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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 90.djvu/418

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��Popular Science Monthly

���Administering a needle bath and massage. The effects of this treatment are soothing to the nerves and at the same time invigorating to the body

��ful narcotics, "knock-out-drops" in reality, until they sank in a stupor. When the sufferers revived a little from the depressing effects of these powerful chemicals and began to show signs of life they were again drugged. This was kept up for weeks at a time. In such a state they were of course no trouble to those who had charge of them. In the course of time they recovered ; for nearly all maniacs do recover. The exponents of this method of treatment claimed to have found a cure for mania. It was found that the abuse of the system by these powerful drugs had evil results. Some of the patients passed from stu- por into death, and those who recovered mentally often found their digestion ruined and their general health impaired.

The Modern Hu mane Water Cure

So, the age of chemical restraint passed away and nowadays we have found a treatment so simple that it is no wonder that it was over- looked before. It is nothing more nor less than water. Hot water, cold water, shower baths, tub baths and sitz-baths, and every conceivable manner of applying water

��medically is to be found in the modern hospital for the in- sane. Besides being used for the excited cases, it is also found to have a good effect on all cases, benefit- ing physically even if it has little or no effect on the mental condition. Water is also found to be a valuable curativ^e agent for great numbers of people who suffer, as the saying is, from their nerves, their trouble taking the form of hysteria or neuras- thenia (nervousness) in the more severe cases and sleepless- sick headaches" in the

���ness and periodical milder ones.

There are three main ways of giving the water treatment — by the pack, by the "Scotch douche" and by the continuous bath. By "packing" a patient is simply meant wrapping him tightly in sheets wrung out of water of the desired temper- ature, pinning blankets tightly around him and leaving him in the sheets for anywhere from a half hour to two hours. Packs may be either hot or cold. The temperature for hot packs is about 105 degrees, for cold packs about 60 degrees. In either case an ice-bag is put to the head and a hot water bottle to the feet. It is astonishing to see the soothing effect on excited patients. Mildly excited patients, who, with- out this treatment, would eat or sleep but little, tear their clothes - to pieces, use pro- fane language, and in general cause much trouble, are kept quiet and tractable with water, and after they have been packed in at bed- time, are able to sleep soundly. A hot pack for an hour at night would cure many cases of sleeplessness in normal life, by the way. The Scotch douche may be described as a shower bath raised to the nth degree of perfection. It consists of four upright

��"Neptune's girdle," a cold wet wrap around the waistline, is a cure for sleeplessness

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