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Health, or, How to Live

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    SUNSHINE

    SECLUSION from sunshine is one of the misfortunes of our civilized life. The same causes which makes potato vines white and sickly, when grown in dark cellars, operates to produce the pale, sickly girls that are reared in our parlors. Expose either to the direct rays of the sun, and they begin to show color, health, and strength.HHTL 351.1

    One of the ablest lawyers in our country, — a victim of long and hard brain-labor, came to me a year ago, suffering with partial paralysis. The right leg and hip were reduced in size, with constant pain in the loins. He was obliged, in coming up stairs, to raise the left foot first, on every stair, dragging the right one after it. Pale, feeble, miserable, he told me he had been failing several years, and closed with, “My work is done. At sixty, I find myself worn out.”HHTL 351.2

    I directed him to lie down under a large window, and allow the sun to fall upon every part of his body; at first, ten minutes a day, increasing the time until he could expose himself to the direct rays of the sun a full hour. His habits were not essentially altered in any other particular. In six months, he came running up stairs like a vigorous man of forty, and declared, with sparkling eyes, “I have twenty years more of work in me.”HHTL 351.3

    I have assisted many dyspeptic, neuralgic, rheumatic, and hypochondriacal people into health, by the SUN-CURE. I have so many facts illustrating the wonderful power of the sun’s direct rays in curing certain classes of invalids, that I have seriously thought of publishing a work, to be denominated the “SUN-CURE.”HHTL 351.4

    I take the liberty of introducing another case, which greatly impressed my mind at the time.HHTL 352.1

    Many years ago, a clergyman who had for years been a victim of dyspepsia, and who had prayed for death, as the only door of escape, came, through the advice of a mutual friend, to consult me. I advised the disuse of all medicines, the generous use of cracked wheat, good beef, and much exposure to the sunshine. To secure the last-mentioned influence, I directed him to enclose twenty feet square in his garden with a close fence, and plant the ground within with something, the cultivation of which would occupy his mind. Then, when the weather was warm, shutting himself in, he was to busy himself, quite nude, with the cultivation of his vegetables, from ten to sixty minutes a day, always indulging in a thorough bath and friction before leaving. He was radically cured.HHTL 352.2

    I was practicing my profession in Buffalo, New York, during ‘49 and ‘51, those memorial cholera seasons. I saw at least five cases of cholera on the shady side of the street and houses, to one on the sunny side. One eminent physician in New Orleans reports from his own practice, eight cases of yellow fever on the shady side of the street, to one on the sunny side.HHTL 352.3

    Who has not read Florence Nightingale’s observations in Crimea, showing the difference between the shady and the sunny sides of the hospitals? In St. Petersburg the shady side of the hospitals was so notoriously unfavorable to the sick soldier that the Czar decreed them into disuse.HHTL 352.4

    The shade-trees about our dwellings have done much to make our wives and daughters pale, feeble, and neuralgic. Trees ought never to stand near enough to a dwelling to cast their shade upon it; and if the blinds were removed, and nothing but a curtain within, with which to lessen, on the hottest days, the intensity of the heat, it would add greatly to the tone of our nerves and to our general vigor. The piazzas which project over the lower story, always make that less healthy than the upper story, especially for sleeping purposes. I am sure I have cured a great many cases of rheumatism by advising patients to leave bed-rooms shaded by trees or piazzas, and sleep in a room and bed which were constantly dried and purified by the direct rays of the sun. — Dio Lewis.HHTL 352.5

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