A Turkish bath in the woods is an interesting idea. The Indians have always used this style of treatment and, with their old-time regard for absolute cleanliness, took the bath once a week, when circumstances permitted.
Their plan was to make a low, round-topped lodge, about five feet high and as much across, by bending over a number of long willow poles with both ends stuck in the ground. A few slender cross-bars lashed on here and there completed the skeleton dome. This was covered over with a number of blankets, or waterproof covers of canvas, etc. A shallow pit was dug near one side. The patient stripped and went in. A fire was made previously close at hand, and in this a number of stones heated. When nearly red-hot, these were rolled in, under the cover of the Sweat Lodge into the pit. The patient had a bucket of water and a cup. He poured water on the hot stones, a dense steam arose, which filled the Lodge, causing the intense heat, which could be modified at will. The more water on the stones the greater, of course, the steam. Meantime, the patient drinks plenty of water, and is soon in a profuse sweat. Half an hour of this is enough for most persons. They should then come out, have a partial rub-down, and plunge into cold water, or have it thrown over them. After this a Hang it up as far off as possible in the schoolroom and use it each day. Train your eyes to read the smallest letters from your seat.
By such exercises during the years of growth almost all short-sight or near-sight, and much blurred sight or astigmatism, may be permanently prevented.
An interesting proof is found by Dr. Casey Wood in the fact that while wild animals have good sight, caged animals that have lost all opportunities for watching distant objects are generally myopic or short-sighted. In other words, nature adapts the tool to its job.
A certain minister knowing I had much platform experience said to me once, "How is it that your voice never grows husky in speaking? No matter how well I may be my voice often turns husky in the pulpit".
He was a thin, nervous man, very serious about his work and anxious to impress. I replied: "You are nervous before preaching, which makes your feet sweat. Your socks are wet when you are in the pulpit, and the sympathy between soles and voice is well known. Put on dry socks just before entering the pulpit and you need not fear any huskiness".
He looked amazed and said: "You certainly have sized me up all right. I'll try next Sunday".
I have not seen him since and don't know the result, but I know that the principle is sound - wet feet, husky throat.
This was the title of an essay by George Catlin, a famous outdoor man, who lived among the Indians, and wrote about them 1825 to '40. In this he pointed out that it is exceedingly injurious to breathe through your mouth; that, indeed, many persons injured their lungs by taking in air that was not strained and warmed first through the nose, and in many cases laid the foundation of diseases which killed them.
When you see a man whose toes are excessively turned out, you may know he was born and brought up on sidewalks. He is a poor walker and will not hold out on an all day-tramp.
The mountaineer and the Indian scout always keep their feet nearly straight. It is easier on the feet and it lengthens the stride; makes, in short, a better traveler. A glance at his tracks will tell you how a person walks.
No Indian was allowed to use tobacco until a proven warrior. It was injurious to the young they said, but in the grown man if used only as a burnt sacrifice it helped in prayer and meditation.
Some of the finest Indians, Spotted-tail for example, never smoked as a habit.
In the New York Literary Digest for December 30, 1911, there appeared the following important article: