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Electric bath

 •  • by Paul Ingraham
Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of PainScience.com: a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

Source: olden days. #donottryathome

Found this vintage photo of an “electric bath” kicking around the Internet. Other than “olden days,” source unknown. Love the photo, but wasn’t sure where to put it at first. Probably in Popular but Weird & Dangerous Cures. Probably Hot Baths for Injury & Pain. Maybe Quackery Red Flags? Or all of them.

“What is so strange about galvanic bath?”

A reader asked me that. It’s not actually quite as outrageous as it looks. It’s really just a whole-body TENS machine treatment (mild electrical stimulation of tissue). But it does reek rather amusingly of “What could possibly go wrong?” And, medically speaking, it’s waaaay out in left field, and unlikely to be good for anything. If nothing else, it was doomed to extinction by economics: the high cost of the infrastructure and equipment to deliver such treatments is way out of proportion to the slim hope of any significant benefit.

Plus, can you imagine the lawsuits it would generate today?

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