Principles and Practice of Naturopathy:
A Compendium of Natural Healing (1925)

E.W. Cordingley, A.M., Ph.D.

CHAPTER 6.

ELECTRO-THERAPY.

There is a considerable variety of electrical treatment appliances on the market, which deliver over a dozen different forms of currents, or modalities, to use the technical term.

Thus, we have the galvanic, faradic, slow, rapid and surging sinusoidal, high frequency violet ray, diathermy, and auto-condensation, which are the ones most commonly used.

We have already dealt with the use of the sinusoidal and faradic currents in spondlylotherapy, and many practitioneers [sic] prefer these currents to concussion for eliciting' the vertebral reflexes.

The sinusoidal current is known as an induced current, and in case of the rapid sinusoidal, is similar in some respects to the faradic, which latter is generated by magnetism in an induction coil, but differs from the faradic in that the voltage of the inducing current is higher and its undulations are smoother. My experience has been, however, as noted in the foregoing chapter, that the faradic current is an excellent current for eliciting the spinal reflexes, and the faradic equipment has the advantage that it can be carried around and used anywhere independent of the city current supply, because the faradic current can be generated by two or three dry cells.

The slow sinusoidal current has proven of value in constipation, a large pad being placed on the abdomen while a smaller one is placed opposite on the lumbar vertebrae. The even and slow contraction and relaxation produced increase peristalsis of the intestines and very often permanently overcome constipation in a relatively short time.

In various forms of paralysis, rheumatism, lumbago, and sciatica, all modalities of the sinusoidal, as well as the faradic, have proven of value. Where it is desired to affect a muscle the usual way in which to apply the current is to place one electrode near the origin and the other near the insertion of the muscle.

The galvanic is the one polar electricity. That is, the current flows out at the positive pole, passes through the part of the body being treated, and then returns by way of the negative pole. Some of the properties of the galvanic curreent are as follows:

THE POSITIVE POLE

THE NEGATIVE POLE

Attracts Oxygen.
Accumulates Chlorine, Nitric,
Phosphoric and Hydrochloric
Acids.
Acid caustic.
Cicatrix hard, dry and unyielding.
Contracts arterioles.
Stops hemorrhage.
Relieves inflammation and pain. Hardens tissue.
Attracts Hydrogen.
Accumulates alkalhydrates of calcium, potassium, sodium, and ammonium.
Alkaline caustic.
Cicatrix soft and pliable.
Dilates arterioles.
Increases hemorrhage.
Stimulates and irritates.
Disintegrates tissue.

Because of these polar effects it will be seen that it is of !!reat importance in using galnmism to properly place the pads. If the ne'!a-tive pad is placed where the positive pad should have been placed, the results are likely to be detrimental rather than beneficial. However, if the Naturopath will carefully analyze the condition he is treating he should have no difficulty in placing the pads. For instance, in treating goitre, the purpose is to disintegrate tissue, therefore the negative pad should be used over the goitre, and the positive pad placed at the back of the neck or on the abdomen.

In case of extreme pain, as in cases of lumbago, arthritis, etc., the positive pad should be IJlaced over the painful area, as the positve pulc relieves pain. If you are treating a sluggish liver you place the negative pad over the liver and the positive pad opposite on the pack, because the negative pad stimulates, and stimulation is what is wanted. If you are treating an ulcerated stomach the positive pad should be applied over that organ, as the pasitive pole stops hemorrhage and relieves pain. If you will keep in mind the properties of each pole it will be a relatively simple matter to properly place the electrodcs for each case.

The galvanic current can be obtained by a machine made up of dry cells: directly from the commercial line if it is the direct current and a rheostate is used; through rectifiers if the alternating is the onl available commercial current j or through a direct current generating equipment. Many regard the galvanic as the mose useful of all currents, as it is the one physiological current. It is, indeed, a current of a wide range of usefulness, but nothing can really displace the faradic and sinusoidal currents in some disorders.

The high frequency violet ray is a current that is soothing in its effects in many painful conditions, and it will frequently be found of benefit to use it after administering [sic] a manipulative treatment to a very tender area. I personally believe that the violet ray has been grossly over-rated. Many manufacturers especially have advocated the use of the violet ray for every ailment to which the human family is subject, and many disappointments have consequently resulted. However, as an adjunct treatment it has its uses, and in nervousness, headache. sleeplessness, and some other similar disorders it has often proven of value even when used alone. I will append a list of benefits that can derived from the violet ray. Some of the below-enumerated effects are very sligt [sic] in some cases, but still this current is capable of producing each of these effects to a certain varying extent:

The High Frequency Violet Ray Current:

  1. Increases oxidation and local nutrition.
  2. Produces hyperemia in areas to which it is applied.
  3. Adds oxygen to the blood.
  4. Increases elimination of carbon dioxide.
  5. Increases elimination of waste products through the skin.
  6. Increases the temperature where applied.
  7. Locally germicidal .
  8. Sparks to upper dorsal spine raises blood pressure.
  9. Application at any area for 20 seconds to one minute with sparking is stimulative.
  10. Application for 2 to 5 minutes with electrode held in contact is sedative.

The Diathermy current is a heating current. It is used largely in rheumatic joints, gouty deposits, sciatica, lumbago, neuralgia, and neuritis. Lately it has come into use in the treatment of pneumonia with splendid results. Some enthusiasts advocate its use for nearly every disorder, and inasmuch as the essential part of the current consists in the production of heat in the deeper tissues, it can be seen that it would naturally be of value in all conditions which would be benefited by heat, and that applies to a wide range of ailments. It is applied much like the sinusoidal or faradic, two well-moistened felt pads, block tin or wire mesh electrodes being used.

The Auto.Condensation current, like the Diathermy, is a high tension currant, produced by a Tesla Coil and Oudin Resonator, which is used principally for the relief of high blood pressure. The patient sits or lies on a chair or couch pad which is connected to one pole of the machine, and the circuit is completed through a handle which he holds in his hands. In my experience, this current is a sovereign remedy in high blood pressure. There is no other separate method that I know .of that will lower the blood pressure as rapidly and effectively, as the Auto-Condensation current.

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This page was posted on September 15, 2004.

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