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sets up" in the world, the burden of an extensive and inùiscriminat acquaintance may be felt in various ways. Many have had cause to regret the weakness of mind which allowed them to plunge into a vortex of gayety and expense they could ill afford, froin which they have found it difficult to extricate themselves, and the effects of which have proved a serious evil to them in after-life.
When a man is about to be married, he usually gives a dinner to bis bachelor friends; which is understood to be their congé, unless he choose to renew their acquaintance.
HYDROPATHY, OR THE WATER CURE. Bathing has been practised, both as a preventive and a curativo of disease, from the earliest ages to the present day.
It is a vulgar error, that the practice of cold bathing, when the body is bedewed with perspiration, is dangerous, and that numbers of persons, every summer, lose their lives by this means. But the true fact is, that the danger in such cases is owing to the fatigue present, and not to perspiration checked. The ancient Romans were in the habit of often passing from their sudatorium, or sweating, to the cold bath. T'he Russians, for centuries, have been accustomed to go,
while in a state of reeking sweat, to a cold immersion, or to roll in the snow. So, also, in this way, the Indians of our own country accomplish, in a multitude of cases of rheumatism, fevers, etc., what could not be with any amount of drugs, and the lancet besides.
The Macedonians considered warm water to be enervating. Their women, after accouchement, were washed in cold water.
The Spartans bathed their children, as soon as born, in cold water; and the men of Sparta, both old and young, bathed at all seasons of the year, to harden their flesh, and strengthen their bodies.
Among the Araucanian Indians of South America, a mother, immediately after childbirth, takes her child, and going down to the nearest stream of water, washes herself and it, and returns to the usual labo rs of her station.
A remedy that has proved so potent in untrained and unskilled hands, affords a legitimate prospect of much greater success when wielded by men of cultivated minds, and devoted to the practice of the healing art.
So far as great names give a sanction to a system, the Water Cure is not without some of the most eminent in science, and the most distinguished in practice. Not to mention a host of physicians and profes sors on the contineat of Europe, with the illustrious Liebig at their head, it may be enough to cite some names of well-deserved note in England
- Sir Charles Scudamore, Drs. Wilson, Gully, Johnson, Adair, Craw. ford, Hume, Weatherhead, Freeman, Heathcote, Swethurst, Mr. Herbert Mayo, Mr. Courtney, Mr. Abdy, and many others. The system is rapidly gaining ground among intelligent and scientific men in our own country; and the French, Prussian, and Austrian Governments have alseady given their public approva. of its practice, the repoits w their respective commissions sent to the establishment of Priessnitz at. Gräfenberg to investigate its merits, having given a favorable verdict.
The Process of the Water Cure. Having premised with these general observations, we shall proceerd to explain the various modes of administering the remedy, with the diseases for which each mode is peculiarly applicable.
Sweating. This is produced as follows: The patient is stripped and laid upor a thick woolen blanket extended on the bed. An attendant wraps first the one side of the blanket round the body of the patient, drawing it close in every direction : grasping now firmly with the one hand the portion in which the patient is wrapped, he draws with the other hand the blanket round the body, and tucks this part also under him.
The coverings must be in close contact with the body, particularly at the neck, so that the heat emitted may be retained, for it is the excess of caloric thus confined that induces sweating. Before the outbreak of perspiration, slight excitement of the vessels generally passes off spontaneously ; but where it does not, a cooling bandage must be laid on the head of the patient, at the same time administering coló water internally. All parts affected with swellings are to be wrapped up in warming applications before envelopment, in order to allay the pain, which is usually more violent previous to perspiration. As persons thus enveloped are helpless, a servant should always be in attendance to open the windows as soon as sweating ensues, and to give los much cold water as is necessary to proniote perspiration, every ten or fifteen minutes.
The result of this mode of treatment is pretty certain.
The best time for sweating in chronic cases is in the early hours of he morning, from four to five o'clock. A repetition of the process the same day is only admissible as an exception. The ordinary dura, tion in chronic cases is from half an hour to three hours daily; but moderate perspiration may be encouraged for a longer time in acute diseases.
