Field thought that the chief reason in favor of the term hydropathy was that "Hygiene, strictly speaking, embraces only those means and habits which tend to preserve health; and that in the treatment of disease we make use of water to an extent and in a variety of ways that would not be beneficial for that purpose alone; that we should never recommend well persons to take sitz-baths and wet-sheet packs for preserving health, while, on the contrary, we do advise such baths for sick people." Field suggested the use of both terms --hygeopathy and hydropathy--in order to cover both practices. He also offered, as a substitute term, that of hogeopathy.
Here it will be noted that Field recognized that hydropathy violates a cardinal principle of Hygiene. He had tried to hold onto the water-cure processes by saying that "water is a natural agent, and not foreign to the human system as our drugs and that, in this way, the water treatment might, with some degree of propriety, come under the head of Hygeopathy." It is true, of course, that water is a normal element of the human body and, as drink, or as a constituent of food, belongs to the realm of Hygiene; but as a sitz-bath or a wet-sheet pack, is no more normal than a bread poultice or a fruit juice bath. It is important that we make a normal use of the normal things of life.
The emphasis placed upon Hygiene was everywhere noted. When emphasizing the tremendous importance of Hygiene, the practitioners of the time were likely to add: "In my estimation, water is the smallest part of the hydropathic system." An indication of this is seen in an article published in the August 1858 issue of the Journal by Hygienicus. Dr. G. H. Taylor used the phrase, "Hygeio-Medical" treatment. Taylor also used the phrase, medical hygiene. C. L. Smalley, M.D., writing in the Journal, April 1856, called it the Hygienic System. In the May 1860 issue of the Journal, J. H. Stillman, M.D., writes of his "experiences in Hygeio-Therapeutics." Writing in the Journal, June 1861, George P. Betts, M.D., of Carversville, Pa., classed himself as a Hygienic physician. In the June 1861 issue of the Journal, Augusta Fairchild, M.D., a graduate of the Hygeio-Therapeutic College, tells of a conversation that she had with another woman graduate of the same school. She says: "My friend and I were talking over our experiences and anticipations in the practice of hygienic medication." In the December 1861 issue of the Journal Trall refers to "the Hygienic medical system."
Writing to unbelievers in the October 1861 issue of the Journal, Dr. James C. Jackson differentiates between hydropathy and Hygiene in the following words: "You do not believe in Water Cure for the treatment of disease, nor do you believe in that more comprehensive system of treating human ailments which is known by the name Hygeo-Therapeutics and which embraces within its scope the use of all agents which are in their nature health-producing or health-preserving, but you do believe in the use of medicines which are poisonous, though I very much doubt that you can give a reason therefor . . ."
Solomon Fease, M.D., on the other hand, was one who objected to any change of name, either of the practice or of the Journal. His arguments were largely those of expediency. He acknowledged a certain sentimental attachment to the term hydropathy, then argued that a change of name might lose them patronage, that, as they were already well established under the old name, a new one might not draw patronage as well as the old one and that a change of name might be interpreted as a retreat. He also thought that without water applications Hygiene would be less effective than with them. Even if this last argument were true, it remained a poor basis for retention of a name that was distinctly of the "one-idea" variety, a name that was not descriptive of the practice.
One hydro-hygienist, discussing the relative merits of water applications and Hygiene, presented a view that was somewhat opposed to that offered by Dr. Fease. He said: "I believe that I can cure more (chronic diseases) without it (water) by strict attention to diet, &c., &c., than with it, without this attention."
In 1861 Dr. Trall issued a small booklet under the title of Hygeiotherapeutics. In 1862 his famous lecture on The True Healing Art or Hygienic vs. Drug Medication was delivered in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington. In 1872 Trall's famous lecture, The Hygienic System, was published by The Health Reformer. This lecture was originally delivered before his classes in the College of Hygeio-Therapeutics. An editorial in the first issue of The Science of Health says: "But the leaders of the new Health Reform literature soon became dissatisfied with the term 'Hydropathy,' because it represented only one of their remedial agents; and now the more comprehensive and appropriate term of 'Hygienic Medication' is generally employed. The College of the System--the only one in existence--was chartered under the name of 'Hygeio-Therapeutic,' meaning Hygienic care, or the treatment of disease by hygienic agencies."
In 1915 the Health-Culture Company published a monumental work entitled Hygeiotherapeutics by Susanna Way Dodds, A.M., M.D., who was a graduate of the College of Hygeio-Therapy. The foregoing should constitute sufficient evidence that the American physicians who abandoned drugs and took up the practice of Hygiene recognized a distinction between Hygienic and hydropathic practice and chose a name to designate the Hygienic practice. The mistake they made was in trying to designate the new mode of practice by old medical terms. It is quite true that the Latin word cura was originally synonymous with our word care and the Greek word therapia originally meant to wait upon, while the word medicine originally meant healing. But words undergo changes of meaning and the word medicine had become indeliby associated in the public mind with the drugging system, while cure was used to designate any means of treating disease that was applied to the patient with the idea of producing health by artificial measures. The word therapeutics, as defined at the time, was "that part of medicine which treats of the application of remedies to the cure of disease." All efforts to return to primitive meanings in the use of words are unavailing. When the word therapeutics is used today, it is invariably understood in its modern meaning and nobody knows anything of its ancient meaning. Benarr Macfadden made the same mistake when he had the college which he established in Chicago confer upon its graduates the degree, Dr. of Physiological Therapeutics. People did not understand it to mean physiological care, which would have been a return to Graham, but a system of treating disease by external appliances of one kind or another. To call the system hygienic medication or hygienic medicine is to associate it in the public mind with the drugging system. It is quite true that drugs do not heal; hence, as Trall pointed out, the use of the term medicine in connection with drugs is a misnomer; but it is impossible to secure public recognition of this fact.