coils including the following: "How To
Make Induction Coils and Transformers," by H.
W. Secor, and a later revised edition by J. S.
Curtis, "Induction Coils in Theory and Practise,"
by Prof. F. E. Austin, "Induction Coils," by H. S.
Norrie, "Induction Coils," by Armagnat, also
several other works including those by A. Frederick
Collins, Allsop, and Trevert.
Handbook, by Trevert.
Also Handbook of Electrotherapeutics
by Dr. Strong.
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