Chapter 20 - Hydropathic Treatment
Processes of Hydropathic Treatment
Different Baths
Sea Bathing
Injections
Rules for Using Water
Wet Bandages and Compresses
Wet Sheet Pack
Wet Dress
Half Pack
Folded Wet Sheet
Rubbing Wet Sheet
Douche
Shower
Cataract
Hose
Pail Douche
Wave
Half Bath
Plunge
Head
Leg
Sitz
Wash Tub
Sponge
Wash Down
Foot
Nose
Eye and Ear and Mouth Baths
Oral Bath
Fletcherism

20.4 Injections

Injections. THE term injection implies the act of throwing a fluid into some cavity of the body. In Water Cure we inject water more frequently into the bowels than any other cavity. This kind of injection is also called enema, or clyster. Most people have so little confidence in simple water, that if a clyster is administered to them, they have no idea that it can operate in so effectual a way as it usually does. Years ago, when the water treatment was much less known than at the present time, I have been suspected of having secretly put some cathartic substance in the water, 11 for," said the patients, 11 how is it possible for water to act in this way? " A great variety of injection instruments have been invented. Some of these are very convenient and useful; others are got up on mere speculation, and are but little worth. Every family, at least, ought to have a good injection instrument. A lady's toilet is never complete without it. A good article is either manufactured or sold by most surgical instrument makers and druggists. Modus Operandi of Water. IT is often objected to hydropathy, that water, being but one agent, cannot be made useful in all diseases. I propose here to make some remarks on the modus operandi of water, in which I shall endeavor to explain, not only to the scientific scholar, but to the ordinary reader, that water is capable of being made available as a remedy, and that powerfully too, in a great variety of ways. It then acts: 1. By its Presence. Water, as we have seen elsewhere, composes the larger part of the living body, and that without its presence in a large proportion in the living system, the vital processes cannot for a moment go on. 2. By its Coldness. Cold, within proper limits, preserves and augments life, while heat tends to debility and decay. In proportion as the animal heat is diminished in the different classes of animals, the less is the want of air felt. If in a puppy the eighth pair of nerves be divided, producing a closure of the glottis so that no air can enter its lungs, the animal dies in half an hour, if kept at an ordinary temperature. But if the animal is benumbed with cold it survives the operation for a whole day. Frogs, in the summer, when the temperature of water is elevated, are obliged to come often to the surface for air. But in winter, when the water is colder, they live almost entirely under its surface. A cholera patient in collapse, a person who has been stifled by foul gases, one in the sinking stage of a fever, or fainting from loss of blood, or in any way asphyxiated, desires always coldness rather than heat. It may not be possible in the present state of science to explain these phenomena; but undeniably we have the facts. 3. By Endosmosis and Exosmosis. Animal membranes have the power of absorbing liquids, called endosmosis, or imbibitions, and of throwing them out, exosmosis, or transudation. If we take a portion of the intestine of a chicken, tie one end, nearly fill it with milk, then tie the other end, and lastly immerse it in a tumbler or other vessel of pure water, we find that in a short time the milk passes out of the intestine into the water, and the water inwardly mingling with the milk. This process goes on till the fluid within and without the intestine becomes one and the same. This is a familiar illustration of the principle in question. 4. By Dilution. Water is the greatest diluents in nature. There is no substance which is at all comparable to it for penetrating the myriads upon myriads of capillaries that exist in all parts of the living structure. When the fluids become thick, viscid, and filled with impure matters, as is usually the case to a greater or less extent, in disease, it is an important object to dilute these matters. For this purpose water is the only available remedy. 5. By its Tonic Effect. Water is the greatest of all tonics, and possesses the valuable property, not of wearing out, but of increasing in its good effects. 6. By its Excitant or Electrical Power. A man feels dull and stupid from excessive bodily or mental labor, from excessive alimentation, or spirit, or tea and coffee drinking, with the blood all crowding up into his head. We apply the well wrung rubbing wet sheet one, two, or three times, to his surface, according as he may need, and he at once perceives a most wonderful change for the better. Or a man feels of a morning dull and stupid, with his muscles sore; he has the rubbing wet sheet, the plunge, shower, or douche, and instantly his troubles vanish. Or he may have a lumbar abscess, which has run him down so low that when he wakes in the morning be finds he cannot walk. Two or three gallons of cold water are poured over him, upon which he walks readily. Now these effects of water, remarkable as they are, arise simply from its excitant or electrical power. 7. By its Temperature. In acute disease, in all fevers and inflammations, of whatever name or grade, the great power of water to regulate the temperature of the body is one of the most striking of all the phenomena cognizable by man. By the use of cold water we can always vary the heat of the body and the velocity of the heart's action to any desirable extent. 8. By Purifying the Blood. Water accomplishes one thing which no drug, no other substance in nature can. It purifies the blood. It does this because it penetrates every lane and alley of the system, however minute. No capillary is so delicate that it does not penetrate its smallest possible part. It purifies the blood, because as long as the vital principle lasts, the tendency of nature is to preserve the vital fluid in a healthy state; and penetrating every tissue of the body as water does, it assists nature in the purifying process as no other substance can. 9. By Augmenting the Vital Force. No fact in science is better established than that water possesses the power of actually increasing the amount of vitality in the system. This is, in fact, the prime effect of water. It aids the system in throwing off disease in the same way that increasing a merchant's capital aids him in throwing off debt. The foregoing propositions are submitted as elucidating some of the leading principles concerned in the action of water upon the living body. I do not claim, however, that the whole of the philosophy of the effects of water is yet understood by any one. Doubtless those who know most about it have yet much to learn.

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