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What Is a Violet Ray?

Andrew Kirmayer
Updated May 17, 2024
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A violet ray is a medical device often used in the early 1900s to treat various medical conditions. It typically operates by generating small electrical currents that many scientists believe vibrate cells and stimulate blood flow. Antique models often feature a case with a transformer and a wand that attaches via a wire. Some versions include an array of tubes that attach to the wand. A few manufacturers of homeopathic equipment have built modern versions in the 21st century with the electronics built into the wand, while medical electrical nerve stimulation devices are often based on the original concept.

The current produced by a violet ray is often believed to act on individual cells to restore nutrition and blood flow. Oxygen content can also be increased; the processes that result are often thought to allow tissues to be replenished, reversing the effects of disease. While some research on related electro-stimulation therapies shows that they can be effective, the violet ray was legally banned from production in the United States in the 1950s. Some countries around the world still manufacture such devices in the 21st century.

Typically diffusing electrical current, a violet ray machine can produce a violet color. This action usually causes a vibrating effect. A violet ray can be used for general medical treatment, in which the patient usually holds the electrodes in their hands, or it can be applied to specific parts of the body. It is sometimes used for asthma and other lung conditions, hair loss, nerve conditions, as well as headaches. Also applied for boosting metabolism, the device has been and still is used to relieve pain.

Modern medicine has made general use of the violet ray concept. Electrical currents are typically used in transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, which is often performed using a small device with electrodes. Many researchers think this works because the electricity can stimulate nerves and block the pain signals, or trigger endorphins to be released by the body to relieve pain. These machines are often used by traditional physicians as well as acupuncturists and other holistic specialists. Some doctors advise caution for a patient undergoing other medical treatments if he or she is seeking an alternative treatment such as electrotherapy.

Machines similar to the violet ray are sometimes used at beauty salons for some skin treatments. Other devices have served a variety of purposes, and many collectors seek out the early machines as antiques. Modern versions often consist of wand-shaped units that can be electrically or battery powered, that usually come with a selection of attachments for applying current.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Andrew Kirmayer
By Andrew Kirmayer , Former Writer
Andrew Kirmayer, a freelance writer with his own online writing business, creates engaging content across various industries and disciplines. With a degree in Creative Writing, he is skilled at writing compelling articles, blogs, press releases, website content, web copy, and more, all with the goal of making the web a more informative and engaging place for all audiences.

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Andrew Kirmayer

Andrew Kirmayer

Former Writer

Andrew Kirmayer, a freelance writer with his own online writing business, creates engaging content across various...
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