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Source: Papers On Health
Frequently a failure of some kind shows itself in
the limbs of some children. Usually it appears as either bending or
inability to walk at the proper age, or both together. To use "steel
boots" and kindred appliances is to ignore the true nature of the
trouble, and most likely to increase it. What is wanted is proper
growth in the limb. To secure this, the nerve system of the spine must
be stimulated, and there is no better stimulus to be had than
"massage." When any substance is rubbed on, it is almost always the
rubbing, rather than the substance, which has the good effect. Hence we
recommend rubbing with simply good olive oil. For an infant, the back
must be massaged very gently, taking care not to hurt the child in any
way. It should be applied especially up and down each side of the back
bone, where there is a softer region, full of important nerve centres.
The limbs may also be gently rubbed. A genial heat should be raised in
all the infant's body by these means, and, if rightly done, the child
will eagerly wish for it again. Half-an-hour a day may be given to
this. It is well to persevere for a long time, and never give up hope.
Many a weak-limbed child has grown up a strong, healthy man or woman.
The food in such cases should be good ordinary food. We have never been
able to see the good of cod liver oil that is so generally recommended.
It seems to us a most unnatural thing for a human being, young or old.
Cream and butter will supply a far more easily assimilated fat at much
lower cost. We may also say that honey is more wholesome and fattening
than malt extract, and costs only one-fifth of the price.
The feeding of children on corn flour, often made with but little milk,
is a fruitful source of rickets. The same may be said of white bread,
the flour having been largely deprived of its food salts. Giving
children lime water, with the idea that the body can convert it into
bone (as a hen makes her egg shells out of old mortar) is an entire
mistake. The human system cannot use such inorganic material. The men
of best bone, so far as we can judge, are those who have been nourished
in great measure on good oatmeal.
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