When the patient has remained in a state of perspiration long enough, the woolen covering should be loosened about his feet and legs, to enable him to walk. If not able, he is to be carried to the bath. No danger is to be dreaded from the transition from heat to cold, if everything is properly done.
After the bath, patients who can, should walk, or take other exercise, in fresh air. Those who cannot, must be rubbed after the bath for some time, first with wet cloths and then dry.
This is a powerful part of the treatment, and must be resorted to with prudence. Priessnitz does not now use it as often as formerly.
Wet Sheet. This is the great bug-bear of the treatment. The wet sheet is laid apon) one or more blankets, the patient lays himself at full length upon
the former, whereupon it is folded round him, so as to come in close contact with every portion of the body. He is then enveloped in the blanket and bed covering.
The wet sheets are of remarkable utility in all febrile diseases. In acute fevers, they must be changed according to the degree of heaty every quarter or half hour, until the dry, hot skin, becomes softer, and more prone to sweating. When this symptom is observed, the renewal of the wet cloths may be delayed till perspiration actually ensues The patient must then remain for several hours in this state, unti) uneasy sensations render it necesary to extricate him; but it is more advisable to keep him in the loosened envelopment until the sweating ceases spontaneously, when a tepid ablution, or half bath, should fol. low. In acute eruptions of the skin, measles, scarlatina, small pox, &c. the wet sheets are not less serviceable, than when the eruption cannot make its way to the surface in consequence of the dry state and heat of the skin, and of the violence of the fever; or where the rash has receded suddenly, owing to other disturbances. The wet sheets followed by tepid ablutions cannot be sufficiently recommended in many diseases of children.
In using the envelopment, we generally raise the temperature of the patient, and occasionally allow him to perspire, according to the circumstances of the case. Determination to the head during the process must be removed by cold applications to that part. If the feet remain cold for a long time in the wet cloths, and show no disposition to become warm, they are to be extricated and wrapped in the dry blanket only
The wet sheet produces two diametrically opposite effects, according as it is used. If it be changed frequently, as fast as the patient becomes warm, as, for instance, in cases of fever, almost any amount of heat may be abstracted slowly and gradually from the body. But if the patient remain half an hour, the most delicious sensation of warmth and a gentle perspiration are produced; while pains and uneasiness are removed.
Cooling Bardages. Bandages are made to produce the same effect upon any part of the vody, as the wet sheet upon the whole body. As cooling applications, they should be applied of a size suited to the part inflamed, folded from chree or four to eight times, dipped in very cold water, and are to bu renewed from every three or four to ten minutes, according to the ne. cessities of the case.
Warming, or Stimularıng Bandages. These are applied by folding linen two or three times, and dipping them in cold water, or they may be made slightly tepid ; they should be well pressed or wrung out, and are not to be changed until they begin to dry. They must be well adapted to the part, and also well secured from the action of the air by a dry bandage, which is better to be a non-conductor of heat, so that the part may be raised in tempera ture. The combined action of heat and moisture thus producid je highly beneficial in a great variety of indurations, swellings, tumor, &c. In the water cure, they are also much used in derangements of the digestive organs, affections of the abdomen, diseases of the liver, &c.
For the abdomen, a convenient form is made by folding and sewing together two or three thicknesses of linen, of sufficient length to pass round the body two or more times, the width varying according to the size of the person; one end is wet and wrung out, enough in length to cover the abdomen, or to pass round the body if desirable, and then applied as tightly as comfortable—and the dry folds over in the same manner, the whole secured by tapes attached for the purpose. There should always be enough dry cloths to prevent a permanent chill.
Rubbing Wet Sheet. A coarse linen sheet, suitable for holding considerable water, and tor friction, is here used. It may be allowed even dripping. The patient standing ready, it is to be thrown over the head or closely about the neck, so as to create a slight shock, and immediately very active friction is to be used by the assistant behind, and the patient, if able ur another assistant, before. This should be continued from one to five minutes, when the skin will have become reddened and warm. This must be followed briskly by a coarse dry sheet or dry cloths, until the surface is perfectly dry and in a complete glow. The patient is then immediately dressed for exercise, or for bed, as the case may be. The temperature of the water used should correspond with the strength of the patient. Those who are so feeble as to render it necessary to remain in bed, can be often much benefited by a judicious rubbing while in bed. This is a highly useful application, and, if judiciously nade, will produce nearly all the good effects of a bath, and will often be found much more convenient of application.
Ablutions. These may be performed in the following manner :-The hands, o. a sponge or cloth, is dipped into a vessel containing cold water, placed on a chair. The sponge or cloth is to be gently expressed, and then conveyed for some few minutes rapidly over the whole surface of the body; then the same operation is to be performed with dry cloths, brushes, &c., until the surface is entirely dry. Every one, old and young, should practise daily ablutions.
The best times for these ablutions is the morning. They are to be performed immediately after rising from bed, when the temperature or the body is raised by the heat of the bed. !n many cases a second ablution before going to bed will suffice. Local ablution will have to be repeated most frequently, where we wish to produce increased reacLion; even in these cases the natural warmth of the body should be restored before proceeding to a second ablvion; to increase the ben?ficial effects of this washing, it should be accompanied by friction during the process; this is a so essential immediately after it. Quite is necessary is exercise in the open air, if circumstances will in any way permit it. Very great invalids only may be allowed, afier wasb. ing, to retire to bed.
Plunging Baths. Tre immersion of the body covered with sweat, into cold water, is exempt fron danger, provided the organs of perspiration are in a state of repose. The risk which is incurred of catching cold, if, on arriving ut a river to bathe, we remain until the body is cold, cannot exist in this case; as we thereby abstract from the body the heat which it requires to produce reaction, and thus lose the good effect of bathing. If we walk fast, or a long distance, to the bath, it is requisite to repose a little in order to tranquillize the lungs, after which we must undress qnickly and plunge headforemost into the water, having first wetted the head and chest, to prevent the blood from mounting to those regions. This precaution is strongly enforced at Graefenberg. During the bath, the head ought to be immersed several times into the water. Great care is requisite in not exposing the body, between throwing aside the blanket after sweating and entering into the bath.
It is highly advantageous to keep in movement in the bath, and to rub with the hands any parts afflicted. The skin is thus stimulated, and the sensation of cold abated. Those whose chests are affected, must exercise moderation in the use of the bath, entering it only by degrees, and not staying in it too long. In gel.eral, the time for remaining in the bath is governed by the coldness of the water, and the vital heat. At Graefenberg, where the temperature of the water is from 43 to 50 degrees, no one stays longer in the bath than from six to eight minutes. Priessnitz advises his patients to avoid the second sensation of cold by leaving the bath before it is felt; by this means the patient will avoid a too powerful reaction provoked by a great subtraction of heat. This precaution is indispensable at the epoch of the treatment marked by fevers and eruptions. Then a reaction, produced by an immoderate use of the bath or douche, would compel the invalid to keep his bed for some days without at all accelerating the cure.
A glass or two of water immediately after the bath, is agreeable, and should not be omitted whilst walking.
The Half-Bath. 'This is employed in cases in which the whole bath would be too much for the strength of the invalid, who inay require to be bathed for a longer time, in order to excité the morbid humors. It is less active than the entire bath, and it is attended with less danger. The tempere ature of the small or half-bath is never lower than about 60 degrees.
The water in these half-baths is only about three to six inches deep When it is necessary that the invalid should have the advantage of an cntire bath, water is poured upon, or the attendant constantly wets the body and head with the water of the bath.
'The half-bath is frequently taken by the patient immediately after be has been confined in the wet sheet. It may be accompsnied by a gente oral sprinkling of the body with cold water and rubbing. When the patient g lits the bath, he 'dries himself, dresses, and proceeds to take exercise in the open air.