Turkish and Other Baths: A Guide to Good Health and Longevity by Stables, Gordon
Turkish and Other Baths A Guide to Good Health and Longevity By Gordon Stables Illustrations by Messrs Allen Published by Dean and Son, London.
Turkish and Other Baths, by Gordon Stables.
________________________________________________________________________ TURKISH AND OTHER BATHS, BY GORDON STABLES.
No apology surely is needed for a work like this, and its preface need be but brief. Small is the book, in size little more than a pamphlet; yet mayhap it contains hints that will not be thrown away on any reader, and may be invaluable to many who wish to secure health, long life and happiness.
Christmas Morning, 1882.
THE SKIN--ITS USES AND GREAT IMPORTANCE IN THE ANIMAL ECONOMY.
Apart from any consideration of the bath as a remedial measure, in cases of disease, its importance as an agent for preserving the health, and granting to those who use it judiciously a reasonable hope of long life, cannot easily be over-estimated. But in order to understand properly the beneficial action of baths on the system, we must have some little knowledge of the physiology of the skin. Without such knowledge, all arguments that we could adduce in favour of the constant use of the bath in some shape or form, would be of the _post hoc propter hoc_ kind, and therefore of little value.
What, then, we may ask, are the uses of the skin, for what ends has Nature designed it, and what is its _modus operandi_? Briefly stated, the uses of the skin are as follows:--Firstly, it covers and protects from violence the surface of the whole body, and the various tender and sensitive parts that lie immediately beneath it; secondly, it is the organ of touch; thirdly, it is the great regulator of the heat of the body; fourthly, it performs the duties of a great emunctory, and by means of its millions of sudoriferous, or sweat glands, each with its efferent duct; it carries off and out of the body a vast quantity of effete matter, which, if retained in the blood, would poison it, and therefore unfit it for the healthful performance of its functions; fifthly, the skin acts as an absorbent; and, sixthly, it is to some extent an organ of respiration.
The use of the skin as a protective covering to the body is apparent to every one, and we cannot help admiring its great and perfect adaptability for the purpose. On the soles of the feet, and palms of the hands, it is thicker than in other places, being thereon subjected to more wear and tear; on the trunk of the body, and on the arms it is soft and smooth, and it is everywhere wonderfully elastic and pliable. Moreover, it is lined throughout with a base work of fat, which gives extra support and security to the muscles, and, wherever in the body protection from the results of pressure is needed, we find that this fat is deposited in actual cushions, as under the heels, under the balls of the toes, on the hips, etc.
And here we may remark that, whenever the elasticity of the skin is impaired, as it is in the bodies of those who do not accustom themselves to the bath and perfect ablution, loathsome diseases are apt to be the result, which not only interfere with the actions of the skin itself, but lower the vitality of the whole system.
The use of the skin as an organ of touch is equally apparent. Being supplied with a most intricate network of blood vessels and nerves, the skin is all over a most sensitive organ, and thus serves to warn us in time of the approach of anything likely to be detrimental to our health. If we sit in a draught, the skin of the body chills almost at once; it begins to creep, as it were, warning us that it is time to move, time to seek shelter, or protect ourselves by an extra garment. Some portions of the skin are far more sensitive than others; that of the eyelids, for instance, which is agitated by the slightest breath of air, or by a touch communicated to it by the least pressure on the eyelashes.
By means of, or through, the medium of its vast number of sweat glands, the skin regulates the amount of heat in our bodies. This is a function which is much more important than most people might at first imagine. The temperature of the body in health is about 99 degrees Fahrenheit, if it rises much above this--even a few degrees, indeed--or if it falls much below it, severe illness is indicated, danger is apparent, danger even to life itself. An equable temperature of the body it is therefore evident is alone compatible with perfect health, but if it were not for the perspiratory system, when any extra strain is put upon the body, as by hard work, or hard exercise, heat would accumulate in the system, and the temperature of the body would be raised, to our discomfort, detriment, and danger. But the pores of the skin are our safety valves; from exertion the blood is determined to the surface, the sweat glands are thus excited to increased action, and perspiration is thrown off in abundance, which, passing off in steam, carries with it--in obedience to a law too well known to need explanation--all the extra caloric. In hot weather, a great deal of heat is thus expended through the skin; in cold weather the kidneys are more active, and they excrete the water which otherwise would have passed through the pores, and by storing it for a time in a reservoir designed for the purpose, conserve the heat of the system, and prevent lowering of the animal temperature.
By means of these same sweat glands with their ducts or pores, an immense amount of effete matter is carried off from the body in the course of twenty-four hours, which, as already stated, if retained in the system, would tend to lower vitality by poisoning the blood.
If the reader recollects that the lungs also perform a renovating function on the blood, and thus on the body, that oxygen is inhaled, and that air loaded with carbonic acid, water, etc, exhaled, he will readily understand how much assistance the respiratory organs receive from a healthy acting skin.
Nor can the intelligent reader be unaware that the nutrient portion of the food we eat, after undergoing the process of digestion performed in the mouth--where it is masticated and mingled with the solvent saliva-- in the stomach, where it is reduced by muscular action, and the gastric juices to the pulp called chyme--in the upper portions of the intestines--where it receives the secretions of liver and pancreas and becomes chyle, is collected by a series of absorbent vessels which unite at last to form the thoracic duct, or grand chyle canal, which empties itself of its valuable contents directly into one of the largest veins in the body, and is thus mingled with the general circulation. He knows, too, that the pure life-giving arterial blood, which, rushing onwards from that mighty force-pump, the heart, is distributed to every atom of the system, returns at last laden with the used up particles of the tissues; that, in fact, a constant change is going on in the system, a constant deposit of new matter, a constant discharge of old. And that the dark venous blood, containing the effete matter, rushes through the lungs, therein to be spread out, and chemically united to the oxygen of the air that we breathe, before it is again pumped out towards the tissues to supply them with heat and life. But it must not be forgotten, that not the lungs only, but the kidneys, the liver, and the spleen have each and all of them their duties to perform towards the blood; and last, but not least, that the skin, when in a state of health, assists them in no small degree in performing their several functions.
But there are other glands which receive assistance from the skin in the performance of their duties. We refer to those distributed here and there in the frame-work of the body, notably in the axilla, the groin, and under the skin of the neck, and whose functions are to purify, in some way or other, the matter collected by a series of vessels called the lymphatics, before it is again applied to the purposes of nutrition.
"The amount of fluid," says a well-known physiologist, "exhaled from the skin and lungs in twenty-four hours, averages about three or four pounds. And there is good reason to think that this excretion is of the greatest importance in carrying off certain substances that would prove injurious if allowed to remain in the blood.
"That which is called the Hydrophatic system, proceeds upon the plan of increasing the cutaneous exhalation to a very large amount; and there seems much evidence that certain deleterious matters, the presence of which in the blood gives rise to gout, rheumatism, etc, are drawn off from it more speedily and certainly in this way than in any other."
