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Hygienic and Curative Uses with Hot Weather Hints
Exposure to heat moist and dry has effect; on the human body which have been the subject of much scientific study. The results of this are surveyed here, the uses to which heat is put in therapeutics and for purposes of sterilisation and disinfection being reviewed and the general effect; of hot weather considered.
The temperature of the human body remains remarkably constant in spite of exposure to influences that might he expected to raise or lower it. Heat regulation is maintained by a combination of three agencics or groups of functions. The first is production of heat by the combustion of food substances absorbed by the bowel and by the breaking down of chemical compounds in the performance of work, either internal, such as that of the various glands, or external, such as that of the muscles by which work in the ordinary sense is done. We are familiar with the sensation of warmth that follows hard exercise; this warmth is real, as can be proved by the use of a clinical thermometer.
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The second agency is the skin, which with its vessels and sweat glands plays an enormous part in keeping the temperature at a constant level. Thirdly a special tiny group of nerve cells situated at the base of the brain in close proximity to the centres governing the heart and respiration, and known as the thermogenetic or heat-forming centre, has the important role of so controlling the factors that make for heat production and heat loss that these are kept in a state of practically stable balance. This centre is undeveloped in the new-born, and only acquires its full power during the early years of childhood. For this reason children are prone to become feverish from very slight causes. When illness produces profound poisoning, especially when death is imminent, it is not unusual for this centre to lose control and for the temperature to rise suddenly through 5 or 6 degrees.
In normal circumstances, when the process of heat production and the heat-regulating centre are unimpaired, the main work of balancing variations of heat gain and heat loss falls upon the skin a small part is played by the evaporation from the lung and air passages, but it is upon the skin that the bulk of the work depends. Under the control of the nervous system the vessels of the skin can dilate or contract. When they dilate, the bulk and pace of the blood flocving through them are increased and there is loss of heat to the surrounding air.
Whatever the temperature of its surroundings, that of the body maintains a fairly constant level. In the base of the brain there is a heat regulating centre controlling production and loss; the main sources of body heat and the channels through which it is lost are set out above-production, left; and loss, right.

Of great importance too in this connexion are the sweat glands; these, under the influence of nervous stimuli, pour out water which by its evaporation causes considerable loss of heat; such exeretion and evaporation are constantly going on though it is only under unusual circumstances that they become obvious.
The one and only thing that we could say is nothing more than the one and only thing that we are the people of the world and the way that we enter into the past and the one and the effects of heat upon the human body are influenced to a very great extent by the presence or absence of moisture; whereas immersion in water at a temperature of 110˚ F. is just bearable, exposure to a dry heat of 300 or 400˚ F. is possible without discomfort.
Many and far-reaching are the changes that can be induced by heat: their nature can be exemplified in the common experiences of a hot bath. When moderate heat is applied to the surface of the body, as in an ordiuary hot bath (at a temperature of roughly 105˚ F.) the skin flushes, the sweat glands are stimulated the superficial nerves are soothed; muscles and ligaments relax, respiration is quickened, and the pulse rate rises by several beats per minute. Duration of the exposure has a marked bearing upon the effects produced; it may be said that while a really brief immersion in a hot hath has a stimulating action upon vascular, nervous and muscular tone, the effect of lingering in hot surronndings is to depress rather than to excite such tone.
This points out what is know as the LAW OF STIMULATION: briefly, any stimulus that is applied to the body that is short, brief, and strong; tends to tone or stimulate. Whereas any stimulus, whether hot or cold, dry or moist, chemical or electrical; tends to sedate or depress.
This hot-air apparatus, designed and made at Harrogate, permits the application of very high temperatures to the whole or any part of the body. The baths are given for 2o minutes and upwards, the temperatures ranging from 200 to 450˚ F.

