Page:Guide to health.djvu/99
A special kind of cot is often used for steambaths, but it is not quite essential. A spirit or kerosine oil stove, or a wood or coal fire, would be kept burning under an ordinary cane chair. Over the fire should be placed a vessel of water with the mouth covered; and over the chair a sheet or blanket is so spread that it may hang down in the front and protect the patient from the heat of the fire. Then the patient should be seated in the chair and wrapped round with sheets or blankets. Then the vessel should be uncovered, so that the patient may be exposed to the steam issuing from it. Our common practice of covering the head also of the patient is a needless precaution. The heat of the steam presses through the body right up to the head, and gives rise to profuse perspiration on the face. If the patient is too weak to sit up,
a glass of hot water either at bedtime or soon after rising and cleaning the teeth in the morning. Sir Gordon Spring attributed his excellent health to the practice of drinking a glass of hot water every day before going to bed and after getting up in the morning. The bowels of many people move only after taking tea in the morning, and they foolishly suppose that it is the tea which has produced this effect. But, as a matter of fact, tea only does harm, and it is really the hot water in the tea that moves the bowels.