If we open our school text-books on materia medica and therapeutics we shall rarely find any mention made of the qualities or therapeutic uses of solar energy. We learn the properties and supposed uses of scores of drugs and yet when we enter on practice, we find that our reliable therapeutic armamentarium is really a limited one. Water, fresh air and that most powerful agent of all, solar energy, which is supplied to us everywhere, receive only secondary consideration. The study and use of light, both artificial and solar, however, following the excellent work of Finsen, have come into prominence.
The use of light as a therapeutic agent is very old. C. E. Rogers tells us that some years ago, while traveling in the tropics of Central America, he observed a peculiar custom among some of the Indian tribes. Occasionally he would see one lying naked on the ground for
DIETRICH H. HELIOTHERAPY WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO THE WORK OF DR. ROLLIER AT LEYSIN. JAMA. 1913;61(25):2229–2232. doi:10.1001/jama.1913.04350260027010
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