"giving galvanic treatment to the intrepid explorer on account of a sciatica"

   Named for the experiments of Italian physicist Luigi Galvani (1737-1798), who animated dead matter and popular excitement with his use of electrical current, 'galvanic' therapy was once a common resort in the treatment of nerve-related disorders.  The term could indicate several types of treatments, including the use of slightly electrified acupuncture needles, or a short 'galvanic bath' in slightly electrified water.  All were intended to reduce inflammation and aid blood-flow, soothing condititions such as sciatica – generalised discomfort in the lower body resulting from irritation to the spinal roots of the sciatic nerve.