In the above group we include electricity, however excited, whether by the galvanic or magnetic battery, or animal magnetism.
This agent produces a powerful effect in paralysis, and other affections produced by derangements of the nervous system, in rheumatic and arthritic affections, especially of the chronic form, contractions of the muscles and stiffness of the joints. It is also invaluable in asphyxia and apparent death, and in general inaction of the whole system. The application of this powerful agent requires much care and correct judgment. The electric current should be light at first, gradually increasing as circumstances indicate. The poles of the battery should be so applied, that a continuous current should be sent through the length of the muscles and along the course of the nerves. Every person possesses a certain amount of animal magnetism, although some possess it to a much greater degree than others. Where there is great nervous excitability, pain, and sleeplessness, a few magnetic passes will often produce immediate relief. The will of the operator should be strongly concentrated on the patient. The hand should be gently moved over the parts, making the passes downward; or the hands may be pressed gently on the parts for a moment, removed and applied again. When the magnetic effect has been too powerful, it may be relieved by reversing the passes.