Much of the effect of hydrologic measures is due to the stimulus of temperature and hydrostatic pressure on the cutaneous nerve endings. The stimulus of light when employed in the cabinet bath is likewise important. In all these cases impulses are set up which travel by way of afferent nerves to the lower nerve centers and in some cases to the higher nerve centers, such as the brain. The vagus and sympathetic nerves control the caliber of the cutaneous arterioles and produce secondary changes of an opposite character in the viscera. Metabolic action is altered, cold, as a rule, producing an increased elimination of carbon dioxide, whereas heat reduces the carbon dioxide elimination. This was shown by many, including Landis, Long, Jackson and Meyer at the University of Pennsylvania, and by Bazett in an elaborate study of the effects of baths on man.
THE OBJECT OF HYDROTHERAPEUTIC METHODS
HINSDALE G. SURVEY OF THE ACTUAL VALUE OF HYDROTHERAPY. JAMA. 1927;89(7):502–506. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02690070012004
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