If space permitted, the utility of the skin as one of the greatest emunctories of the system might be much enlarged upon; we trust, however, we have said quite enough to establish its importance in the animal economy.
HOW TO MAINTAIN THE SKIN IN HEALTH.
If the skin then, is an emunctory of so much consequence, as we have endeavoured to shew it to be, it stands to reason, that even the impartial performance of its functions, is incompatible with healthful existence. One might go farther and boldly aver, that a person who is a stranger to the bath, is as much to be pitied as a being with only one lung; both may exist, neither live.
On the other hand, it cannot be denied that there are thousands of men and women in these islands, who seem to enjoy a large share of robust health, and who possess what assurance companies would call, "good lives," but who never indulge in the luxury of either a bath or a bedroom tub. But it will generally be found, that these people belong to the out-door working classes, who take abundant exercise in the open air, people whose pores are kept patent by the toil they undergo, and who, moreover, possess capacious lungs, substantial livers and healthy kidneys. Nevertheless, did these same persons make a practice of constantly using some form of bath, they would throw far less strain upon their internal organs, their blood would be purer, and their minds consequently lighter, and they would stand far less chance of catching cold, and succumbing to inflammation of some vital part. A person whose skin is not in easy working order, and who depends upon exertion and exercise alone, for keeping it up to the mark, must, if thrown on a bed of sickness, have a harder struggle for life than one whose skin is, in every sense of the word, a healthy one.
Everything seems to point to the conclusion that the health of the skin is a matter of paramount importance to the individual, we cannot therefore be wrong if we devote this chapter to the consideration of the best means within our reach, of maintaining it in a sound and vigorous condition.
So intimate is the connection between the skin and internal organs of the body, and so constantly and incessantly do they act and re-act on each other, that the state of the former may generally be taken as a key to the condition of the whole system. If the skin be dry, harsh, hot or in any way possessed of an uncomfortable feeling, the general health is, for the time being, out of order, or if it be cold or rough and chilly, the health must be below par, even although that state of being should be but momentary.
A feeling of warmth, comfort and geniality, pervades the skin of the man who is well; deprived of this feeling he is deprived of health, he is ill, acutely subacutely, or chronically ill.
DIET:--The influence of diet on the skin is very great.
This is a fact which should be borne in mind by all, but especially by those who are subject to any kind of skin complaint, or to gout or rheumatism. The latter disease, from which so many people suffer periodically, is, with a good show of reason, believed to be caused by a superabundance of acid in the blood. This acid is easily got rid of at most times, by means of the sensible and insensible perspiration; but if, through some error in diet, an irritable condition of the mucous membrane of the alimentary canal is produced, and a larger proportion of acid than usual is the result; and if at or about the same time something--a cold, or chill, for instance--interferes with the free action of the skin, it stands to reason that an attack of the old enemy, gout, or rheumatic gout will supervene, and the character of the attack will greatly depend on the condition of the patient's system at the time. If he be full blooded and robust it may be acute or sub-acute. Thus it often happens that at the very time when a man of rheumatic diathesis is in finest form, he is suddenly laid prostrate by the return of his foe. If, on the other hand, he be not of a full habit, the disease will be less violent in its nature, and this probably accounts for the fact, that men of spare habit are, as a rule, capable of weathering more rheumatic storms than men who have been cast in a larger mould.
No medical man now-a-days thinks of prescribing for a patient without at the same time giving him advice as to what he should eat, drink, or avoid. Some hundred years ago, physicians were, we may presume, not so skilled as we are now-a-days, but neither were they so apt to lose themselves in that labyrinth we may call _causae morborum_, and they never lost sight of the state of the stomach and bowels. Indeed, the exhibition of aperients was often a kind of sheet anchor with them, with which they held on with determination when everything else failed them, and we can scarcely doubt that they were often right in doing so. Nor is the belief so common with the illiterate, that if a man can eat and drink moderately well, there cannot be much the matter with him, so very erroneous after all. Diet is of paramount importance with all of us, for the simplest reason possible. Our blood is generated from the food we eat, and as the blood is, so will the system be, which it has to nourish. No matter how clever a mania, or how rich, or how eminent, if he is guilty of errors in diet, he is but a golden calf with feet of clay.
But he who lives judiciously in the matter of diet, possesses a truly marvellous advantage over his fellows who do not. A man in health should begin the day early. He ought to have his morning tub by half-past seven at the latest. He ought to dress leisurely, and have, if possible, a five or ten minutes' walk in the open air, before he sits down to breakfast.
Well-made tea is probably the best beverage for breakfast, and if between meals a man requires some refreshment, a cup of coffee or tea will be found more sustaining and less dangerous than either beer or wine.
The breakfast maybe a moderately hearty one, and the dinner should be an early one, and nothing ought to be partaken of which is known to disagree. Supper should be early and light, but not necessarily sloppy. Solid food is more likely to be quietly digested than slops. A biscuit and glass of milk, or beer, may be partaken about half an hour before retiring, if it is found that sounder sleep is acquired by such indulgence.
The errors in diet which should be avoided are:--First, eating too fast; second, taking stimulants of any kind to provoke an appetite; third, the use of rich sauces and peppers; fourth, eating too much; and fifth, partaking of too many varieties at one meal. A man should eat with _regularity_ and _moderation_, and _frequently change his diet_.
DRINK.--Pure water is the best, but water that will not wash is unfit for drinking or making food, withal. Cocoa, coffee, tea, and milk in moderation, and in summer whey and buttermilk are healthful drinks. Iced waters, cooling cups, and too many effervescing mixtures are to be avoided.
Regularity in the times of going to bed and getting up should be studied.
PURE AIR.--One cannot have too much of this. The air in rooms ought to be kept pure and sweet, and that of the bedroom moderately warm. Bedrooms ought to be large, and not overfilled with furniture, especially things likely to collect dust. Curtains about beds do more harm than good.
DRESS AND CLOTHING.--No more should be worn than is necessary to keep the surface of the body agreeably comfortable. It should not be tight, and mackintoshes and goloshes are injurious to health. Bed clothes should be light and warm. People, as a rule, heap their beds with far too much clothing, and sleep is thus often banished.
SLEEP.--Secure it by natural means; _never_, unless under medical advice, by taking draughts, or "night-caps." Regularity in living, exercise, and the bath, are the best narcotics, but a pipe of mild tobacco last thing may often do good.
EXERCISE.--Exercise, to be beneficial, should be pleasant, the mind should be free and happy. Exercise does little or no good unless enjoyed, hence work is not exercise. It should never be carried to the verge of fatigue, and if the under-clothing has been damped by perspiration, it ought to be changed before sitting or lying down. As to under-clothing, no one over thirty, who values his health and life, should neglect to wear it in some form, wool is warmer than cotton, silk better than either. The best form of exercise is that which maintains the largest number of muscles in play, and does not over-sweat the body, nor over-heat the head. It ought to be varied, too, but whether it be walking, riding, driving, rowing, playing games, or those most exhilarating exercises bicycling and tricycling, it ought to be taken regularly, day after day, and we may add, all the year round.
While taking exercise, the clothing ought to be as loose as possible, in order to permit of the full play of the muscles, and avoid dangerous contractions of the internal vital organs.
Note 1. See, "Tea, the Drink of Pleasure and of Health," by same author, published by Messrs. Field and Tuer, Leadenhall Street.
THE LUXURY OF THE TURKISH BATH--ITS USES AND PHYSIOLOGICAL ACTION--THE AILMENTS IT TENDS TO CURE.
Next to the pleasure of enjoying an Anglo-Turkish bath oneself, _in propria persona_, is that of hearing some one dilate on its merits.
And few who have ever tried it, will be found unwilling to expatiate freely on the topic of Turkish bathing; of its great and manifold advantages over all other systems of bathing, of the delights they experienced while _in_ the bath, and of the feelings of lightness and comfort, calmness of mind and positive happiness induced thereby. This prince of baths would, we verily believe, change the dullest clodhopper to a wit for a time, and convert the prosiest old antiquarian into a poet.
If it has such a transforming power on the brains of the by-no-means brilliant, is it any wonder that men of bright intellect like Sir Erasmus Wilson and David Urquhart, should write or talk so prettily about this, their favourite mode of bathing. As a rule there is not much room for poetry in the medical profession, albeit Dr Jenner, carried away by a pardonable enthusiasm, described the vaccination pustule of the ninth day, with its crimson areola as "the pearl upon the rose." Yet we cannot read the glowing and graphic description given by the great dermatologist, concerning his visit to the bath at Riverside, without wishing that he had marshalled his thoughts, for once in a way, in the splendid hexameters of a Longfellow. A bath like that of Mr Urquhart's, from which one emerged with "the body shining like alabaster, fragrant as the cistus, sleek as satin and soft as velvet," is surely worthy of the high honours of blank verse. And this thermal paradise is sketched by Sir Erasmus in language as brilliant and beautiful, as any that ever the _other_ professor Wilson puts into the month of the bard of Ettrick, in his inimitable Noctes Ambrosianae.
We must be forgiven, if we pick a plum or two from the description, and hand them round to our readers, there are plenty more on the tree which they may cull for themselves [Note 1]. At the door of the Frigidarium or cool room, the would-be bather loosens the latchets of his shoes, and leaves them behind the lintel; the portal opens and he enters. This apartment though not large is sunny and bright. It is a morning in early summer, and, through the glass doors, can be seen a balcony festooned with roses; beyond the parapet of the balcony are terraces of which the rose is still the favoured flower, while further on can be seen the rippling surface of a noisy stream, then meadows with grazing herds and flocks, and beyond these the wooded hill arching like an eyebrow around the bright spot in which as the apple of the eye, sparkles the bath. By his side is a _dureta_ over against him a reclining chair, around the sides of the apartment are cushioned divans; books, and chibouques, and many a Turkish ornament are around, and the floor is spread with carpets of Persia, and the clean fresh mattings of India.
Opposite the glass doors is an immense sheet of plate glass; through it are seen marble steps, and in the aqueous depths to which these steps descend, is the reflection of the morning sun. Here he may court the rays of Phoebus, smiling through festoons of roses to visit the deepest pool of his bath. Here he can swim while the sun glistens in the crystal drops that linger on his skin, or makes mimic rainbows in the spray that he dashes before him in his plunging revel.
The author passes on through a door by the side of the immense barrier of glass. This door closes behind him, then onwards through a second door to be greeted by a delightful atmosphere, and experience tells him that no place of terrestrial existence save _the_ bath can yield that warm, soft and balmy aether. Two steps down and then a platform. Two steps more, the heat increases, and he has reached the tropical line of the bath. But the hottest room was enveloped in scarlet hangings, a fiery tent, where the temperature stood at from 240 to 250 degrees.
On a divan at a later stage of the hath, under a less degree of heat, he spends many minutes of genuine enjoyment. Just overhead is a plug to withdraw in order to admit a breath of fresh air if desired, and this delicious gush of ambrosial air comes to him, perfumed with the sweet breath of flowers over which it has been contrived that it shall pass.
Then comes a deeper descent of four steps, with a still warm but lower temperature, where on the clear marble edge of the Lavatorina he seats himself, while his host plies the soft pad of _gazul_ over his head and back and sides. Then basin after basin of warm water, rinses the gazul and the loosened epidermis from the surface, and he rises from the bath to recommence his observations, visiting in turn all the soft, the warm, the perfumed, the hot, the cool and the cold nooks he can find, and thus the time flies by and the breakfast hour draws near; but before he can quit the bath, it is necessary that the pores of the body, which all this time have been filtering the waste fluids of the body through their numberless apertures, should be made to close, and with this intent he descends into the marble pool or _piscina_, whose waters in summer are cooled with ice, and crouches under the tap, and lets the cold current encircle him, then a pail of hot water rushes on him like an avalanche, followed immediately by one of cold, and this is many times repeated.
Upward now, to the Frigidarium, with a mantle round his shoulders after being rubbed down with soft Turkish towels, therein, reclined on a softly cushioned sofa, to enjoy half-an-hour's suggestive and instructive conversation, before going to breakfast with an appetite like--like a man.
Sir Erasmus does not tell us how much he enjoyed that breakfast, but we can easily fancy that part of the performance. We can easily believe, that his manly onslaught upon the viands set before him, would have been highly appreciated by Christopher North himself, with Tickler and the Shepherd "settling down to serious eating."
But it is not merely as a luxury that, in this little work of ours, we venture to recommend the Anglo-Turkish bath to our readers although taken simply for the sake of enjoyment, a man never fails to cherish the memory of his first bath, as does a maiden that of her first ball. But our recommendation has a far wider scope than this. We look upon the bath as the best means mankind has:--
ONE.--For maintaining the body in a state of perfect health.
TWO.--For averting the many ailments incidental to life and--
THREE.--For the cure of not a few diseases.
Few there are in our own country, or probably in any other, who enjoy really good and robust health, constantly. Apart from inherited illnesses, the wear and tear of life, end the worry that naturally attends the struggle for existence is very hard upon most of us, and if it were not for weekly periods of rest, the average span of our existence would be a much shorter one than it really is. And, alas! as a rule, our periods of rest seem far too short, our one day's toil seems hardly well over, until another one begins, and thus our existences are fretted away. To many amongst us life seems one long drawn-out weariness; from year's end to year's end the back must ache, and the temples throb, till the very heart grows "tired of its own sad beat, and yearns for rest." But to live like this, or in any way akin to it, is not to be in a state of health. If a man be really healthy, he is reasonably happy, if he does not feel reasonably happy, he is not in a condition of health. In health there is a complete freedom from ache or pain, from bruise or blemish, from heat or cold; every joint is supple, every muscle capable of contraction and extension. And the mind should feel as light and buoyant as the body, a healthy man should feel a pleasure in merely living, he should be capable of taking an interest in everything that goes on around him, in all he sees, in all he hears, in all he reads, and in all that concerns the well-being of his fellow creatures, and honest toil itself should be an enjoyment to him, and not a worry, not a penance.
