According to St. John’s Health System, an electrophysiology study is a diagnostic procedure that looks at the electrical functions of the heart and its rhythms. Electrophysiology is essentially galvanism in modern times. Since the evolution of science in the 1800s, we now know that it is not plausible to generate life from a dead corpse. However, some of the baselines that Galvani set have been useful in modern medicine. Today we use defibrillators to correct arrhythmias. At its core, every defibrillator’s function is to restore the heart to its normal function but there are many kinds of defibrillators. In an implanted defibrillator, a vein of the heart is connected to a lead wire that sits just under the collar bone. An internal defibrillator can send small painless electrical impulses to slow down a tachycardia rhythm. It can sense a necessarily lifesaving shock to restore the heart to a normal rate if the tachycardia persists. Another defibrillator is an AED or automatic external defibrillator, where it can detect if a heart has a shockable rhythm (Ventricular Tachycardia or Ventricular Fibrillation). There is a misconception that an asystoles (flatline) is shockable. This is simply not true. An asystole shows that the heart does not have any mechanical activity and no cardiac output. If this is the case, normal function cannot be restored.

Galvanism is used not only in the world of cardiology, but also in dermatology. According to the International Dermal Institute, galvanism is used to improve skin complexion though iontophoresis. Iontophoresis treatments are performed with a positively charged acidic serum which is applied to the skin. A negative electrode is introduced to the targeted area of skin. Active ingredients are delivered through the movement of the ions. This helps in treating hyperpigmentation as well as aging skin. It also has vasoconstrictive effects which help reduce sensitivity and redness (King). As you can see, the original galvanic experiment has caused huge ripples in the scientific and literary fields. Today we use galvanic practices in nearly every field of medicine.

Below is a video explaining how iontophoresis works. Only minutes 3:00 to 4:00 are crucial in this video.

Top image: “Electrophysiology of the Heart” (Heart Health Clinic) shows EP catheters in the heart, which help regulate the pacemaker. This is important for modern day galvanism, or electrophysiology.

Return to Project Home   < Back | Next >


King, Annet. “The International Dermal Institute.” Articles, www.dermalinstitute.com/us/library/141_article_The_Power_of_Galvanic_Treatments_i n_Your_Spa.html.

“NU GALVANIC SPA HOW IT WORK.” Youtube, YoungBeautyLife, 23 Aug. 2013, https://youtu.be/Cx9edHQrUzo?t=3m.

St. John Health System.” What Is Electrophysiology? | Heart Institute | St. John Health System, www.stjohnhealthsystem.com/heart-institute/about/faqs/what-is-electrophysiology.