The Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw®
Life Extension NewsTM
Volume 19 No. 3 • April 2016


THE WATER-CURE MOVEMENT

Here, we will talk a bit about the “Water-Cure Movement” of the nineteenth century when there was a craze for CLEANSING yourself of your sins. This was a form of medicine called “hydropathy” that “was one of the most celebrated alternative forms of medical care.” (the latter phrase on the inner front jacket of a surprisingly well-referenced popular book—Wash and Be Healed by Susan E. Cayleff, Temple University Press, 1987). This was highly serious stuff at the time and appeared in the writings and speeches of many leading reformers and activists then.

The book Wash and Be Healed, from which this material was obtained, will only be touched upon here. The book contains 247 pages of mostly JUICY material (with hundreds of references), not all of which is suitable for a family (sort of) newsletter. So, moving right along to a few of its juicier bits...

It all started a long time ago... In Europe, one “took the cure.” In those early days, the water (meaning anything, the book says, from mud baths, mineral waters, stinking waters, putrid waters, to “holy” water) would be involved in highly ritualized “medical” treatments that could be little more than veiled approaches to group sex. And, of course, these “cleansing” rituals became VERY popular. Especially among women, who could endorse cleanliness while enjoying the sexual aspects of its practice (more on that follows).

Another little bit in the book introduces us to R. T. Trall, one of the co-founders of the movement. One of the innumerable doings of this man described in the book was his extensive and influential writing in the Water-Cure Journal, the “fanzine. of the time for the WATER-CURE movement.

In one of Trall’s articles, he suggested avoiding undesirable influences such as eating meat and devouring “pestilent literature” as he called it. He recommended the incredible treatment of “a towel wash or dripping sheet in the morning on rising, followed by thorough frictions with dry towels, or rubbing over the dry sheet [and] a hip or sitz bath twice a day...” (Makes you sweat just reading about this, doesn’t it?) (Wash and Be Healed, pg. 55.) The advice never ends but we have to end it with this: Trall suggests further that the water-cure adherent should “eliminate all seasonings, stimulants, and grease from the diet...”

Next, we learn that Trall has written an article on “The Physiology of Menstruation” containing a section entitled “The Sexual Orgasm.” In it, he admits: “[i]t is true that the sexual orgasm on the part of the female is just as normal as on the part of the male.” And in another article, “The Pleasure of Sexual Intercourse,” he asserts that, “it should be as pleasurable as possible to both parties.” “Surely,” he exclaims, “if sexual intercourse is worth doing at all, it is worth doing well.” (!)

We shall close out these comments with a look at the sexual pleasures that were part and parcel of a move- ment established ostensibly for the purpose of cleaning your sins away. That will have to be all for the WATER-CURE MOVEMENT.

As we had mentioned earlier in this discussion, the water cures included features such as “rubbing” and “friction massages.” T. L. Nichols, in his writings on the subject of “Diseases of Women” “urged the use of wet bandages ‘carefully and tightly applied’ in the pelvic area.” Yep, that ought to do it.

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