It is the custom in England, and a terribly wrong and fatal one it is, to fly to stimulants for the relief of temporary-exhaustion; that is, at the very time when our bodies are tired, and nature courts a brief rest, we dig in the spur, we wield the whip, and keep her at it invariably to her detriment. The very fact that the amount of stimulant taken requires to be increased after a time proves how deleterious is this plan, the modest glass of sherry, or mildest ale, needs after a time to be replaced by fiery brandy or heart-corroding gin. This last is putting an extra thong on the whip, and it is no wonder if, after a time, some important internal organ gives way, and one more is added to the list of incurable invalids.
How much better would it be if tea and coffee took the place of dangerous stimulants, and the balance of health was sought to be retained by the daily use of the morning tub, and a bi-weekly indulgence in an Anglo-Turkish Bath. It is not too much to hope for, and it certainly is not too much to pray for, that public baths upheld in a great measure by Government, may yet be one of the institutions of our beloved land. What a blessing these would be to hard working men, and to the tired and weary among all classes. I venture to predict, that if people were to make a habit of using the Turkish Bath, say on the Saturday afternoons only, gin palaces and dram saloons that now reek with filth and disease would lose many a customer. Persons would find out that there was no real way consonant with the acknowledged rules of health and hygiene of banishing fatigue, of dispelling aches and pains, of calming the nervous system, and preparing the mind for the perfect enjoyment of that day of blessed rest called Sunday.
As a prophylactic against innumerable diseases, we have recommended the use of the Anglo-Turkish Bath. It is almost unnecessary to enlarge upon this head, but a word or two may not be thrown away. Two, then, of the great _causae norborum_, or disease inducers in this country are cold and indigestion. Now, so long as the skin is a healthy one, and in good working order, it is next to impossible for any one to catch cold through it, if he only takes care to clothe it not heavily but judiciously in warm woollens or light soft silks. It stands to reason that an organ, an instrument or machine--call it what we may--which is perfect in workings, is not so easily thrown out of gear or out of order as one not so perfect. We could fill a volume with cases of people who are constantly in the habit of using Baths, who can stand exposure to both cold and wet with but little inconvenience; and we also know a vast number of votaries of the Bath who do at times catch cold like other people, being probably constitutionally susceptible to its influence-- but who get clear of their colds in quite a remarkably short time. The reason undoubtedly is that they have the power to "throw them off," as the common saying is.
Well, now, as to indigestion. As the reader knows, the whole internal surface of the body is lined with a mucous membrane, which is analagous to the skin or external covering, and as the one is so will the other be; mucous indigestion, therefore, it may be clearly perceived is averted by the use of the Bath. But indigestion may proceed from loss of nerve power, or from a badly acting liver or spleen, or from weakness of the heart, etc. And the Bath strengthens and tones the nervous system far more than any tonic we wot of, moreover its constant use makes the work which the liver and spleen have to perform, mere play, so to speak; and if the Bath invigorates muscle--and we know it does--it must act as a roborant or tonic to the heart itself, which is composed for the most part of muscular tissues.
Many people produce a species of irritable indigestion, by the use of stimulants, for this the Anglo-Turkish bath is an almost certain cure, as it relieves internal congestions, steadies the nerves and produces refreshing sleep.
Many poisons are generated in the system, to which if free vent be not given by means of the pores of a healthily acting skin, mischief is sure sooner or later to arise, such mischief for instance as gout and rheumatism, to which reference has already been made. But the condition of the kidneys is seldom or never studied by anyone and yet if they do not act sufficiently well to expel urea from the blood, a more or less injurious effect is caused upon the brain and nerve centres. This the periodical use of the Anglo-Turkish bath, would tend to remove.
We all know the demoralising effect that the first glass of spirits is said to have upon a man inclined to the abuse of intoxicants; it so affects his brain that he no longer knows, or he disregards right form wrong as far as his health is concerned. But a similar demoralisation of brain tissue, may be produced by poisons positively generated in the system; at least this is our opinion. Those, for example, who have been given to alcohol, often keep "steady" as they phrase it for a month or months, then suddenly or gradually, as the case may be, break out again. This is doubtless caused by the play of some accumulated system-propagated poison on the brain and nerves. This poison may be urea, or it may be some acid, it matters not, it is in the blood and it ought to be eliminated and we earnestly advise those, who would be abstainers but who find it difficult to long remain so, to fly at once for relief to the hot-air bath, whenever the "_tempter_," as platform orators call it, seems to urge them to take once more to stimulants.
We think it highly probable, that many inherited diseases such as consumption, scrofula, etc, may be kept at bay by the constant use of the bath under consideration, if only for the simple reason that the blood poisoning is thus constantly being driven off, before it has power to accumulate in quantities large enough to do mischief; not to mention the fact that the bath causes healthful activity of all the secretions.
The diseases which the Turkish bath may be the means of curing or alleviating, are really too numerous to mention. Among them may be enumerated gout, rheumatic gout, rheumatism, acute and chronic, colds and coughs, indigestion in some of its worst forms, bowel affections, piles, chronic liver and spleen ailments, kidney complaints, incipient delirium tremens, melancholy and depression of spirits, nervousness, irritability of temper, sleeplessness, _ennui_, the diseases of sedentary and also of fashionable life, adiposity, etc. That condition of body and mind generally caused by indiscretion of some kind, and usually known by the expression "out of sorts," or "out of condition," when weariness and depression are predominant, when sleep is unrest, and every duty of life is performed with a feeling of extreme irksomeness, and when the nerves seem given as a punishment, is almost invariably cured by a course of Turkish Bathing taken in conjunction with some nervine tonic, and an occasional well-chosen aperient.
Diseases and debilities of the reproductive organs, are by the same means equally benefited, but in these cases galvanism in some form is often required to effect a complete cure.
Note 1. See--"The Eastern Bath," published by Messrs. J. and A. Churchill, New Burlington Street.
THE TURKISH BATH: IN THEORY AND PRACTICE--THE PORTABLE TURKISH BATH.
Let us now endeavour to explain the theory of the Turkish Bath, and the why and wherefore of the different operations the bather subjects himself to therein. If he be a person who has bathed many times and oft, he steps across the threshold of the great natural Sanatorium with a light heart and a step as springy as though he were entering a ball-room, for well he knows that all his care and trouble whether mental or bodily, will melt away in the glorious atmosphere of the _calidarium_ or hot room, and that when he comes out again he will feel so new a man, that a giant refreshed would have no chance with him.
He parts with his ticket or half-crown with pleasure, feeling in his inmost heart that he has the best of the bargain. And so he enters his little sanctum and begins to undress. He would fain hurry off his garments: he longs to be free but he remembers that everything ought to be done leisurely for his good. But now the last article of apparel is laid carefully aside and he smiles to himself--a happy smile--as he dons the cummerbund, or cotton pyjamas, and issues forth to enter the calidarium.
