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December 18, 1943


Author Affiliations


From the Laboratory of Applied Physiology, Yale University.

JAMA. 1943;123(16):1037-1042. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.82840510003008

Few branches of healing are more ancient than the branch of resort therapy and none, with the possible exception of surgery, has been more influenced in its display by the regard in which it has been held by the physician. Unfortunately, these views have often had little or no relation to the actual benefits of the therapy but they have nevertheless largely determined the extent to which it has been employed. Much of the discussion to follow on the historical background of resort therapy will be concerned with the forces which at different periods have raised this therapy to the central feature of medical care, have reduced it to the status of a superstition, have diverted its main features into voluptuous cultural practices, have opposed its use on the puritanical background that its measures coddled the flesh that needed scourging for the sins of disease, have degraded it to a

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