Van Deusen/Kosinski Collection

of their being impaired by the fits, as there is by the most trifling disease. I have experienced this blessed effect of the shocks, without any exception, in about one hundred cases: The stupid have assumed their former vivacity and cheerfulness, and have been restored to the full possession of their former mental abilities. These effects are produced by passing the shock from the head to the feet. If the fits cannot be finally cured, it will be necessary to electrify in this manner: to pass two or three shocks at least, from the forehead to the feet, as oft as every second, third, or perhaps fourth fit, in order to preserve the mental faculties. It will be easy to judge from observation of the patient, at what time it will be necessary to electrify.

When it is apparent, that general debility hath a part, at least, in constituting the paroxysm, I think it would be expedient to accompany the gentle shock with a high and constant insolation. Depend not on insolating for an hour or two hours in a day; but let it be continued for months, if necessary: there can be no satisfactory judgment made of the ultimate benefit of the supernatural or artificial insolation, in such obstinate cases, or any case of great debility, unless the insolation be continued for a long time; and to effect this purpose, a large construction will be necessary, and the best of all, would be such an one as I have reoommended (vide page 93, chap. 2d.) to be turned by the assistance of a water-wheel. The action of this invaluable principle of life, continued a lengthy time, must produce very valuable effects, in cases of deficient excitement: and as it is taught by some notable writers, that epilepsy originates in debility, at least sometimes, I think it will be highly expedient to try the utmost of the artificial insolation, in these obstinate cases of epilepsy. Under a process or treatment by insolation, I do not advise to administer the shock, unless the symptoms of paroxysm may be discovered; or when there is no apparent admonition to be observed, and the fits are nearly periodical; then to elictry as before described, beginning the operation, as nigh as may be, two or three days previous to the paroxysm; and give about twelve or fifteen light shocks, in the several directions before named, but let the last shocks be always given from head to feet. This number of shocks, or perhaps one half this number in some cases, may be given daily, until the usual period of the fit is passed two or three days, or longer. But the paroxysm should be constantly looked for, and the patient constantly observed, and the apparatus at hand; that if the symptoms cannot be observed, yet that the fit may be instantly removed by a few light shocks. I have observed, that when the shocks through the breast from a hand to hand, would not instantly recover a person from the spasm; I have passed the shock from

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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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