Those who are suffering from nervous exhaustion from overwork, and want an invigorating yet mild atmosphere, will find Llandrindod Wells an ideal place. The country round is beautiful, and the hills are well adapted for the treatment of obesity by graduated walking exercise and hill-climbing. During the last twenty years the Llandrindod Spa has steadily increased in popularity. The town is rapidly increasing in size, and the Pump Rooms have recently been enlarged and improved.
The mineral waters vary in their properties. There is a radium sulphur spring. The waters are efficacious for rheumatic and gouty conditions, whilst nerves, anaemia, and diabetes all benefit under a course of treatment. The saline water is said to be specially valuable in cases of sluggish liver, obesity, and constipation. Many skin affections can be treated at Llandrindod, but not heart cases. Nasal and respiratory catarrhs are especially treated by means of an inhalation treatment. Altogether, Llandrindod Wells is a place which can be strongly recommended as a health resort.
This town is best known for its brine baths, which have, since the ninth century, been recognised as having valuable health advantages. It was not till 1725, however, that the idea of boring and tapping the brine river was conceived, and now there are both hot and cold baths, which are largely used for the treatment of gout, chronic rheumatism, sciatica, and lumbago. There is a good swimming bath at Droitwich, and the country round is undulating and in many parts extremely beautiful.
Droitwich supplies Malvern with brine baths, so that the same class of cases can be treated there. The season extends throughout the year, but the early autumn and spring are perhaps the best. For those who wish a dry, bracing climate, Malvern certainly is to be recommended. It is especially suitable for convalescents on account of the tonic character of the air.
A different type of health resort is to be found at Leamington, in the middle of Warwickshire, within easy reach of the Shakespeare country. Leamington has always been patronised by Royalty. Queen Victoria resided some time in the neighbourhood, and Napoleon III. combined drinking of the waters with hunting with the Warwickshire foxhounds. The waters are aperient, and act upon the kidneys, thus purifying the blood and helping the kidneys to get rid of poisons in the body. They are suitable for certain kidney affections, gout, dyspepsia, and liver complaints. There are warm saline baths, and, as in most of these health resorts, massage, and hot douching of the joints are important features in the treatment of rheumatic conditions.
To those who wish a mild, equable climate, combined with mineral-water treatment, the town of Bath will certainly appeal. The city lies in a valley which is protected by hills, and yet open to the soft west and south-west winds, The place is particularly suitable for old people, and those who suffer from asthma, bronchitis, or neurasthenia. A great many invalids live always in Bath during the autumn, winter, and early spring, when the climate is wonderfully mild. Large numbers of people also go for treatment, to take the waters, and enjoy the baths. The climate is a direct contrast to Buxton and Harrogate, in that it is relaxing and sedative, and thus suitable for heart conditions, and for people with delicate constitutions.
Cheltenham is very popular as a residential place for those who wish a sedative climate with mineral-water treatment for a long period of time. It is well sheltered by the Cotswold Hills and has four main spas which have valuable mineral properties, similar to those at Bath. A great many Anglo-indian people find the climate suitable after long residence abroad.
It must not be forgotten, however, that the health value of these places is partly dependent upon the open-air life and exercise which people take as a matter of routine when drinking the waters. Long before breakfast is due, when they would be sleeping in bed at home, they are up and out, taking a constitutional before the first meal of the day. At regular intervals they walk. They climb hills or play golf all the time, and the exercise causes a sort of massage of the internal organs which stimulates the circulation of the body, and clears the system of the clogging poisons of past months. At the same time they are breathing in pure, fresh air, which is feeding the tissues, stimulating the appetite, and actually producing good healthy blood in place of the anaemic or poison-filled fluid which had been flowing through the arteries for months previously. The Value of Home Treatment
Then, would it be sufficient if one could follow the same treatment at home, and take doses of salts regularly to clear the system ?
Unfortunately, the answer must be in the negative. The mineral waters which are to be had at these health resorts are very complex, and there is no doubt that the mental effect of spending a few weeks at a spa for health reasons has a very important bearing on the treatment. Suggestion is a wonderful agent in health and disease. The patient feels that the waters and the life generally will benefit the health, and that in itself makes for cure. The diet, the unusual surroundings, the tonic action of the games and recreation, all provide the change of air and environment which so many people need when they have to work strenuously, handicapped, perhaps, by a gouty constitution, a tendency to obesity, anaemia, or depression of spirits. For all these, a holiday at a British spa is to be recommended, and in the choice of that spa this article may help as a guide to those who like to know the reason why they are told to go to one place or another for the benefit of their health.