He will not have long remained here until beads of perspiration appear on chest and brow, and arms, gradually extending downwards until limbs and even feet are covered with a warm moisture. A mouthful or two of cold water will cause the drops of perspiration to accumulate and increase in size, until uniting, they trickle "in burns"--as the Scotch call it, from the body. He has very likely assumed a reclining position on a wooden cane-bottomed settee. Here he may read if so minded, he will hardly care to talk, if he does he ought not to. A strange dreamy kind of happiness steals over him, not wild exciting thoughts like those of the opium-eater. No, his is now indeed the _dolce far niente_; he has eaten the lotus leaf, all worldly cares, if he has any, are for the time being forgotten, he even wonders that he permitted anything sublunary to worry him.
And so the time passes all too quickly away. Perhaps the attendant now warns him it is time to retire, or to enter even a hotter room in which he will stay a shorter time, then thence to the lavatory. How pleasant the trickling of the warm shower bath, how delightful the soap shampoo, that removes every bit from top to toe of the unhealthy, or at least superfluous scarf skin.
Every particle of impurity may be said to have exuded from the blood, which is now pure as the constitution of the bather can permit it to be, and every particle of impurity has been washed by shampooing from the outer surface. The warm shower completes the cleansing. But now the gaping pores must be made to contract, their fibres are relaxed they must be closed. But however cold the water douche may be, by which this operation is performed, to the bather it seems most pleasant and delicious.
Wrapped in a sheet from head to heel he once more passes through the calidarium, on his way to the cooling room. He may linger here for a few moments if so minded but not for long, only just to restore a gentle warmth to the surface of the body. In the cool room he will remain reclining and enwrapped in his sheet for about a quarter of an hour and probably the attendant will come and knead every muscle of the body getting back the lagging blood, if indeed it does lag, heart-wards and rendering the whole body as supple and pliant and elastic as life.
Then to dress most slowly. And while dressing, to leisurely imbibe a cup of warm, not hot, tea or coffee.
When he emerges at last from the Sanatorium and goes bounding along the street, he--well he does not feel inclined to change places with anyone he meets, not even if the Lord Mayor's carriage rolls past him.
We have thus stated briefly, the various operations a bather goes through in the ordinary Turkish bath of our towns and cities. Leisurely undressing, especially necessary if there has previously been a brisk walk, (thus the heart has time to tone down ere subjected to the excitement of the calidarium) the repose in the hot room with frequent small draughts of cold water to encourage the flow of the perspiration, the gradual softening of the scarf skin and thorough opening of every pore, the warm shower and shampoo by which every obnoxious particle is removed from the outer surface as it has already been from the inner, the cold douche to contract the pores, and thus prevent subsequent danger from cold. The gradual cooling down, the leisurely resumption of ordinary wearing apparel lest perspiration should again be induced, and last, but not least, the calm and comforting cup of coffee or tea.
And after all what is this Turkish bathing? Is it something so very new? Nay, new in its processes probably, but it is but carrying out an old, old law, old as the days of Moses himself, the law of perfect cleanliness and perfect cleansing.
We have visited a large number of the hydropathic establishments and Turkish bathing sanatoria, and there is much to be praised in all we have seen and little to be blamed. Some are of course, far more luxuriantly fitted up than others, and these are the baths we prefer to visit. Could we, however, have such a splendid thermal temple as that of Riverside attached to our own home, we would certainly never wander away from it to worship at another shrine.
We ourselves may be over fastidious, but we think the following are among some of the drawbacks to the general run of Turkish bathing places. They are usually in out of the way places, so that one is not always able to find the time to get there when he wants to. The weekly expenditure incurred by taking a course of baths would certainly be a consideration with many; and on the other hand, there is a lack of privacy which renders such establishments distasteful as a rule. But the benefits that accrue from a course of Turkish baths, depend in a great measure upon the regularity with which they are taken. And it is this regularity which is often so difficult to keep up. The Sanatorium is at a distance. Something intervenes to prevent the intended visit,-- business--a call from home in another direction--bad weather, or any one of fifty other things. And so a visit comes to be omitted, or may be two, there is accordingly a hole in the hygienic ballad, a step or two wanting in the ladder that would have led upwards to health.
It is some two or three years now since we first came to realise the fact, that one might enjoy the luxury and reap the benefits of a Turkish bath, without going a step beyond the confines of the bedroom and dressing-room. We had received by the railway carrier a box.
A box! Whatever could it be, we wondered. It was not the season for sending anything particular from the country. Christmas was a long way ahead, and grouse shooting not begun. We undid the outer covering and exposed it to view. It was shaped liked a spirit-case, but it could not be that. "That box may contain," we mused, as we gazed on it, "untold luxury in the shape of tea, or a new patent photographic apparatus, or a magic lantern, or an English concertina, or--yes--or--or--or a land torpedo sent by a Fenian, that will explode when we lift the lid, blow the roof off the house, and send us sailing away skywards, accompanied by the furniture and things."
We clapped a cautious ear to the lid and listened. There was no suspicious ticking audible within, so we summoned up courage and--opened the box, and lo! and behold, Allen's portable Turkish bath.
Since then we have visited public baths but seldom. We are content, for the portable bath as we use it, serves every useful purpose.
As the Messrs. Allen have lent the blocks to embellish this chapter, it will be nothing more than courteous to let them describe it in their own way.
Referring to (Plate One) they say:--
"This illustrates our Apparatus as used under the chair, for giving a hot-air bath only, or hot-air and vapour combined, also for either a Medicated or Mercurial bath.
"At the back of the top rail of chair is fixed a socket, with a set screw, a square rod slides up and down this socket, and a folding ring fits into the top of the rod.
"By this arrangement the hoop for keeping the cloak extended, can be raised or lowered to be either level with the shoulders leaving the head exposed, or, if preferred, raised sufficient to cover the head.
"The person about to take the bath puts the apparatus ready for use under the chair, and placing the cloak lightly over the hoop, sits down, slips the two ends of the hoop together, draws the cloak round, tying it down the front with the strings provided, and adjusting it round the neck, may take the bath comfortably from fifteen to forty minutes, according to inclination."
But it is possible that the bather may prefer to recline while enjoying this calming and luxuriant bath. This is easily done, and if the reader will glance at Plate Two, he will see the modus operandi. Nothing could be more simple, nothing more effective.
We are not, however, the first to have discovered the merits of Messrs. Allen's luxurious invention. It is in general use now all over the country, and medical men are constantly in the habit of recommending the bath to their patients. So also is the professional press, and among these such well-known Journals as "The London Medical Record"; "The Medical Times and Gazette"; "The Medical Examiner"; "The Medical Press and Circular"; "The Lancet"; and "The British Medical Journal" are loud in their praises of the apparatus.
