Interest in the use of electromagnetic energy to treat illness was sparked by Luigi Galvani's experiments which demonstrated the effect of electrical current on living organisms. These eighteenth century experiments ultimately demonstrated that the leg muscles of a frog could be stimulated at some distance from a spark produced by a static electric generator. The topic of remote stimulation of nerves by electrical means lay dormant for over a hundred years until Nikola Tesla discovered that alternating currents of high frequency (10kHz or greater) could pass over the body without harm. In fact, levels of electrical energy that would prove fatal at a reduced frequency could be tolerated when the frequency was above l0kHz. During his lecture before the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE) at Columbia College on May 20,1891, Tesla predicted that medical use would be made of this phenomenon.
A year later, d'Arsonval independently reported similar observations on the physiological effects of high frequency currents before the Society of Biology in Paris. In early 1892, Tesla met d'Arsonval on a lecture tour of France where Tesla was pleasantly surprised to find that d'Arsonval used his oscillators to investigate the physiological effects of high frequency currents.
It is clear from Nikola Tesla's lectures and publications beginning in 1891 that he was the first to discover that radio frequency (rf) currents could be employed to safely heat tissue and to point out that such heating may have therapeutic benefits, Tesla discovered that there were two methods of producing rf currents in living tissue:
(1) by induction coils and
(2) by capacitance.
In the capacitive technique, the patient acts as the dielectric of a capacitor (or condenser). Tesla also suggested that rf currents could be used for other medical purposes--the sterilization of wounds, as an anesthesia, for stimulation of the skin, and to produce surgical incisions. As Patton H. McGinley, Ph.D., of the Emory Cancer Clinic has stated:
History has not been kind to Tesla in the sense that the credit for all of the pioneering work in the field of electrotherapy has gone almost exclusively to d'Arsonval.
Tesla's experiments revealed that living tissue could safely be heated and other effects such as blood pressure and psychological changes could be produced. In the 1988 International Tesla Symposium Proceedings, Patton H. McGinley has prepared sketches of three circuits for medical use from one of Tesla's drawings which was obtained on a trip to Yugoslavia. One of the circuits uses rf to sterilize wounds, another uses rf as an electrosurgical knife, and still another produces whole body heating by induction. Prior to Tesla's discoveries with high frequency current, medical doctors were using what was referred to as Galvanic and Faradic currents-DC and pulsating DC currents-as treatments for many ailments. With the introduction of rf currents, attempts were made to treat many disorders by the use of high frequency currents. Ultimately, four different methods were devised for treating patients:
1) Tesla treatment with vacuum electrodes (often referred to as the Violet-ray treatment)
2) Effleuve or high frequency spray
3) D'Arsonval autocondensation
Each method was adapted for specific ailments and diseases.
Over the past few years, there has been an ever increasing interest in the use of electricity in healing. It used to be a fairly common practice for many doctors to utilize electricity as a regular part of their treatments. However, since the advent of the "miracle" drugs, the use of electrical therapies has been ridiculed as a fraud. In other words, doctors who practiced energy medicine in the past, and those that practice it today, are being condemned as charlatans and the whole field is being tainted with the odor of scandal which may or may not exist.
The government has appointed a watchdog agency the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to serve as a defender of the public's health and welfare. It is the FDA which has to approve various drugs before it becomes acceptable for doctors to prescribe them. (Doctors can prescribe literally any treatment but doing it without FDA approval puts themselves at risk!)In its zeal to protect the public, the FDA frowns upon the use of electrotherapeutic devices and will prosecute those that profess to heal with drugs and devices that have not been approved by them.
The medical profession is not unlike any other field of science and technology in that the doctors, researchers and government bureaucrats involved in this field are not infallible. As in any human endeavor, there exists a lot of room for confusion, doubt and misinterpreted evidences... a sure recipe for controversy! Neither I, nor the publisher, claim that the devices and techniques described herein are cure-alls or will heal you. Rather, the material is being presented only as a point of information to the reader.
Many of the facts behind electrotherapeutics should be general knowledge for a number of reasons. As in any other field, there are unscrupulous people who exploit the fears and illnesses of others for financial gain. As a general rule, facts which would prove to be of benefit to society need to be broadcast. Electrotherapy, which Tesla pioneered, needs to be looked upon once more as a viable alternative in modern medicine beginning with a calm, unbiased scientific study.
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More on Tesla's discovery of the "brush effect" can be found in....
Inventions, Researches and Writings of Nikola Tesla by Thomas Cummerford Martin
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