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Positive And Negative Manifestations
Category: PRINCIPLES OF PRACTICE.
Source: A Newly Discovered System Of Electrical Medication
Acute diseases are to be regarded as electrically positive, and
chronic affections as negative. The exceptions are rare, if any at
all. Malignant cholera, which is eminently acute, might by some be
considered as an exception. In negative diseases, there is a low degree
of electro-vitality. And it has been remarked by careful observers,
particularly in the Orient, that cholera rages with greatest
destructiveness when no special electric phenomena have for long time
appeared in the atmosphere, and when the artificial electrical apparatus
could be made to yield its sparks only with difficulty, or not at all.
And again, after a thunderstorm, when the electric machine works again
freely, the cholera is also found to abate quickly, and sometimes very
greatly. The inference drawn from these facts has been that the
prevalence of cholera is largely owing to a lack of electricity in the
atmosphere, and consequently to a want of the animal electricity or
electro-vitality in the system of the patient; and thence it might be
concluded that cholera implies a negative condition of the system. I
think there is a fallacy in this reasoning. There appears to me to be an
unwarrantable assumption in confidently attributing the long absence
from the heavens of marked electrical phenomena, and the failure of the
electric machine to give its spark, to an unquestioned deficiency of
atmospheric electricity. Electrical manifestations take place only when
the plus and minus conditions are existing, in relation to each
other, somewhat near, or not very remote; and the visible phenomena
appear when the positive and negative rush together, so as to produce a
polar equilibrium. But suppose a plus condition to exist over a wide
region, then, everything being overcharged, the visible phenomena
would be as rare and as difficult of attainment as if all around were
negative. How, then, can it be inferred, with any certainty, from such
data, that there is a deficiency of electricity, rather than an
excess of it?
I have not treated a case of cholera; but my own impression of it is,
that in the first stage, or during the "rice-water" discharges, the
condition of the system is, as in other acute affections, excessively
positive; but that, as the collapse comes on, it rapidly subsides into
an intensely negative state, thus assuming the chief characteristic of a
In the above remarks, I would not be understood to indicate any doubt
that the prevalence of cholera is often aggravated or mitigated by
peculiar electrical states of the atmosphere. It appears altogether
probable that such may be the fact; and I should presume that electrical
treatment, properly administered, would be found eminently successful in
this fearful malady.
Again, in chronic rheumatism there might, at first view, seem to be
frequent exceptions to the rule last above stated; but the cases alluded
to are not such. It is often the fact, during chronic rheumatism, that
soreness and severe pain are felt, especially under the presentation of
the negative pole, thus showing that these points require to be treated
with the positive pole. But, in such cases, although the general disease
of the system be chronic and negative, these sore and severely painful
points have, for the time, risen in their electro-vital condition, and
so become acute and positive. But when chronic rheumatism is attended
with only a dull pain, and that chiefly under exercise of the parts,
and with little or no increase of pain under an application of the
negative pole of the A D current, medium strength, and with no swelling,
then the pain, the stiffness and the lameness are all marks of the
negative state, and the parts must be treated with the negative pole of
the A D current, strongly at first, but diminishing in force, from
time to time, as the patient becomes relieved.
Alkaline affections--those causing excessive alkaline secretions--are
electrically positive. Acid or acidulous states are negative.
Previous: Treating With Electrolytic Currents