Woman's Beauty.—If a vote were to be taken among the inhabitants of the globe as to what one thing, with the exception of the moral qualities, is most to be desired in a woman, the unanimous election would be—beauty.

Far above influence, social position or money, beauty compels the first admiration and homage of all mankind. So well is this fact known that every woman has an instinctive desire to be attractive, for she realizes that her power for good and, incidentally, evil is thereby greatly increased.

Is it any wonder then that many, in their ignorance, should employ artificial means in the vain endeavor to attain this end, little realizing that it is natural for every woman to be lovely, and that she must only assist nature. Paint and powder deceive no one, and sooner or later even the user is obliged to acknowledge that their use has destroyed what remnants of good looks she originally possessed.

Aiding Nature.—Now understand I do not mean to intimate that every woman may have perfectly shaped features; that is not within her or anyone's else power. But I do say that she can aid nature so much in her work that the beauty appertaining to good health and a perfect physical condition will be hers. That should be the aim of every woman, and believe me, it is no ignoble one.

What Woman May Have.—Regularity of feature and a graceful form count little when a dull blotchy complexion, is their accompaniment. On the other hand no one, not even the most hardened critic, can deny the attractions that lie in a bright, glowing skin, a well-kept hand, a perfectly developed form, and a head of hair that is a veritable crown of glory. Yet all these may be had by the woman who is willing to work for them conscientiously and patiently, for remember that Rome was not built in a day, and neither is the possession of beauty to be obtained but as the reward of unremitting labor.

The First Step.—With this idea in mind, the first step is toward remedying a bad complexion, probably the most fatal foe to an attractive face. The requisites may be summed up in a few words, pure air, pure water, a correct diet and a right proportion of rest and exercise. Very simple it sounds, does it not? Yet the whole difficulty lies in obtaining these seemingly easy conditions. In the complex life of a large city it is well nigh impossible. Therefore a woman is obliged to resort to a few harmless expedients to supply the needed deficiencies.

Pure Air and Water.—It is of these expedients that I wish particularly to speak, after a few words on the subject of hygienic living as defined above. Pure air and pure water are rare commodities in cities, but that is no reason for declining their medicinal services. Time spent in outdoor exercises is well spent and amply repays one in many different ways. Badly ventilated sleeping and sitting rooms are responsible for any number of bad complexions, and we would hear fewer complaints on this score if people more fully realized the tonic effects of fresh air taken into the lungs.

Drinking Water.—Equally difficult is it to impress people with the necessity of drinking enough water daily to thoroughly flush the whole system. Spring-water being out of the question with many people the available supply should be rendered as pure as possible by filtration and boiling.

In regard to a proper diet no one set of rules can be given that would suit everybody. Each person must study his or her individual peculiarities, and decide what foods are best eaten, and what ones excluded from the daily menu. It is safe to say, however, that much hot bread and cake, rich pastries, candy and things that are greasy are best left alone by the woman who values her looks.

Exercise.—Exercise, like diet, must be regulated by personal peculiarities. What is too much for one might not be enough for another.

A settled amount of outdoor exercise should form part of each day's program, and it is best taken at the same hour each day. Personally I prefer walking, but that is a matter of taste. Do not confuse walking for health with shopping. The former means a brisk walk, the country preferred, with a short skirt, heavy-soled boots and free swinging arms. That is the correct and only healthful way of doing it. In short, make a business of your exercise, if you only devote half an hour each day to the operation.

The same conscientiousness should be employed in the hours for rest and recreation, and if this rule is followed the results will surprise not only you but all your friends.

General Physical Condition.—All this relates to the general building up of the system. It is impossible to have a clear skin when the general physical condition is not what it should be and the vital organs are not performing their proper functions. Your first efforts must be directed toward this end, as the following suggestions will have little effect if the primary cause of the trouble is not first removed.

Neglect of Face.—The care of the face is not the light matter that many people think, and, in fact, the face seldom receives a sufficient amount of attention. How many times do we see blackheads and those dark lines and shadows on an otherwise attractive face. Its owner would probably consider herself grossly insulted if you intimated that her face was dirty, yet such is unmistakably the truth. She might tell you that she washes it several times a day and consequently it should be clean.

Insufficient Washing.—What this lady does not know, and what many other people do not know, is that the use of soap and water is not sufficient washing. The face, being the only part of the body exposed, receives a thick coating of grime and dirt from roads and streets. The application of cold water closes the little pores containing their grimy contents and makes the future task of cleansing so much more difficult. Blackheads are nothing more nor less than dirty pores, and pimples are often caused from them.

