OUR forebears had few holidays. Travel was dangerous and difficult. Thus cottagers might never lose sight of the smoke of their thatched dwellings and workmen in towns spent their whole life within a narrow circle of intimate acquaintances.
Now a trip to the seaside is possible to multitudes. It is rare to come across a person who has not travelled since the railways are not prohibitive. Moreover, villagers by means of motor-bus are given the greatest facility of getting “a smell of the briny”. And the well-to-do in their richly caparisoned motor-cars can have a pleasant journey through delightful scenery to whatever sea coasts they may choose.
Cost of apartments is no hindrance. Most coastal towns cater for every type of visitor, and if any are “taken in” by an unscrupulous landlady it is the exception since every effort is made by the municipal authorities to secure rooms at reasonable prices. indeed, in many places a Bureau is established for this purpose and complaints are rare.
“But why”, you may ask, “go to the seaside ?” Because in many cases the sea air is helpful especially to delicate children, convalescents and those exhausted by the years work. Moreover, the weak chested have found on the coastline new vigour and warded off lung disease with which they have been threatened. And growing children who have romped for a week or two on the sands have returned home better fitted for school or employment.
Of course, it is possible to frustrate the benefits of a seaside holiday. If the visitor spend his days rushing from one amusement to another, and spend his evenings at the Cinema, he is not likely to derive much good. Health is not promoted by such indulgences. If, however, he exercise common sense he may expect to return to his work or office better prepared for future business.
It is said that the main thing at the seaside is the ozone of the atmosphere a fine form of oxygen. Small quantities can be detected if we take a slip of paper and imbue it with a solution of iodine of potassium and starch and if there be a breeze blowing form the sea towards us the paper we expose, originally white, will assume a tinge of blue. Thus we have definite proof of ozone in the sea air and we should inhale freely the vitalizing element.
To a biochemist, however, the vast expanse of the ocean suggests a wonderful remedy Natrum mur. his name for sea salt. In intractable complaints like psoriasis, goitre and Addisons disease, it has won brilliant victories, and in more common affections, when made colloidal, has done much good.
Recent researches reveal the fact that sea salt taken from different parts of the ocean differs in its constituents. In some sea latitudes there are only twenty milligrams of iodine in a cubic metre of sea water, but in others 2,800 milligrams in the same quantity. Sea salt also contains traces of radium, copper, gold, silver, manganese and other metals hence its usefulness has been by no means exhausted.
So far I have not known sailors troubled with goitre, although occasionally one finds a lady victim even at the seaside. Other circumstances may explain it. But no one will dispute that goitre is more prevalent in districts away from the sea and that natives of our coast-towns are generally free from that unsightly affection.
Sea bathing to most people is beneficial, but it does not suit everybody. In summer the temperature of the sea is 68-78 F., and a dip can be taken every day without risk if the bathers do not remain too long in the water not more than ten minutes. Sufferers from heart and lung affections had better keep on terra-firma.
Those who take a seaside holiday for the good of their health as well as for its attendant pleasure would do well to take a dose of Ferrum Phos. every morning. This remedy is a valuable tissue salt that attracts oxygen and renders it more amenable to the system. It colours and vitalises the blood, gives tone, and brings back the healthy pink of recuperation.
If the patients nerves are awry he may need cheerful companions. He will find them at the seaside where visitors throw off all restraint. Sufferers from nervous depression sometimes find it needful to get away from ordinary surroundings especially if the condition be caused by a great loss or bereavement. Nothing is more injurious to the depressed than to brood on past trouble. Indeed, a change of environment may be imperative.
On the other hand, those who have been under much excitement may need a quiet time. This also is possible at the seaside. After a few days fishing or “golfing” the pulse will be steadier, the dizzy confused mind will be subdued and patients will return home at the end of their sojourn in a happier mood and with increased courage to tackle their new plans devised for the future.