10 Bizarre Treatments Doctors Used to Think Were Legit

Whirling Chairs
If you think spinning until you pass out sounds like a good treatment plan, this is your new medical team. ©Purestock/Thinkstock

The whirling chair was part of a mid-19th century movement away from the practices of chaining and locking the mentally ill in dark, unsanitary cells and toward more humane (at least considered to be so at the time) methods of psychiatric treatments. These also included ice water showers or baths, purgatives (laxatives), insulin coma therapy and even frontal lobotomy.

A whirling chair is exactly what it sounds like: It was a chair modified with a spring and lever system used to spin patients until they passed out. The belief was that all that spinning would cure conditions such as schizophrenia and other mental illnesses by shuffling the contents of the brain [source: Korn].