Van Deusen/Kosinski Collection

by the shock, which doth, in some respects, cause the blood, but particularly certain affections, to move in the same direction as the shock: and to know this, is of great importance in the cure of several diseases. But it appears totally to have escaped the observation of Cavallo. Indeed, the whole system of principles hath escaped, not only Cavallo, but all other writers on the subject.

From several observations, which I have made in many thousands of experiments, I will endeavour to define this phenomenon, in the effects produced by the shocks on the human body. It hath, at least, been hinted, that the shock doth determine the course of blood, in some degree: this was necessarily supposed to be one effect produced, otherwise it could not remove a redundancy of blood from the head. It is supposed to effect the removal of flagnant fluids, wind, &c. in the same direction with the shock, as is frequently the case, (vide Pleurisy, page 111.) It is supposed to determine the course of removal of certain affections; as, in the particular case now under consideration, it is supposed to effect the depression of the hysterics. That it doth produce these effects, is incontestibly true, and may be demonstrated, in every occasion that presents itself. Shocks passed from the upper extremities t the feet, cause the blood to flow more freely toward the feet, and induce warmth in the feet. Moreover, I have observed, that when I have electrified parts that have been badly bruised, the coagulated blood not only tends immediately towards the surface, in a very visible manner; but I have noticed, that it would diffuse through the muscles, from the part affected, in the same direction in which the shocks were passed. (Mote 1)

One observation more, and which I think will determine in favour of Doctor Franklin's opinion, and will be conclusively against Cavallo's; and that is, let any person, of a sanguine habit, pass a few shocks from his feet to the crown of his head: it will generally, or invariably produce redness of face, sometimes vertigo, and there will be a sensation of an increased bulkiness of the head.

A certain physician, who had just purchased a machine of me, by some mistake took the shock ascendingly to the head, for the toothache: It gave him all the above mentioned sensations, except vertigo; but it cured his toothache.

From the above cited occurrences and observations, it is demonstrably true, that the electric shock, when passed upon certain affections, doth determine the course of their removal;

Note 1.

If the electric shock will separate such a coagulation, and, what is still more beneficial, throw it towards the surface; what shall we think of physicians who have remonstrated against passing the shock upon a body of humours, lest they should fall upon some vital part, and prove fatal, perhaps, to life, &c.

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1 Title page
2 Preface
13 Animal and Vegetable Electricity
15 Chapter 1 - Electric fire promotes the vegetable life, etc.
70 Chapter 2 - Of the Conductors
   97 Chapter 3 - Fever  [Medical Conditions]
108 Peripneumony 171 Cholic 210 Involuntary motion
      of the eyelids
111 Pleurisy 174 Asthma 210 Hemmorage
114 St. Anthony's Fire 176 Diabetes 217 Hemorroids
115 Inflammatory Rheumatism 178 Urine suppressed,
  bloody and hot
217 Ulcers and Abcesses
115 Inflammatory Sore Throat 182 Menses obstructed 220 Rickets
122 Madness 185 King's Evil 221 Locked Jaw or Joints
131 Ague 186 Cancers 224 Bruises
138 St. Vitus's Dance 194 Quincy 229 Nerves contracted
140 Hysterics 195 Head-ache 230 Sprain or Strain
144 Epilepsy 196 Deafness 231 Felon or Whitlow
149 Consumption 197 Inflammatory Eyes 231 Pains in different parts
153 Palsy 197 Film 232 Wounds, etc.
158 Dropsy 199 Gutta Serena 234 Drowning
164 Gout 207 Cataract 237 Suppressed Perspiration
166 Dysentery 209 Fistula Lachrymalis 237 Burns and Scalds
242 Chapter 4  [Equipment]
277 Thoughts on the Times
Electricity, or Ethereal Fire, Considered is presented here for historical purposes only, and should not be interpreted as medical advice.


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