This section is from the book "A Treatise On Therapeutics, And Pharmacology Or Materia Medica Vol1", by George B. Wood. Also available from Amazon: Part 1 and Part 2.
The loss of sensibility in paralytic muscles is generally remedied at the same time with loss of motion. But sometimes the two conditions exist separately; and insensibility of the skin is not a very uncommon affection. In this isolated state, when not dependent on organic lesion of the nerves. it is generally an hysterical affection, and yields readily to the electrical influence. When it affects the face, the best method of applying the remedy is by the hand, which usually proves sufficient for the cure. If not, the blunt excitors may be applied, and these will often answer for other parts of the body. But sometimes a more energetic impression is required for the general surface, which may be obtained by means of "fustigation" with the brush of wires. (See page 508.) The excitors should generally be carried from one point to another of the surface, until the whole affected part has been electrified. Sometimes, however, the insensibility is so great that it is necessary to leave the bunch of wires for some time in contact, until sensation is produced. First a tingling is felt, then a burning sensation, and this soon increases so that it can be borne no longer. As the skin becomes more sensitive, it is necessary to return to the blunt excitors again In a few instances the return of sensibility, in a small space, is followed, without further application, by its extension over the whole part affected; hut much more frequently it is necessary that every part should be subjected to the contact of the instruments. Sometimes the affection returns after having yielded, but may be cured by repetitions of the application. It is in the hands and soles of the feet, that the inconvenience of this paralytic condition is greatest, and the cure of it most important.