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December 1964

A Guide to Ems: With an Account of Its Thermal Waters.

Arch Intern Med. 1964;114(6):860. doi:10.1001/archinte.1964.03860120172031

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Somebody put into my hands this guide to the thermal waters of Ems, fifth edition, issued in 1883. It called to mind the more leisurely days of the last century and the interesting problems of therapy at a time when there were few specifics, but many spas. The spas were exploited widely. No doubt in many instances there was real therapeutic benefit. Some years ago I reviewed the rise and fall of the great water-cure and healing-spring cult in Virginia where the salubrious effect of leading people out of the regions where malaria and yellow fever prevailed was a real benefit. In part, no doubt, the rest-cure, the marriage mart for the elite, and the change of scene were tonic for the spirit and for the body. The placebo effect of pouring noisome sulfurous waters down the gullet revived in some the residual heroism felt as children eating strange medicines

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