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HYDROPATHY

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Originally appearing in Volume V14, Page 167 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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HYDROPATHY, the name given, from the Greek, to the " water-cure," or the treatment of disease by water, used outwardly and inwardly. Like many descriptive names, the word " hydropathy " is defective and even misleading, the active agents in the treatment being heat and cold, of which water to loo principal divisions. In the centre of each weight is a hole capable of admitting the lowest and thickest end of the conical stem C. and a slot is cut into it just wide enough to allow the upper part of the cone to pass. Each weight can thus be dropped on to the lower stem so as to rest on the counterpoise B. The weights are marked to, 20, 9o; and in using the instrument that weight must be selected which will allow it to float in the liquid with a portion only of the stem submerged. Then the reading of the scale at the line of flotation, added to the number on the weight, gives the reading required. A small supernumerary weight F is added, which can he placed upon the top of the stem. F is so adjusted that when the 6o weight is placed on the lower stern the instrument sinks to the same point in distilled water when F is attached as in proof spirit when F is removed. The best instruments are now constructed for revenue purposes of silver, heavily gilded, because it was found that saccharic acid contained in some spirits attacked brass behind (he gilding. The following table gives the specific gravities corresponding to the principal graduations on Sikes's hydrometer at 6o° F. and 62° F., together with the corresponding strengths of spirits. The latter are based upon the tables of Charles Gilpin, clerk to the Royal Society, for which the reader is referred to the Phil. Trans. for 1794. Gilpin's work is a model for its accuracy and thoroughness of detail, and his results have scarcely been improved upon by more recent workers. The merit of Sikes's system lies not so much in the hydrometer as in the complete system of tables by which the readings of the instrument are at once converted into percentage of proof-spirit. Table showing the Densities corresponding to the Indications of Sikes's Hydrometer. 60° F. 62° F. 60°F. 62° F. ° Density Prf Density. Proof 4 Density. Proof Density. Proof n n Pet Ptrtt a Seer Speer - per per cent. cent. cent. cent. 0 815297 1670 '815400 166'5 51 905024 111.4 •905138 110'7 1 816956 166.1 •817059 165.6 52 906869 110.0 •906983 1093 2 818621 1653 818725 1648 53 908722 108.6 908837 107.9 3 '820294 164.5 820397 163.9 54 910582 107.1 910697 106.5 4 •821973 163'6 822077 163.1 55 912450 105.6 912565 105.0 5 ;423659 162.7 823763 1623 5(i •914326 104.2 914441 103.5 6 825352 1618 825457 1(114 57 916209 102.7 916323 102.0 7 527052 169.9 .827157 1130.5 58 '918100 101.3 918216 100.5 S .828759 160-0 .828864 159.6 59 919999 99'7 '920115 98.9 9 .830473 159.1 830578 158.7 (i0 921906 98'1 •922022 97.4 10 832195 158.2 832300 157.8 60s 921884 981 '922000 97.4 11 '533888 157.3 833993 156.8 61 '9237(10 96'6 •923877 95.9 12 835587 156.4 835692 1559 62 925643 95'0 925760 94.2 13 .837294 155.5 •837400 1550 63 927534 93'3 '927652 92.6 14 839008 1546 •839114 154.0 64 929433 91.7 '929550 90.9 15 •840729 1537 •840835 153.1 6.5 '931339 90'0 931457 89.2 16 '842458 1527 •842564 152.1 (i6 933254 88.3 '933372 87.51 17 .844193 1517 •844299 151.1 67 935176 86'5 •935294 85.8 18 .845936 150.7 •846042 150.1 68 '937107 84'7 937225 84.0 19 .847685 149-7 •847792 149.1 69 '939045 82.9 939163 82 2 20 .849442 1487 •849549 148.1 70 '940991 81'1 '941110 80.3 20s •849393 148.7 •849500 148.1 70n '940981 81.1 '941100 80.3 21 851122 1476 •851229 147.1 71 '942897 79'2 '943016 78.4 22 •852857 1466 •852x964 146.1 72 944819 77'3 '944938 76.5 23 854599 1456 •854707 1-15.1 73 '946749 75'3 '946869 74.5 24 •656348 144.6 •556456 144.0 74 '948687 73'3 '948807 72.5 25 .858105 1435 •858213 142.9 75 '950634 71'2 '950753 70.4 26 859869 1424 •859978 141.8 76 '952588 69'0 '952708 68.2 27 861640 1413 861749 140.8 77 '954550 66'8 '954670 66.0 28 .56.3419 140'2 -563528 1397 78 '956520 64'4 '956641 63.5 29 865204 1391 •865313 138'5 79 '958498 61'9 958619 (il1 30 '896998 138.0 •867107 137.4 80 960485 59'4 '960606 58'5 30s 866991 138'0 •867100 137.4 80n '960479 59'4 '960600 58'5 31 .868755 136.9 •868865 136-2 81 '962433 56'7 '962555 55.8 32 .870526 135'7 .870636 1351 82 '964395 53'9 '964517 53.0 33 '8722305 134'5 .S72415 133.9 83 '966366 50'9 '966488 50'0 34 .874090 133.4 .8742200 132'8 84 '968344 47'8 •968466 47.01 35 575883 13'2.2 •875994 1316 85 '970331 44'5 '970453 43'8' 3(1 -577084 131'0 •877995 130'4 86 972325 41'0 '972448 40'4 37 379492 1_x9'8 •879603 12x9'1 87 '974328 37'5 '974451 36.9 1 33 841307 1235 •881419 127 9 88 '976340 34'0 '976463 33.5 39 8831'29 127.3 88:3241 126'7 89 '978359 30'6 '978482 30.1 40 884960 126'0 535072 125'4 90 '980386 27'2 '980510 26.7 40B '854888 126'0 '885000 1254 90s '980376 27'2 '980500 26.7 41 '886689 1248 •88980i 1242 ~ 91 '982371 23'9 '982496 23.6 42 85,8497 123'5 •888609 1229 ' 92 '984374 20'8 '984498 20-5 43 390312 1'22'2 •590425 121.6 93 '986385 17'7 '986510 17.4 44 892135 120'9 •892248 120'3 94 '988404 14'8 '988529 14.5 45 '593965 • 119'6 •89.1078 119.0 95 990431 12'0 '990557 11.7 40 .8.15803 118'3 .535916 117.6 96 '992468 9'3 '992593 9.0 47 897647 116'9 .8977(11 116.3 97 '994512 , 6-7 '994637 6'5 48 .899500 115'6 .899614 114.9 98 '9965615 4'1 '996691 4'0 1 49 901360 114'2 901417 113.5 99 '998626 1'8 '998752 1'6 50 90:3229 112'8 903343 1121 100 1000696 0'0 1'000822 0'0 50B 1.903186 1128 '903300 1121 In the above table for Sikes's hydrometer two densities are given corresponding to each of the degrees 20, 30, 40, 50, 6o, 70, 8o and 90, indicating that the successive weights belonging to the particular instrument for which the table has been calculated do not quite agree. The discrepancy, however, does not produce any sensible error in the strength of the corresponding spirit. A table which indicates the weight per gallon of spirituous liquors for every degree of Sikes's hydrometer is printed in 23 and 24 Viet. C. 114, schedule B. This table differs slightly from that given above, which has been abridged from the table given in Keene's Handbook of Hydrometry, apparently on account of the equal divisions on is little more than the vehicle, and not the only one. Thermo-therapeutics (or thermotherapy) is a term less open to objection. Hydropathy, as a formal system, dates from about 1829, when Vincenz Priessnitz (1801-1851), a farmer of Grafenberg in Silesia, Austria, began his public career in the paternal homestead, extended so as to accommodate the increasing numbers attracted by the fame of his cures. Two English works, however, on the medical uses of water had been translated into German in the century preceding the rise of the movement under Priessnitz. One of these was by Sir John Floyer (1649-1734), a physician of Lichfield, who, struck by the remedial use of certain springs by the neighbouring peasantry, investigated the history of cold bathing, and published in 1702 his "NYvXpohovoia, or the History of Cold Bathing, both Ancient and Modern." The book ran through six editions within a few years, and the translation was largely drawn upon by Dr J. S. Hahn of Silesia, in a work published in 1738, On the Healing Virtues of Cold Water, Inwardly and Outwardly applied, as proved by Experience. The other work was that of Dr James Currie (1756-1805) of Liverpool, entitled Medical Reports on the Effects of Water, Cold and Warm, as a remedy in Fevers and other Diseases, published in 1797, and soon after translated into German by Michaelis (18or) and Hegewisch (1807). It was highly popular, and first placed the subject on a scientific basis. Hahn's writings had meanwhile created much enthusiasm among his countrymen, societies having been everywhere formed to promote the medicinal and dietetic use of water; and in 1804 Professor Ortel of Ansbach republished them and quickened the popular movement by unqualified commendation of water drinking as a remedy for all diseases. In him the rising Priessnitz found a zealous advocate, and doubtless an instructor also. At Grafenberg, to which the fame of Priessnitz drew people of every rank and many countries, medical men were conspicuous by their numbers, some being attracted by curiosity, others by the desire of knowledge, but the majority by the hope of cure for ailments which had as yet proved incurable. Many records of experiences at Grafenberg were published, all more or less favourable to the claims of Priessnitz, and some enthusiastic in their estimate of his genius and penetration; Captain Claridge introduced hydropathy into England in 1840, his writings and lectures, and later those of Sir W. Erasmus Wilson (1809-1884), James Manby Gully (1808-1883) and Edward Johnson, making numerous converts, and filling the establishments opened soon after at Malvern and elsewhere. In Germany, France and America hydropathic establishments multiplied with great rapidity. Antagonism ran high between the old practice and the new. Unsparing condemnation was heaped by each on the other; and a legal prosecution, leading to a royal commission of inquiry, served but to make Priessnitz and his system stand higher in public estimation. Increasing popularity diminished before long that timidity which had in great measure prevented trial of the new method from being made on the weaker and more serious class of cases, and had caused hydropathists to occupy themselves mainly with a sturdy order of chronic invalids well able to bear a rigorous regimen and the severities of unrestricted crisis. The need of a radical adaptation to the former class was first adequately recognized by John Smedley, a manufacturer of Derbyshire, who, impressed in his own person with the severities as well as the benefits of " the cold water cure," practised among his work-people a milder form of hydropathy, and began about 