56 Crazy Medical Practices Doctors Thought Made Sense

By Lyra Radford

An electric bath, 1910, used to treat rheumatism.

The human body is a mysterious machine. Most of the time, human babies develop according to plan, but sometimes, something goes weirdly wrong and the result is a curious medical anomaly. Almost as intriguing is methods employed to cared for and cure the human body. In our time of modern medicine, it is easy to look back at past medical practices with disgust and fascination. This collection of medical-related photographs from the past will show us how remarkable the human body is and how medicine has improved over time. 

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Sure, we’ve always been told that water and electricity don’t mix, but would you believe electrified baths were used to treat various ailments, including rheumatoid arthritis, in the early 1900s? Yep, medical technicians would immerse a person in a tub of water, or as this photo shows, just immerse their limbs, and run mild electrical charges through the water. Actually, electrotherapy remains a form of alternative medicine. In Japan, the practice is widespread and you can find Denkiburo, or electrified pools, across Japan. People use them to relieve arthritis pain or just as a way to promote health in general.