It will be especially observed by the intelligent reader that Allen's bath may be used entirely as a dry hot air bath, or as a mixed hot air and vapour bath. Well, this in our opinion is a capital idea, because one can use it as either. We, ourselves, perspire freely, and therefore use only the hot air, but as Sir Erasmus says: "The great purpose to be arrived at, so far as temperature is concerned, is to obtain one which shall be agreeable to the sensations."
The following is what Messrs. Allen and Sons write me themselves concerning their bath:--
"Our idea is, that the hot air and vapour bath combined is the truest approach to the Eastern Turkish bath, in which, after the bather has been in the heated room some little time, and begins to feel somewhat oppressed, they (the attendants) come round, sprinkle the heated floor with water; this produces a vapour, and it is almost immediately after this that the body begins to perspire freely, the vapour also relieves the breathing very much with some. There are those who will not perspire in the hot-air bath at all, but do with the hot-air and vapour bath, which, mingling with the hot-air, produces a moist heat, softens the skin, and produces perspiration much more quickly."
There is one advantage which the portable bath possesses over the regular sanatorium Turkish:--the head is not covered, it is not in the heated atmosphere, and therefore purer air can be breathed, although both face and scalp perspire as freely as any other part of the body.
The head, however, may be covered if this is thought more pleasant.
Dr L.E. Turner, it would seem believes in having the head exposed during the bath.
"By the use of your bath," he says "the patients can breathe pure air uncontaminated by the foetid humours pouring forth from the seven millions of pores in your neighbour's skin as he sits by your side in the ordinary Turkish or Russian bath. Besides there is no risk from over expansion of the pulmonary tissues of the lungs; as when people are compelled to breathe a heated atmosphere; nor risk from rupture of the delicate blood vessels of the brain. There are many other advantages which tend to make me, and not only myself but all other professional men who have tried them, strong advocates for their use, in place of all other kinds of Turkish, Russian, or herbal baths."
THE TURKISH BATH--CONTINUED. THE TRAVELLER'S BATH.
In chapter third we enumerated briefly a few of the ailments likely to be either entirely removed, or, at all events, alleviated, by the use of the Turkish Bath.
We think that Sir Erasmus Wilson mentions that terribly distressing ailment eczema among those which yield to the emollient and cleansing effects of the bath.
Kidney ailments, and even dropsy itself, have succumbed to its power.
"I have just," writes a medical man, "retired from the post of medical officer of H.M. Convict Prison at Portland, and my late Assistant Surgeon has kindly informed me how admirably it acts in kidney affections, and I am anxious to have one as soon as possible."
The following are the words of Sir Erasmus Wilson himself:--
"The bath is a preventative of disease, by hardening the individual against the effects of variations and vicissitudes of temperature, by giving him power to resist miasmatic and zymotic affections, and by strengthening his system against scrofula, consumption, gout, rheumatism; diseases of the digestive organs, cutaneous system, muscular system, including the heart; nervous system including the brain; and reproductive system."
"The bath," he continues, "has the property of hardening and fortifying the skin, so as to render it almost insusceptible to the influence of the cold. A Doctor of Divinity told me, that during the winter time he was scarcely ever free from cold, often so severe as to lay him up for several weeks, and that he also suffered from attacks of neuralgia; but that since he had adopted the use of the bath twice a week, all disposition to colds and neuralgia had ceased; and for the first time in sixteen years, he had passed the winter without a cold."
Dr Wood writes as follows:--
"Dr Wood had a severe trial case to use Messrs. Allen and Son's. It was a case of heart disease and kidney affections where it was dangerous to give the patient a bath, or anything that would excite the circulation, and yet essential to have copious sweating. The patient was delirious. He has got well."
A great sanitary authority, Dr Richardson, said the other evening at a public meeting, that if it were possible to attain perfect cleanliness of person and surroundings, disease would become an obsolete term. These are not the exact words, but they convey the sense.
But independent of the use the bath may be put to, for the purpose of curing or alleviating disease, for thoroughly cleansing the body and sweetening the system, or simply as a luxury, there are at least two other uses to which it can be put. It is a means of banishing fatigue, and also of producing refreshing sleep. And this fact may be turned to good account on many occasions. A person may have been out all day on the hill, or hunting, or he may have been on the river or lake rowing, or by its banks fishing. He returns tired and weary, and very probably, wet.
A wash and change of clothes, followed by a stimulant, are the usual remedies for such fatigues. How much better is it both for the comfort and health if he can spare a short half-hour, and enjoy the advantageous comforts of the Turkish Bath. Why, he feels double the individual afterwards, and if he is not all throughout the evening after as bright as a new florin, he must be a dullard at the very best, that is all.
Well, but a person may be a mere guest at some country Squire's, how about his Turkish Bath then? This is a difficulty that is easily overcome. We have the Tourist's or Traveller's bath, handy, convenient, useful and cheap.
This little contrivance will be of great benefit in dispelling the fatigue usually felt after a long journey in train or steamboat. While out boating or touring in any way it will be found invaluable. Indeed it is so small and compact that a tricyclist might easily take it in his bag.
Plate Three represents the apparatus set up ready for use for a hot-air or vapour bath, to be placed under a chair, the body to be well enveloped in blankets. The apparatus may also be used for boiling water for making tea and coffee, as well as for frying bacon, chop, steak, or cooking omelets, etc.
The Turkish bath is a calmative to the nervous and the vascular systems, and therefore of great utility in cases of sleeplessness. We advise those who are troubled with this disagreeable complaint to give it a fair trial.
For female complaints, of nearly all kinds, unless especially forbidden by the family physician, this bath may be also used with marked benefit.
We earnestly hope that this little guide of ours will fall into the hands of many sufferers, whose ailments are likely to be relieved, or banished entirely, by the regular use of this prince of baths; we cannot therefore do better, we believe, than finish this short chapter with some useful advice to those who may intend to give it a fair trial.
But first, let us endeavour to dispel a phantom that stands at the threshold of every Turkish bathing establishment, and tries to prevent those who have never bathed before from entering. We allude to the phantom fear. This bogle stood at the doorway when we ourselves went to have our first Turkish bath. "Oh!" he cried, "don't come in, don't come in, you'll catch your death of cold from the douche, don't come in, don't come in, I beseech you, I'm sure you have heart disease."
"Bother!" was our curt reply.
"Well," cried the bogle, extending his ghostly arms over his head, "_do_ go and see a doctor first." But we pushed the bogle boldly aside. That bogle looked very small indeed as we strode out again, about an hour afterwards.
Now, dear reader, the phantom will treat you precisely as it treats everyone else. Are you to fear it? That is a question which must be answered in no bantering mood. We honestly believe that ninety-five people at least out of every hundred, can enter an ordinary Turkish bathing establishment and go through all the processes with perfect safety.
Well, we will suppose that we are conversing in the consulting-room with some one who means to try the Turkish bath. He will ask such questions as:--
1. When should I begin to take the bath?
2. How long should I stay in the heat?
3. How often should I take it?
4. What is the best time of the day to have the bath?
5. Can you give me some general instructions to guide me in using it.
To question Number 1 we should reply: Begin to-morrow.
