- The following methods of treatment with water, etc., have been tested, and we know whereof we speak when we say they work like a charm. A thermometer is needed to test the temperature, as the terms hot, cold, warm and tepid are so indefinite; what is hot to one person is cold to another, in the morbid states through which sick people pass, and the sensations of healthy persons are so variable that they can not be relied upon to temper baths by the touch, for those with whom a slight change is of consequence. Generally 70° Fahrenheit would be considered a cold bath, 85° tepid, 95° warm, and 105° hot. The time of taking baths is from an hour to two hours after, and never within half an hour before, eating; and those who are taking treatment for chronic ailments, or for cleanliness, should not bathe when tired; but when one is suffering from acute diseases, and becomes restless and nervous, a sponge-bath or, if able to bear it, a pack or a sitz or foot-bath will greatly refresh and soothe. From ten to twelve in the morning generally finds the body at its highest point of vigor, and as treatments are most beneficial then, this proves the best time; but if this can not be, take just before retiring. In all baths a cold wet cloth should be kept on head and jug of hot water, with rubber cork, at feet (except in foot-baths), keeping head cool and feet warm. When baths are to be reduced, add cold water till right temperature is reached; but after foot-baths the better way is to have a pail of cold water and take what is called a foot-plunge, immersing the feet one at a time, for a moment, in this pail; or the cold water may be poured right over the feet. The theory is this: wherever water is applied to any part or the whole of the body, at so high a temperature as to relax the coats of the capillaries and distend them with blood, it must be followed by an application at so low a temperature as to constringe the vessels and restore their tone. When bath is completed wrap at once in a dry sheet and rub vigorously with a crash towel, as the patient must not have any chilly sensations, and the skin should be left all aglow. A strong person may now take any exercise wished, so as to establish thorough and permanent reaction, but delicate persons had better rest for an hour or two.