1852 a new era in its history, founding at Matlock a counterpart of the establishment at Grafenberg. Ernst Brand (1826-1897) of Berlin, Raljen and Theodor von Jorgensen of Kiel, and Karl Liebermeister (1833-1901) of Basel, between 186o and 1870, employed the cooling bath in abdominal typhus with striking results, and led to its introduction to England by Dr Wilson Fox. In the Franco-German war the cooling bath was largely employed, in conjunction frequently with quinine; and it now holds a recognized position in the treatment of hyperpyrexia. The wet sheet pack has become part of medical practice; the Turkish bath, introducedby David Urquhart (1805-1877) into England on his return from the East, and ardently adopted by Dr Richard Barter (1802-187o) of Cork, has become a public institution, and, with the " morning tub " and the general practice of water drinking, is the most noteworthy of the many contributions by hydropathy to public health (see BATHS, ad fin.). The appliances and arrangements by means of which heat and cold are brought to bear on the economy are—(a) Packings, hot and cold, general and local, sweating and cooling; (b) hot air and steam baths; (c) general baths, of hot water and cold; (d) sitz, spinal, head and foot baths; (e) bandages (or compresses), wet and dry; also (f) fomentations and poultices, hot and cold, sinapisms, stupes, rubbings and water potations, hot and cold. (a) Packings.—The full pack consists of a wet sheet enveloping the body, with a number of dry blankets packed tightly over it, including a macintosh covering or not. In an hour or less these are removed and a general bath administered. The pack is a derivative, sedative, sudorific and stimulator of cutaneous excretion. There are numerous modifications of it, notably the cooling pack, where the wrappings are loose and scanty, permitting evaporation, and the application of indefinite duration, the sheet being rewetted as it dries; this is of great value in protracted febrile conditions. There are also local packs, to trunk, limbs or head separately, which are derivative, soothing or stimulating, according to circumstance and detail. (b) Hot air baths, the chief of which is the Turkish (properly, the Roman) bath, consisting of two or more chambers ranging in temperature from 120° to 212° or higher, but mainly used at 15o° for curative purposes. Exposure is from twenty minutes up to two hours according to the effect sought, and is followed by a general bath, and occasionally by soaping and shampooing. It is stimulating, derivative, depurative, sudorific and alterative, powerfully promoting tissue change by increase of the natural waste and repair. It determines the blood to the surface, reducing internal congestions, is a potent diaphoretic, and, through the extremes of heat and cold, is an effective nervous and vascular stimulant and tonic. Morbid growths and secretions, as also the uraemic, gouty and rheumatic diathesis, are beneficially influenced by it. The full pack and Turkish bath have between them usurped the place and bettered the function of the once familiar hot bath. The Russian or steam bath and the lamp bath are primitive and inferior varieties of the modern Turkish bath, the atmosphere of which cannot be too dry and pure. (c) General baths comprise the rain (or needle), spray (or rose), shower, shallow, plunge, douche, wave and common morning sponge baths, with the dripping sheet, and hot and cold spongings, and are combinations, as a rule, of hot and cold water. They are stimulating, tonic, derivative and detergent. (d) Local baths comprise the sitz (or sitting), douche (or spouting), spinal, foot and head baths, of hot or cold water, singly or in combination, successive or alternate. The sitz, head and foot baths are used " flowing " on occasion. The application of cold by " Leiter's tubes " is effective for reducing inflammation (e.g. in meningitis and in sunstroke) ; in these a network of metal or indiarubber tubing is fitted to the part affected, and cold water kept continuously flowing through them. Rapid alternations of hot and cold water have a powerful effect in vascular stasis and lethargy of the nervous system and absorbents, yielding valuable results in local congestions and chronic inflammations. (e) Bandages (or compresses) are of two kinds, cooling, of wet material left exposed for evaporation, used in local inflammations and fevers; and heating, of the same, covered with waterproof material, used in congestion, external or internal, for short or long periods. Poultices, warm, of bread, linseed, bran, &c., changed but twice in twenty-four hours, are identical in action with the heating bandage, and superior only in the greater warmth and consequent vital activity their closer application to the skin ensures. (f) Fomentations and poultices, hot or cold, sinapisms, stupes, rubefacients, irritants, frictions, kneadings, calisthenics, gymnastics, electricity, &c., are adjuncts largely employed.
End of Article: HYDROPATHY
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