Faradism relates to a variety of treatments which involve electro-stimulation. These treatments range from electro-shock aversion therapy to nerve-stimulation passive exercise. The word Faradism is derived from the name of Michael Faraday, a 19th century scientist who greatly contributed to our understanding of electromagnetism and electro-chemistry. Faradism is also known as Faradic Therapy, Aversion Therapy, Faradization, TENS Therapy and Galvanisation.
Michael Faraday, born on September 22, 1791 was an English chemist and physicist who contributed to the fields of electromagnetism and electro-chemistry after studying the magnetic field that surrounds a conductor carrying a DC electric current. He is responsible for discovering the laws of electrolysis, electromagnetic induction and diamagnetism. Largely because of his research and developments, electricity became viable for use in technology.
Faraday also worked as a chemist and discovered benzene and invented a precursor to the Bunsen burner. He also spent time investigating the clathrate hydrate of chlorine, and made popular the terms anode, cathode, electrode, and ion.
Faraday lacked in formal education and studied none of the higher maths like calculus, but as a scientist, he was one of the most influential. He has been called the best experimentalist in the history of science by some historians. Named after him are the SI unit of capacitance, the farad, as well as the Faraday constant, the charge on a mole of electrons. He developed the Faraday law of induction which states that a magnetic field changing in time creates a proportional electromotive force.
Aversion therapy, a form of psychiatric, mental health or psychological treatment, is when a patient is exposed to some form of discomfort while also experiencing a stimulus. This should cause the patient to associate the two separate experiences and encourages them to cease specific negative behaviours. This form of therapy has been used since 1932 and is most often used to today in alcohol and drug addiction treatment.
The treatment has been streamlined and a quick fix was developed known as REAL FARADISM or Faradic Aversion Therapy. This is when a device delivers a small electrical shock to the skin in response to exposure to things related to drinking or using drugs. This may eliminate the desire to drink or use drugs, since the patient will associate the unpleasant stimulus with the thought of drugs or alcohol. There has also been success using the treatment with overeating, smoking, and sex addiction.
Because the messages of the pleasure associated with drinking and using drugs are recorded in the brain, the aversion therapy works to erase those pleasant associations and turn them into unpleasant feelings. The treatment may go as far as to produce discomfort such as nausea when thoughts of the unwanted behaviour arise.
The tool typically used for the treatment is a Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator, more commonly referred to as a “TENS unit”. It is an electronic device and stimulates nerves through the skin with electrical currents. The name of the machine was coined by Dr. Charles Burton.
While there are non-believers, TENS is typically considered to be a method for treating pain. The TENS unit is used as an attempt to relieve neuropathic pain, which is pain due to nerve damage. There are those that benefit from the treatment and those that do not, and much of it is due to their pain threshold. There are a number of further uses such as birth; pain in the knee; bladder-stone or lithotripsy; and pain in the limbs.
The electrical signals are transmitted through self-adhering electrodes, which are usually gelled prior to application. Most clinicians use washable rubber electrodes, and apply a water based conductive gel, which is easily wiped away. The BDSM community has found erotic, non-medical uses for the TENS unit in their erotic play.
Electro-convulsive therapy (ECT), or electroshock, has long been controversial. Anaesthetised patients are subjected to electrically induced seizures for therapeutic purposes. The most popular use today is to treat severe depressions that have no responded to other treatments. Other success stories have involved the mania that is part of bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia, and catatonia. First used in the 1930s, it gained popularity in the 1940s and 50s, but was looked unfavourably upon toward the latter half of the century. It is estimated that worldwide, 1 million people receive the treatment each year. It is typically administered in 6-12 treatments, two to three times per week. After the session have ended, drugs are often given as further treatment, an some patients require further ECT sessions. More often than not, any confusion associated with the treatment clears within hours of the session, although some types of ECT have been known to create permanent memory loss.