Use Of The Long Cord


Categories: PRINCIPLES OF PRACTICE.
Sources: A Newly Discovered System Of Electrical Medication

It is often desirable to bring the entire parts of the patient, through

which the current is made to pass, under one and the same kind of

influence--such as shall make them all more positive or more negative.

Especially is this true in many cases where we wish to run through but a

short space. For this purpose, there is frequent advantage in using

conducting cords of unequal length. As my views on this point have been

disputed in certain quarters, I will endeavor here to place them in such

a light that they shall not be rejected for want of being rightly

understood.



I have previously remarked[C] that, for practical purposes, it is

sufficiently exact to consider the magnetic circuit as extending only

from the positive post, around through the conducting cords, the

electrodes, and the person of the patient, to the negative post. We

will so regard it at present. This circuit may be viewed as one

continuous magnet, made up of several sections or shorter magnets placed

end to end--the positive end of the first to the negative end of the

second, and the positive end of the second to the negative end of the

third. In this arrangement, the negative end of the first section is the

negative pole of the one whole magnet, and the positive end of the third

section is the positive pole of the whole magnet. The minimum quantity

of the magnetism is supposed to be at the negative pole, and the maximum

quantity at the positive pole; and the quantity is supposed to increase,

by regular graduation, from the negative to the positive pole. This

being so, the quantity is the same in the positive end of either

section and the negative end of the adjoining section, at their point of

contact.



Now, in practice, the body of the patient, or so much of it as is

embraced between the two electrodes, may be regarded as the second

section in this magnet; and the cord connected with the positive post,

together with its electrode attached, may be counted the first and

most negative section; and the cord connected with the negative post,

along with its electrode, may be the third and most positive

section. And if this whole magnet be more and more positive, by regular

degrees through all the sections, from its negative to its positive end

or pole, then the nearer any given part of it, say the second

section--the patient's person, may be to its positive pole in the

negative post, so much the more positive that section or part will be.

And the nearer such part or section may be to the negative pole in the

positive post, so much the more negative it will be. If the cords be

of equal length, the central point in the circuit or magnet will be in

the second section--the person of the patient, midway between the

electrodes; and that section will be charged with the mean quantity

of the magnetic fluid. The central point will hold exactly the mean

quantity. But if the cord in the first section be two yards long,

and that in the third section be four yards, then section

second--the patient's parts under treatment--will be nearest to the

negative pole in the positive post, and consequently will be charged

with much less than the mean quantity of the fluid, and will therefore

be made so much the more negative. If, on the other hand, the cord in

section first be four yards in length, and that in section third

be only two yards, then the patient's body--section second--will be

brought nearest to the positive pole in the negative post, and of

course be charged with much more than the mean quantity of the

magnetic fluid, and hence will be made so much the more positive.



It is true that the positive and negative poles of section second--the

parts of the patient between the electrodes--will not be reversed by

any such changes in the length or relative positions of the conducting

cords; nor is such reversal required in those cases where the use of the

long cord is indicated. The only change of polarization called for in

such cases, is that all the parts through which the current is to

pass should, in greater or less degree, be affected alike, as being made

more positive or more negative. Of course these parts will be so

affected in different degrees--those nearest to the short cord the

most; those nearest to the long cord the least.



The class of cases where the use of the long cord is more especially

advantageous, comprises those in which it is desirable to run the

current out of the patient at the shortest admissible distance from

the positive electrode. For example, in treating cynanche tonsillaris,

(quinsy), if treating with the positive pole in the mouth, we would not

wish to run the current further than to the back of the neck; or, if

treating externally, we would not wish to carry the negative electrode

further from the positive than from side to side. Here the long cord,

with the negative electrode, would be a special advantage in subduing

the inflammation. We would not care to increase the inflammatory

action, as we should necessarily do on the positive side of the central

point, by using cords of equal length.



Again, if treating a case of acute enteritis--inflammation of the

intestines--we would not wish, while treating the abdomen with the

positive pole, to increase the inflammation in the lower parts, by using

equal cords and placing the negative pole at the sacrum or the coccyx.

Neither would we wish to reduce the strength of the lower limbs by

carrying the negative pole to the feet. Nor, yet again, would we care to

endanger the thoracic viscera by running the current from the abdomen up

to the dorsal or cervical vertebrae. The true way, in such a case, would

be to connect the negative electrode with a long cord, and then to run

the current through the inflamed parts, and out somewhere from the

lumbar vertebrae to the coccyx, by treating over the abdomen with the

positive pole, and placing the negative pole on the lower parts of the

spine.



As the cords that accompany the machine from the manufacturer are

usually cut about two yards in length, every practitioner should supply

himself with an extra cord, of at least three yards, to be used as the

long cord.





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