Question Number 2: Until you are in a glorious perspiration, and all aches and pains, and all sense of weariness forgotten. From a quarter of an hour to twenty minutes will be enough at first.
Question Number 3: How often should you take it? Once or twice a week, or even three times, or whenever required to banish ennui, fatigue, aches or pains, or incipient cold, or biliousness, or lassitude, etc, etc.
To question 4, the reply is: The bath must not be taken on a full stomach, about three hours after a meal is the best time. But those who dine about six or seven in the evening should take the bath before _dinner_. People who are engaged all day, may with advantage use it either before retiring for the night, or after getting up in the morning, following it by the usual cold sponge. If the cold bath is forbidden, then the best time is going to bed.
Now comes your last question, (but let me here say parenthetically that we may be consulted about everything connected with the bath, and baths of all kinds, or about any ailment, chronic or otherwise, that bathing in some forms is likely to cure or alleviate.)
What you want then, in order to enjoy the luxury of a bath in your own room, is first, one of the portable baths; secondly a shallow bath like the one here depicted; (Plate Four.) Thirdly a good big sponge; fourthly, a small hand shower bath, cost I believe is 5 shillings from Messrs. Allen and Sons, (Plate Five); fifthly, a flesh brush; sixthly a piece of good soap (Pears' transparent tablet is by far and away the best, and really least expensive in the long run,--it is _so_ well made, and lasts so long); and seventhly, a few good rough towels.
All being ready, you light your lamp and fix up the apparatus according to instructions given with every portable bath. The shallow bath is to be half filled with nice hot water, all ready. After you have perspired enough, turn out and turn into the shallow bath. Here you are to lather and sponge, and use the flesh brush well.
Next use the hand shower, or the sponge if you prefer it, filled with cold water, do not be afraid of this, it is life and luxury combined. Then to dry, and dress leisurely, to loll on the sofa for a while, and quietly sip your tea or coffee, while the fresh breeze from an open window is playing around you. This is indeed enjoyment.
People who use the bath for the purpose of gaining health and strength, should live temperately, both as regards eating and drinking, take abundant suitable exercise in the open air, and make use of some tonic, with now and then a gentle aperient.
Both the tonic and aperient must be carefully chosen to suit individual idiosyncrasies and cases, but we have seen very much good indeed accrue from this conjunction of tonics, with mild and suitable aperients while taking a course of Turkish baths.
ON THE USES OF THE VARIOUS MEDICATED BATHS.
It will be as well for the generality of our readers, if we confine ourselves in this chapter to a brief consideration of those medicated baths only, which have been proved to be efficacious in the amelioration and cure of illnesses, whether chronic or acute. We must preface our remarks, however, by stating that no course of baths is likely to be of the slightest avail to a sufferer, unless he first and foremost makes up his mind to adhere to certain rules of living, and endeavours to conform to the laws of health.
Exercise must be taken in the open air, he must also be most careful to study his diet and his clothing, and to secure sound sleep by every natural means in his power, narcotics however being avoided as poisons (see pages 21, 22, and 23).
Tonics, taken with judgment, assist a patient to recover strength, but they must be administered or prescribed by a medical man, who is acquainted with the symptoms and nature of the case.
It is really surprising the amount of good that can be done by a well-regulated course of Turkish or other baths, combined with some carefully adapted plan of constitutional treatment and regulation in living. If this were only more generally known, thousands would soon be enjoying all the blessings of health, who are now languishing on beds of sickness, or confined to warm and stifling rooms, instead of breathing the free fresh air of heaven.
It would seem that Professor Lionel Beale is somewhat of the same opinion as ourselves, and he even goes somewhat further, for he deprecates foreign travel, or at least considers wandering abroad in search of health, is, in many cases, a needless expense.
"If," writes this learned authority, "patients could be induced to retire to a pleasant part of the country where they would take moderate exercise, and be free from mental anxiety, meet with agreeable society, live regularly, take small doses of alkalies, and bathe themselves for an hour or two a day in warm water, in which some carbonate of soda has been dissolved, they would receive as much benefit as by travelling hundreds of miles away; and at much less trouble and expense."
There is a great deal in these words _free from mental anxiety_. It is to obtain this very needful aid to the cure of chronic complaints, especially those brought about by over-work or fast living, that we ourselves are in the habit of recommending to our patients a short sea voyage, such as that to America or Madeira and back. But very great benefit results in numerous cases from a short residence at some of the innumerable hydropathic establishments, which, like small terrestrial paradises, are scattered here and there in our beautiful island home. Those actually sick may go there, as well as the languishing invalid or _the over-worked_ man of business, or worn-out pleasure hunter. To those resorting to these sanatoria, we can confidently recommend a handy and useful invention, recently brought out by Messrs. Allen and Son (Plate Six). It is a portable electric bell, the cords can be passed under or over the doors, from one room to another, and by this means the nurse or attendant can be called immediately and _quietly_ at any hour of the day or night.
We do not mean here to say much about the mercurial bath, because it must only be used under medical advice, but while reminding the reader that there is provision made for this kind of bath in the portable Turkish bath (page 44) there is (see Plate Seven) a nice handy little apparatus which can be used for this purpose used for this purpose or any other kind of fumigatory bath which the physician considers it right to recommend.
Some of the most efficacious medicated bath in common use are:--
1. THE BORAX BATH.--This is soothing and calmative in many irritable forms of skin disease. It is made in the proportion of four ounces of borax and three of glycerine, to thirty gallons of hot water.
2. THE AMMONIA BATH, used as a skin stimulant and derivative. The following is Mr Grantham's formula:--Two ounces of strong hartshorn in two gallons of water, used in a hip bath. An excellent hip bath, very useful for people to whom stooping is objectionable is that made by the Messrs. Allen (Plate Eight). One glance at the figure will show its many advantages, and we strongly recommend it.
People who suffer from cutaneous eruptions ought to take skilled advice before using a course of baths, but the following sentences excerpted from E. Wilson's "Diseases of the Skin" may be read with profit by all.
"Aqueous remedies," says the dermatologist, "present themselves in the form of simple water in its various states of cold, tepid, warm, hot and steam; water impregnated with saline matter as in the sea-bath, and saline solutions; in lotions, fomentations and poultices. Water may be sedative, emollient, or stimulant, according to the manner in which it is employed. As a tepid bath or fomentation it is sedative, and its sedative action is increased by the addition of various substances, such as oatmeal, starch, gelatine, and soda in small quantities. It is emollient when used as a water dressing or in the condition of steam, and it is stimulant when cold or hot. When hot it is the best means known of relieving pruritus (itching), and in its cold state it refreshes and gives vigour to the skin; hence, the morning bath, the sea-bath, and daily ablutions with soap. On this principle it is that we advise daily cold ablutions with soap of the face in cases of acne (pimples), and to other parts of the body, particularly the _axilla_ and _perinaeum_ in chronic eczema or chronic pruritus. Aqueous lotions of _liquor plumbi_ (sugar of lead) are refrigerant and sedative, while lotions of carbolic acid, sulphurate of _potash, acetate_ of _ammonia_, and _bicarbonate_ of _ammonia_ are anti-pruritic. Warm fomentations are sedative and anodyne, and their properties are increased by the addition of poppy heads. Poultices are emollient and sedative, but their protracted use, as of all aqueous applications, macerates and weakens the skin, and tends _to perpetuate_ the disease or cause boils. As a rule, all aqueous applications except simple bathing, must be employed with great caution in skin diseases. Saponaceous ablutions generally aggravate eczematous affections; but certain forms and stages of that disease are benefitted by their use."
