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horselady | 00:24 Mon 21st Dec 2020 | Body & Soul
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Question for Sqad if he's around. Something that I've wondered about for ages. When I was young, in the late 50's early 60's, I used to get tonsilitis a lot. I used to go to our local cottage hospital and have some sort of treatment that involved sitting with two sort of paddle things each side of my neck with obviously emitted a ray of something. My mum always called it "heat treatment" to shrink the tonsils, but I've often wondered if it was actually harmful in any way. Any thoughts?

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A bit of googling seems to confirm my suspicion that X-ray therapy might well have been what you received. Many of the links found by Google are behind pay walls but this one quotes from a paediatric paper published in 1921, confirming that there was a vogue for such treatment in the first half of the 20th century:
https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/62/4/553
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Ooh thank Buenchico, it certainly sounds like it. Strange thing to subject a young child to.
shoe shops used to X-ray kids' feet, didn't they?
The risks associated with X-rays weren't widely appreciated at that time. I remember that Coe's menswear shop in Ipswich (which still exists) had one of these in its footwear department, so that customers could X-ray their feet to get a perfect fit for their shoes!
https://i.redd.it/ytuevi9wqr911.png
It was almost certainly a form of "heat treatment " known then,as it is now..Short Wave Diathermy. For a time there was a vogue for this in some smaller hospitals for coughs, colds and even asthma for a time. This isn't in anyway an X-radiation treatment that we see in cancer patients and this SWD is harmless.
Don't worry.
https://samarpanphysioclinic.com/2019/11/13/short-wave-diathermy-swd-details/

There you go....that sort of thing with adapted paddles for the neck region.
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Thanks sqad. That first machine is exactly the same as I remember, it's nice to know what it was. I wasn't worried, I was about 10 at the time and I've made it to 71 so it can't have been all that dangerous. Didn't work anyway, my tonsils were whipped out when I was 16.!!

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