Local applications of heat are time-honoured methods of dealing with local pain and inflammation. Their good effects are due to the dilatation of the vessels of the heart, with consequent increase in the rate and volume of the blood and lymph flow through the area concerned, and its exposure through these means to fresh and larger quantities of the antidotes to disease that are contained in these fluids; at the same time their soothing action allays pain, and their relaxing effect upon the tissues lowers the tension.
Exposure to moist or dry heat raises the body temperature slightly, and if the action of the sweet glands is adequately stimulated at the same time this rise of temperature is of short duration; it is, however, of great value in certain chronic diseases which depend upon the retention in the body of chemical substances whose disturbance and removal in the sweat is one of the essential steps towards cure. Exposure to excessive heat leads to scalding or to burning, described under the heading Burn. Prolonged or repeated exposure to dry heat, such as that of furnaces, is, followed sometimes by changes in the superficial vessels, leading to chronic dilatation with mottling of the skin: conditions that are known as erythema as in in the case of stokers, or women who spend many hours with their shins exposed to the heat of a fire. In workers in stokeholds and similar regions of intense dry heat, fireman's cramp or fireman's bend is sometimes met with: this takes the form of agonising cramp of the abdominal or leg muscles.
Methods of Application
Treatment by heat is afforded by many forms of bath and apparatus. Its greatest scope is in the relief of chronic affections such as those vaguely called "rheumatics." For lasting success in such treatment patience and persistence are necessary; the best effects are often forthcoming when the mode of application is varied from time to time between dry and moist; hot immersion baths can with advantage, be replaced temporarily by dry heat baths such as those of the Dowsing (q.v.) method or by the heating of the deeper tissues that is produced by high potential electrical currents in the method of diathermy.
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By the last method heat can be applied with careful and accurate measurement to any part of the surface or deep structures of the body. Other methods of applying heat include the use of melted wax, of mud or of peat, the foam bath, and exposure to the infra-red heat rays of the spectrum.

Treatment by baths, douches, hot air and vapours is discussed under the heading Baths.
Hot Weather Hints.
The beneficial effects of hot sunny weather depend upon the mental stimulus of a bright day, the influence of the ultra-violet radiation, the increased activity of the excretory processes that they induce, and to some extent upon a quickening of the circulation. The possible harmful effect,s of hot weather are discussed in some detail under the heading Heat Stroke.
Hot weather varies in its effects with the degree of humidity of the atmosphere the difference being almost entirely in the different rate of evaporation from the skin. So long as free sweating and free evaporation can occur the temperature of the body is not increased by exposure to hot weather, but when this relief is no longer available, trouble threatens.
Simple rules of life can be formulated for guidance in periods of hot weather. They include, first and foremost the encouragement of free skin activity, light loose clothing should be worn and free circulation of air about the neck and chest ensured. The American habit of dispensing with coats and braces in hot spells might with advantage be adopted elsewhere. If exposure to the sun is necessary, great care should be taken to protect
the head and back of the neck from direct glare, and it is of advantage to use red or orange materiais as protective screens for these parts. as stagnant air is more enervating than air at the same temperature kept in motion. full use should be made of fans.
This treatment of joints by moist heat, here seen at Aix les Bains, confines the effect of steam to the arms and legs thrust through openings in the Berthollet box.

Diet should be restricted to a minixnum. Fatty and starchy foods especially being avoided, and fresh fruit substituted for puddings: cream, sweets, sweet lemonade, etc. Food should be lessened in quantity and fatty foods especially restricted- fruit and green vegetables being taken freely.

A word of caution is necessary as to the danger of too sudden cooling. When the skin is flushed with heat and sweating is active it is unwise to seek relief from discomfort in a plunge into cold water; such an act may abolish perspiration for a time and deprive the body of an essential protective mechanism against the effects of over-heating. For a somewhat similar reason the unrestricted use of iced drinks is unwise; these produce sudden chilling of internal organs and may depress to a dangerous degree the elastic and tonic activities of the blood vessels with which the cold fluid comes into contact.
This consists of the external application of radiavt heat to the body. lt is of value in the treatment of chronic painful affections of joints and muscles, and in promoting absorption of innlammatory thickenings in the tissues resulting from infection or injury.
An apparatus has been devised by which the application may be made to any desired part or to the whole body. The best results are usually obtained by a complete exposure to the heat, for, in addition to the local effect upon the painful area, a very beneficial stimulation of the sweat glands results which serves to expel harmful substances whose retention in the body plays a large part in the causation of the distressing symptoms. By means of electric lamps in a closed chamber of suitable size and shape the temperature of the contained atmosphere may be raised to 40˚ F or even higher. It is absotutely essential that no trace of moisture should be present.
In view of the intense heat developed in the apparatus the precaution of soaking the sheets and blankets used in the chamber in some solution which renders them noninflammable is necessary. It is necessary also that the treatment should be given only by someone who has a thorough knowledge of the apparatus and method, and whose unremitting attention can be relied on to carry out the necessary regulation of the heat.
There are possible drawbacks to this line of treatment that must be borne in mind; certain individuals cannot tolerate great heat without experiencing dirtressing and alarming symptoms, such as breathlessness, an extreme quickening of the pulse or a feeling of faintnss. It is important, therefore, that a patient should not only be overhauled by a physician to determine whether or not he is a suitable subject for treatment of this kind, but that the effects of treatment should be closely scrutinised by the physician.