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Practical Hydrotherapy

Posted by Schmidt Fine Art Gallery on

A selection of images used to illustrate Practical Hydrotherapy: A Manual for Students and Practitioners (1909). The book is written by Dr Curran Pope, a professor of physiotherapy as well as a professor of "diseases of the mind and nervous system", electro-therapy, and hydrotherapy, to name but a few areas of his expertise. He was also the head of his own sanatorium in Louisville, Kentucky. As the book's contents list suggests, Pope considered hydrotherapy - treatment in which the temperature or pressure of water is used - as a viable method for curing anything from diabetes and heart disease to paranoia and alcoholism. The treatments are comprised of baths, douches, enemas, steam, and wet sheets, which are applied in various temperatures and orders depending on the ailment. Pope believed the body to heal itself and that water could aid the healing or indeed help to prevent diseases from occurring. He also believed in testing the methods on himself. He writes in the preface:


Much information and a clearer insight than mere description can give, is to note the physiological action of hydrotherapy by "putting yourself in his place." One application of a cold jet douche to the spine gives more realistic information than pages of description. I therefore make the suggestion of "practice on yourself" first. Many experiments herein mentioned have had the author as principal party in interest.


Written by Schmidt Fine Art Gallery.

Written by Jacob Hawthorne for Schmidt Fine Art Gallery.

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