This is an extract from the exceedingly valuable book, How to be Always Well, written by a Doctor of nearly eighty and published by Printcraft Ltd., of Toronto at the price of three dollars.
I sleep in an unheated room (unheated at night), year round, windows open top and bottom, bed screened from draught, and wear no night clothes (pyjamas or nightshirt), but always sufficient bed coverings to keep me comfortable. Early morning I throw bed coverings over foot of bed and exercise for a half hour lying on the bed nude, windows still open, as they have been all night, regardless of temperature. Of course, in below zero weather I do not open windows so widely as in more temperature weather, but always they are open top and bottom.
After bed exercises I retire to bathroom, open window when it is not frozen too hard to be opened; drink three glasses of water, hot or cold as suits fancy; respond to natures calls; cleanse teeth; shave, wash, take a second set of exercises standing, designed to exercise fully all the muscles of the body, but especially those about the waist and abdomen; follow with quick, cold bath, taken as follows: Soap parts where odours might be present from accumulations; scrub with well-wrung-out washcloth; wash off soap with sopping wash-cloth; immerse body quickly for a few seconds, rapidly rotating the body with a side-to-side rocking movement while immersed; stand in tub, wring washcloth and briskly friction the entire body with it, then make it into a tight roll and grasp it firmly with both hands, arms fully extended straight forward from shoulders, hands close together, palms down: make very rapid striking movements with both hands, simultaneously moving the whole body by bringing the hip and knee joints into rhythmic movements with the striking movements of the arms and hands, one hundred times; take four to six deep breaths, exhaling through the compressed lips, and simultaneously raising the arms outward from the sides until they meet overhead during the inhalation, and lowering them during the exhalation; same position, grasping rolled washcloth, arms forward, snap arms sharply to one side, six to ten inches, then as sharply in the opposite direction, oscillating very fast one hundred times; repeat deep breathing.
I then rub my body well with wrung-out washcloth; leave tub and allow body to dry in air or wind through open window while with closed fists I pommel myself from scalp to toes; follow with a quick palm rub over the entire body that can be reached. Regardless of room temperature, I am now glowingly warm and completely thrilled. I dress without underwear, winter or summer, and begin a five-mile walk, wearing no underwear, vest, not overcoat in the coldest weather; in summer as few clothes as the conventions and the law allow.
Then I breakfast on fruit and half-and-half [ Half milk and half boiling water.] or Kofy-Sub [+ Kofy-Sub is now on the market (see page 169) (apples, oranges, and grapefruit or the sweat fruits– especially in winter– dates, raisins, figs, prunes, or any fruits in season). Lunch is a large bowl of granulated whole-meal porridge (Roman Meal ++ Roman Meal is sold in the United States only under the name of Dr. Jackson Meal.), with milk; or Roman Meal bread with butter, honey (my only sweet with the exception of sweet fruits), and Kofy-Sub to drink; and a large leafy salad with onions, radishes or tomatoes in their season.
Dinner is almost always a large salad, as above, with cheese, cottage cheese, baked beans, nuts or nut-butter. frequently, in winter, I add steamed vegetables, served only with butter and little or no salt. In summer, dinner may be berries and milk only. In winter, if I feel I have over- indulged in food, I may make a dinner of sweet fruits and milk, or nuts and raisins and a cup of Kofy-Sub. I eat no desserts, unless it be a few dates or raisins or the acid fruits.
Occasionally, I live for one or more entire days upon juicy fruits alone, or juicy fruits and half-and-half, to rest and cleanse the digestive tract and the blood, and change the intestinal flora.
My body is abundantly supplied with building and repair materials by the Roman Meal, beans, cheese, nuts, milk; none of which quickly decomposes and poisons like meat or fish. The abundant alkalis is Roman Meal, the leafy vegetables and fruits fully counteract the products of fermentation; the fruit fast kills or controls the bacteria of putrefaction; the two keep my blood normally alkaline and clean; my tissues non-acid and my organs unstrained. My body is more resilient than any acid-food- nourished youths bodies can be, and I work incessantly, walking ten miles a day in addition, at seventy-six, and never, never tire.
Could I do these things, in continual activity from 5.30 a.m. to 10.30 p.m., with never a single holiday in the year — year after year– and never a days complaining, or sickness, living upon the standard diet of civilization– meat; white bread; peeled and boiled potatoes; small quantities of vegetables soaked, boiled in water alkalinized with baking soda and then drained, or boiled in salted water and drained; flour gravy; pickles; hot bread made from white flour; cakes; pastry; condiments (mustard, pepper, chilli sauce, Worcester sauce and other relishes), tea; coffee; and, between meals, all sorts of soda-fountain concoctions and no end of cigarettes or tobacco in some other form; wearing clothing so heavy that never a gleam of the rays from the sun can reach my skin or a touch of the sun-vitalized air; or riding to my office in my car, or a street car; climbing stairs in an elevator; sitting in a swivel chair and touching a button for every item in connection with my work to be placed in my hands; riding home again in my car, then eating a “good meal” and after a game of bridge and several good cigars retire to a disturbed sleep or a sleep so heavy, from retained body and food poisons, that I cannot be roused easily in the morning and often am not really roused all day; if I take hot baths in a steamy, stuffy, breathless bathroom; have infrequent bowel evacuations in spite of the consumption of so much easily putrefying food; then at the week end take a vile cathartic to still further wreck the bowel function?.
Could I ? Well, I tried it for years and only succeeded in almost killing myself; and everyone, regardless of his apparent health, who leads that kind of a living regimen will die years and years before he need die, even he who by chance of a unique heredity lives a century. Such hardy men might easily live to be 150 if they lived biological lives, and still be competent and useful to the end.
By changing over from that unnatural style of living to the unconventional and simple living habits that I have described, I have come to be, in the years that men call “old age”, a virile man with all the physical vitality of youth, and far more of that vitality than have most of the luxury-loving, ease-taking youths of to-day.
In bathing, especially in winter, it will be sufficient to soap the body only twice, or even once a week, except in the folds or hairy parts of the skin where odours might develop. If the skin is sufficiently frictioned with a wet rough washcloth every day it need not be soaped at all except where odours might develop.
(It is sufficient at all times to take a shower bath, or to stand in tub and wash the entire body over all well with a washcloth, then slush the body with the cold water from the running faucet. Many of low vitality must be content at first to use only the sponge bath, in the beginning lukewarm.).
NOTE: For those who are especially sensitive to cold contacts with the skin it will aid in overcoming such sensitiveness to begin with a tepid sponge, using a small turkish towel or a large turkish washcloth. Sponge the entire body over rapidly. Then repeat after adding some cold water. Again add cold water and again sponge, repeating until fully cold water is used.
It will be an advantage to sensitive beginners to wring the cloth sufficiently to prevent splashing or spattering during the frictioning.
For the not over-sensitive, it will be sufficient to begin with fully cold water, only taking the precaution to wring the cloth out for first over, then each time over the skin leave more cold water in the wash cloth until it contains all the cold water it can without splashing during the frictioning.
After all baths the body should be exposed at an open window and the skin slapped, pommelled and frictioned by the palms until glowing, warm and dry. If these movements are done with sufficient briskness, to the point of deep and rapid breathing, no colds will follow. On the other hand the defensive powers inherent in the skin will be so re-developed as to make the “catching” of colds impossible.