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When doctors prescribed sun and sea, to improve circulation and contract tumors

Eighteenth century British society suffered from a multitude of maladies. Fevers, digestive complaints, melancholia, nervous tics, tremors, and even stupidity were the epidemics of the day. The pressures of urban life, pollution, and therefore the general deterioration of society were obviously responsible . Enlightenment physicians began to think about new remedies for old ailments spurred by the new emphasis on science and experimentation. Their new wonder drug was… water. Cold sea water, specifically.

Beginning within the late 16th century, English physicians endorsed the healing effects of cold water for everything from heat stroke to melancholy. it had been believed that a brisk shock of cold water stimulated the whole body, promoting the circulation of humors and even contracting tumors. As Lena Lenček and Gideon Bosker lay call at their book, The Beach: The History of Paradise on Earth, bathing as a sort of therapy brought together the fear of the ocean with the hope of its healing powers.

By the mid-18th century a typical therapy was developed, which resembled waterboarding much more than a spa treatment. It involved dunking society ladies within the freezing sea repeatedly until the dual effects of cold and suffocation caused terror and panic (read: revitalization). The frightened patient would then be hoisted from the water in her soaking flannel smock, revived with vigorous back rubs and feet warmers, and deposited on land for a cup of tea. The adrenaline from the shock of cold was thought to possess soothing effects on the body, calming anxiety and restoring the body-soul balance. The patient would repeat her regimen every morning for subsequent several weeks of her therapeutic seaside sojourn. the lads need to take their therapy naked.

It wasn’t enough to just about drown within the sea to alleviate your stresses and ailments; you had to drink it too. 18th-century physicians and scientists looked back to the classical texts of Hippocrates and Celsus and revived the practice of drinking seawater (classically sweetened with honey, or, because the British for a few reason preferred it, diluted with milk). In 1750 Dr. Richard Russell published a treatise, A Dissertation on the utilization of Seawater within the Diseases of the Glands, Particularly, the Scurvy, Jaundice, King’s Evil, Leprosy and therefore the Glandular Consumption, during which he advocated using seawater for bathing and drinking. In one case, Russell describes a person affected by leprosy; a “most troublesome case.” The patient’s head and full body was “sprinkled over with leprous spots.” But after being prescribed to “drink a pint of sea water every morning during nine months, with none intervals” the patient recovered. The regimens also usually involved bathing in seawater to strengthen and invigorate the body. As seawater drinking became more popular, these sorts of case studies proliferated. The miracle of the ocean appeared to provide infinite therapies. Naturally, someone was getting to maximize it. Enter, the resort industrial complex.

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