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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/750

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

débris. The different ranks of the Sandwich-Islanders are of different stature; and we are told that the chiefs, though sunk in sloth and immorality, are not diminutive and decrepit, like many of their countrymen, for the reason that they fare sumptuously, take little or no exercise, and are lomi-lomied after every meal, in order to. aid their digestion and promote their circulation without inducing fatigue or exhaustion. Lomi-lomi is thus interestingly described by Nordhoff, in his book on "Northern California, Oregon, and the Sandwich Islands": "Wherever you stop, for lunch or for the night, if there are native people near, you will be greatly refreshed by the application of lomi-lomi. Almost everywhere you will find some one skilled in this peculiar, and, to tired muscles, delightful and refreshing treatment. To be lomi-lomied, you lie down upon a mat, or undress for the night, if you prefer. The less clothing you have on the more perfectly the operation can be performed. To you, thereupon, comes a stout native, with soft, fleshy hands, but a strong grip, and beginning with your head, and working down slowly over the whole body, seizes and squeezes with a quite peculiar art every tired muscle, working and kneading with indefatigable patience, until, in half an hour, whereas you were weary and worn out, you find yourself fresh, all soreness and weariness absolutely and entirely gone, and mind and body soothed to a healthful and refreshing sleep. The lomi-lomi is used not only by the natives, but among almost all the foreign residents; and not merely to procure relief from weariness, consequent upon over-exertion, but to cure headaches, to relieve the aching of neuralgic or rheumatic pains, and, by the luxurious, as one of the pleasures of life. I have known it to relieve violent headache in a very short time. The chiefs used to keep skillful lomi-lomi men in their retinues; and the late king, who was for some years too stout to take exercise, and was yet a gross feeder, had himself lomi-lomied after every meal, as a means of aiding his digestion. It is a device for relieving pain and weariness which seems to have no injurious reaction, and no drawback but one—it is said to fatten the subjects of it."

Dr. Weir Mitchell has successfully proved that many chronic invalids can be cured by rest and excessive feeding, made possible by means of massage and electricity. Under this combination of treatment, skillfully carried out, many become fat, strong, and well, thus illustrating the truth of Lord Bacon's remark, and the beneficial effects of the not very scientific massage of the Sandwich-Islanders. The lomi-lomi of the Sandwich-Islanders is only a series of intermittent squeezes proceeding toward the extremities, thus hindering the returning circulation; and this illustrates another fact—that many who have had but one kind of pinching and squeezing think it is "excellent" until they try some one who understands and can do it better; moreover, it shows that any sort of stirring up of the tissues is often better than none. In using massage, as much depends on the qualities and