As a means of using the hip bath, whether medicated or otherwise, and for female complaints and irregularities, there is nothing to equal the bidet herewith figured (Plate Nine).
3. FOMENTATIONS are simply local baths and are used to relieve pain and reduce inflammation, as in the poppy head or laudanum fomentation to painful swellings, or the turpentine fomentation to redden the chest in severe colds. The water must be very hot, and two pieces of flannel must be used, wrung from the water, time about. These may be sprinkled with laudanum or turpentine as the case may demand.
4. THE MUSTARD FOOT-BATH is useful in cases of incipient colds, headaches, or languor and listlessness with restless nights. A bucketful of hot water with a handful of mustard in it is all that is wanted; in this the legs are to be bathed for twenty minutes before going to bed.
5. THE OAK BATH is made by adding a pound of bruised oak bark to a quart of cold water and boiling for half an hour; the half of this maybe put in the morning tub as a tonic bath.
6. THE PINE BALSAM BATH is good in cases of rheumatism and great nervousness. The balsam is a distillation front the leaves of pines, and is simply added to the bath.
7. THE ALKALINE BATH may be used twice or three times a week by gouty or rheumatic subjects. Two ounces of the bicarbonate of soda are added to three gallons of warm water, and the bath is ready.
8. THE PEAT WATER Bath is a German invention, and seems to be of great value to sufferers from gout and rheumatism, swelling of the joints, congestion of the liver, etc. Why the peat of this country should not be as efficacious as that from German bogs we fail to understand.
9. THE ELECTRIC BATH is a good deal used at seaside places, and often with advantage, especially in cases where the tone of the system has been much lowered.
10. THE VINEGAR SPONGE BATH consists of one part of vinegar to three of cold water, the body or hands and arms, feet and legs, are then sponged with it.
11. THE IRON BATH is sometimes used as a tonic, and is of considerable efficacy, especially to delicate females and children. It is composed of half an ounce of sulphate of iron, in four gallons of cold or tepid water.
12. SULPHUR BATHS, CREASOTE BATHS, and NITRO-HYDROCHLORIC BATHS are all good in their way, but must only be used under medical advice.
THE ORDINARY HOME BATHS--SEASIDE BATHING.
The morning tub is a bath that people in ordinary health should take every morning. It is not only invigorating but it so tones the skin and nerves as to render catching cold all but impossible. A far better tonic for those who can bear it, is the shower bath.
A cheaper sort of Shower Bath is that represented underneath. (Plate NINE.)
From a recent Magazine Article of ours, we cull the following hints which may be found of use. In speaking of House Baths we say:--
1.--Then you must consult your own feelings as to whether or not you ought to continue the bath through the livelong winter. We should say, "Try to do so."
2.--Let the first spongeful of cold water be applied to the head and shoulders and adown the spine.
3.--If you feel too much exhausted in the morning for a cold bath, from having been up late, raise the temperature of the cold bath several degrees.
4.--Be guided by your own feelings as to the temperature of hot and cold water. From 32 to 60 degrees would be right for the cold bath, and about 90 degrees for the water in the basin.
5--A cold bath may be taken with advantage when the body is heated, from whatever cause, so long as there is no exhaustion or fatigue; but never go into the water if there be the slightest feeling of chilliness, nor after a full meal.
Plate Twelve represents a useful kind of bed bath which has been a source of comfort to many an invalid. (All these baths are manufactured by Messrs. Allen and Son.)
In bathing at home, after lathering the whole body with warm water and soap, a cold sponge bath containing a handful or two of either Tidman's or Brill's Sea Salt will be found very invigorating.
We have before us a splendidly got up work entitled "Luxurious Bathing," published by Messrs. Field and Tuer, Leadenhall Street, E.C. The book is beyond praise, its well-executed etchings entitle it to a place on the drawing-room table, and its advice to those who value health, is simply invaluable.
Those who suffer from weakness, or who dread the winter's cold, would do well to combine a course of bathing, with one of tonics and cod liver oil. De Jongh's light brown is the only oil we ever use.
Those who wish to regain health in a month, "by the sad sea waves," cannot err by taking the following rules as a guide. They are from a Magazine article of ours:--
_Simple Rules for Seaside Enjoyment_.
1.--Before leaving home, study your trains, pack trunks the day before, don't forget anything, and avoid hurry and excitement.
2.--Look for rooms quietly, in a clean, quiet street or suburb, and see that the rooms are clean and airy.
3.--Rise early every morning, soap down and tub from head to heel, eat a biscuit, and go for a walk.
4.--Regular hours, regular exercise, regular meals, and regular medicine (if you need it).
6.--Enjoy yourself all you can, but 'ware excitement and fatigue.
6.--Strong men may bathe before breakfast, but the best average time is about three hours after breakfast.
7.--Walk at a moderate pace to the bathing ground, so as to be neither too hot nor too cold, and undress as speedily as possible.
8.--It is better to plunge at once into deep water; don't unless you can swim, however, but after bending down and laving the face and both arms, drop right underneath the first wavelet.
9.--If you can swim, swim and nothing else; if you cannot, you can at least tumble about and keep moving, and also rub your limbs with the hands.
10.--Come out before you have actually ceased to enjoy yourself.
11.--It is better to have your own towel, one at least, and let it be moderately rough.
12.--Rub your face, shoulders, limbs, and body, using moderate friction, and finish drying with a smoother towel.
13.--When quite dry, dress, and it ought not to be at all necessary to dress quickly.
11.--If faintness or sickness comes on, which must be looked upon as quite an accident, lie down for a few minutes.
15.--After dressing, a brisk walk should be taken; and now a lunch biscuit will do you service.
16.--Remember that the glow after the bath is the grand event to be looked for.
17.--If instead of this glow a decided chill takes place, and is not removed by a brisk walk, a small drop of brandy taken along with a biscuit becomes a necessity, or for ladies a glass of some cordial.
18.--If you are an invalid, try to forget it; if a Hercules or a Webb, forget that.
19.--Don't forget flannel under-clothing if at all delicate.
There are various other kinds of baths which we have not mentioned, but trust we have said enough to prove that the baths in some form--and more especially the Turkish--should be taken constantly by all who value good health and hope for longevity.