A Treatise on the Eclectic Southern Practice of Medicine Page: 36 of 724
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PRACTICE OF MEDICINE.
available, and none more capable of exerting a benefi-
cial influence; it has, however, power to do evil as well
as good, and it requires some skill to apply properly cold
or warm water, and still.more vapor or medicated baths.
You have frequently heard parents talk of hardening
their children by exposing them to all .vicissitudes of
weather, teaching indifference in regard to the variations
of temperature. This process is often put into practice
with children of delicate constitution, and to such it is
very hazardous. The experiment should never be tried
on any child or person who is the least unsound, or has
a scrofulous diathesis.
The best and most direct mode of guarding the body
against injury from cold, is probably afforded by the use
of the COLD BATH or shower bath. When this is taken
in the morning, or .at least every other morning, the
surface of the body becomes familiar or inured to a de-
gree of cold, greater, it is probable, than it is likely to
encounter during the remainder of the day; and it is
extremely fortunate that we possess a criterion of the
propriety of continuing this expedient ; for instance, when
the sense of cold does not remain long, but is followed
by a glow of warmth, the cold shower bath is sure to do
good. If, on the other hand, however, after you have
taken the bath, headache supervenes, and you feel chilly
and languid, it should at once be abandoned, at least for
By observing these simple rules, you can make your-
self and children hardy, without the risk which their
neglect would impose. Whilst upon this subject I would
remark that, cold water is preferable to warm, as a gene-
ral rule; the former has a tendency to produce active
reaction, and less apt to occasion a chill.
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Massie, J. Cam. A Treatise on the Eclectic Southern Practice of Medicine, book, 1854; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143817/m1/36/: accessed December 15, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.