Impeccable Science: Give Your Lungs a Bath

This week’s impeccable science post features one of our favorite texts, an 1839 health tract entitled Thoughts on Bathing.

Thoughts on Bathing is a trove of essential information. For example, bathing of the entire body is important because it cleans your skin and invigorates your circulation. Cold bathing is particularly beneficial, and can even be fun!

A further explanation delves into the specifics of how the skin breathes and helps “renovate” the blood.

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Whatever changes take place in the lungs, by the action of the air upon the blood in the small vessels of those organs, to purify and renovate it, take place also all over the surface of the body; that in this respect, therefore, the skin may be regarded as a sort of appendage of the lungs; and that if the skin be varnished over with a mixture of oil and dust, so that it cannot perform its office, an unreasonable burden will be thrown upon the lungs, which will thereby be weakened, and predisposed to disease.

Not bathing = colds or lung disease. Makes sense, kind of. But to whom is bathing most important? This is where the truly impeccable science kicks in.

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This temporary suspension of the offices of the skin is, however, peculiarly dangerous to those who are of light complexion, slender form, with a long neck, and narrow shoulders projecting almost like wings, indicating a chest whose internal organs as well as external dimensions are comparatively small and feeble, and therefore poorly prepared to do that work which belongs to other parts or organs.

Listen up, thin pale people, you’d better remember your weekly cold bath. Your life could depend on it.

You can see more gems from Thoughts on Bathing in the Spring 2012 issue of Occasional Nuggets, which deals with health and exercise.

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