Dr. Silas Weir Mitchell, the Father of American Neurology, pioneered a popular rest cure used for treating injuries of the nervous system that was practiced for decades.
White, upper class, educated women were prescribed the cure for “nervous women who are thin and lack blood.” His practice was to order a long, milky, much needed rest. The treatment entailed six to eight weeks of absolute bed rest. During the first phase, patients were forbidden to rise at all with the exception of sitting up for spoon feeding or going to the bathroom. Once they were allowed to sit up more frequently reading, writing, drawing or doing anything was not allowed.
Bed rest was only one aspect of the treatment. Mitchel prescribed his patients frequent “massages” to stimulate the muscles. This was supplemented with the passage of an electric current through the leg muscles, belly, back and loins.
This was combined with a strict overfeeding regimen which was highly reliant upon milk. Used exclusively the first few days, it was followed with high-fat, highly caloric meals. Virginia Woolf participated in this “cure”.
GINGER’S JAM POSTING ARE NOT ORIGINAL MATERIAL BUT ARE GATHERED FROM A VARIETY OF SOURCES FOR YOUR ENTERTAINMENT.