One of the most important, but least understood, effects of hydropathic treatment is its influence upon the electromagnetic energies in the human body. At least, I have never found any allusions to this aspect of the cold-water treatment in any books on hydrotherapy which have come to my notice.

The sudden application of cold water or cold air to the surface of the nude body and the inhalation of cold air into the lungs have the effect of increasing the amount of electromagnetic energy in the system.

This can be verified by the following experiment: Insert one of the plates of an electrometer (sensitive galvanometer) into the stomach of a person who has remained for some time in a warm room. Now let this person inhale suddenly fresh, cold outside air. At once the galvanometer will register a larger amount of electromagnetic energy.

The same effect will be produced by the application of a quick, cold spray to the warm body.

It is the sudden lowering of temperature on the surface of the body or in the lungs and the resulting contrast between the heat within and the cold outside, that causes the increased manifestation of electromagnetic energy in the system.

This, together with the acceleration of the entire circulation, undoubtedly accounts for the tonic effect of cold-water applications such as cold packs, ablutions, sprays, sitz baths, barefoot walking, etc., and for the wonderfully bracing influence of fresh, cold outside air.

The energizing effect of cold air may also explain to a large extent the superiority of the races inhabiting the temperate zones over those of the warm and torrid southern regions.

To me it seems a very foolish custom to run away from the invigorating northern winters to the enervating sameness of southern climates. One of the reasons I abandoned, with considerable financial sacrifice, a well-established home in a Texas city which is the Mecca of health-seekers, was that I did not want to rear my children under the enervating influence of that beautiful climate. I, for my part, want some cold winter weather every year to stir up the lazy blood corpuscles, to set the blood bounding through the system and to freeze out the microbes.

In our Nature Cure work we find all the way through that the continued application of warmth has a debilitating effect upon the organism, and that only by the opposing influences of alternating heat and cold can we produce the natural stimulation which awakens the dormant vital energies in the body of the chronic.