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Many public bath houses in Japan have special pools lined with live metal electrodes for those peculiar bathers who would rather have actual electricity surging through their bodies than have coffees like normal folks. These baths are known as denki buro or “electric baths” and they are found throughout Japan.

Whatever you had learned about the deadly combination of electricity and water at primary school, you can experience first hand at a denki buro. The bather sits in a small pool between two plates of opposite electric polarity and lets a low-level electric current to pass through their body. The current induces mild shock causing the muscles to contract and develop a tingling sensation which some people find relaxing while others find it painful. Electric baths are said to provide relief from rheumatism and spondylitis, but it is also rumored, especially by the younger generation, that denki buro reduces sperm count.

electro-therapy

French electric bath, circa late 1870s. Photo credit: engineeringhistory.tumblr.com

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© Amusing Planet, 2016.


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