Protection of the Skin.—As far as possible the skin should be protected from undue exposure to the hot sun and dust. When returning home after such an exposure wipe the face first with a soft unstarched towel or piece of muslin. Nothing that could in any way scratch or injure the skin should ever be used. This wiping will remove some of the dirt, and a reliable cream should next be rubbed into the pores and then wiped off, to take away the rest. It is always a good plan to use a dry cloth on the face before washing, which should be done with warm water and a good soap. Be sure to rinse the face thoroughly with clear warm water after using soap, and then, but not until then, use cold to close the pores.

The following creams and lotions are recommended by eminent authorities as cleansing agents, and can be relied upon to do all that is claimed for them. Cream of Pond Lilies agrees especially well with oily skins. It has been pronounced unsurpassed, and, moreover, has the merit of keeping for any length of time.

Cream of Pond lilies.

        Orange, flower water, triple ........... 6 ounces.
        Deodorized alcohol ..................... 1-1/2  "
        Bitter almonds, blanched ............... 1 ounce.

Cream of Pond Lilies—Continued.

        White wax .............................. 1 drachm.
        Spermaceti ............................. 1    "
        Oil of benne ........................... 1    "
        Shaving cream .......................... 1    "
        Oil of bergamot ........................ 12 drops.
           " cloves ............................ 6    "
           "  neroli, bigrade .................. 6    "
        Borax .................................. 1/5 ounce.

Dissolve the borax in the orange-flower water, slightly warmed. Mix the wax, spermaceti, oil of benne, and shaving cream in a bain-maire, at gentle heat. Then stir in the perfumed water and almonds, and finish as directed for the next lotion.

Almond Lotion.

        Bitter almonds, blanched ............... 4 ounces.
        Orange-flower water .................... 12    "
        Curd soap (any fine toilet soap) ....... 1/2 ounce.
        Oil of bergamot ........................ 50 drops.
           " cannelle .......................... 10    "
           " almonds ........................... 20    "
        Alcohol, 65 per cent ................... 4 ounces.

Prepare this in the same way as the Cream of Pond Lilies. This is a bland lotion, very cleansing, whitening and softening. The soap must be powdered or broken up and dissolved in the orange-flower water by heating in a bain-marie. Beat up the almonds in a clean marble mortar, and gradually work in the soap and water. Strain through a clean muslin strainer, then return to the mortar and, while stirring, gradually work in the alcohol in which the oils have been previously dissolved.

Cucumber Lotion.

        Expressed juice of cucumbers ........... 1/2 pint.
        Deodorized alcohol ..................... 1-1/2 ounces.
        Oil of benne ........................... 3-1/4   "
        Shaving cream .......................... 1 drachm.
        Blanched almonds ....................... 1-3/4 drachms.

The preparation of this is the same as for almond lotion. It is an excellent cosmetic to use in massaging the face and throat, as it not only whitens the skin but also tones any relaxed tissues. It may also be used to cleanse the skin during the day.

Oily Skins.—Many people, especially brunettes, are troubled with an oily skin and enlarged pores. This condition is remedied by an astringent lotion, such as the following, and the application of Cream of Pond Lilies after the warm bath at night. A complexion brush is an excellent investment; one should be chosen that has fine camel's-hair bristles. It is used in connection with a good soap. A few drops of tincture of benzoin in the water with which the face is rinsed has a tonic effect upon the skin, tending to close the enlarged pores and whitening it.

Hungarian Water.—This formula for Hungarian Water is recommended by a celebrated specialist. The substances should digest in the spirit for two weeks, being agitated daily. Then filter if not clear.

        Extract of orange flowers .............. 1 pint.
           "  roses (triple) ................... 1   "
        Oil of lemon ........................... 1 ounce.
           " melissa ........................... 1   "
           " peppermint ........................ 30 minims.
           " rosemary .......................... 2 ounces.
        Spirits of wine (rectified) ............ 5 quarts.

Face Steaming.—This treatment has many advocates, but, like other good things, it is often overdone, and hence produces the opposite result. There is no doubt but that it is of great aid in keeping the skin in a healthy condition, if it is used in the right way. Once a week is as often as one should use a steamer. Face steamers can be purchased in nearly any drug store, with full directions as to use. It is best to have the genuine article if possible, but if not one can be improvised in this way. Take an ordinary watering pot and remove the sprinkler; attach a piece of rubber tubing to the spout and on the other end of the tubing insert the sprinkler. Fill the pot with water and place it on a gas stove or other heating apparatus while you make your other preparations.

Use of Cleansing Creams.—Rub one of the cleansing creams well into the pores and wipe off with a clean soft cloth. Now repeat the process to remove as much of the surface dirt as possible, and you are ready for the steaming. For this the steamer should be removed from the fire, as the steam from boiling water is too hot for the face skin. Envelop the entire head and the steamer in a Turkish towel, taking care that the back of the neck is not exposed. It is rather a good plan to bandage the eyes and hair so that they are not included in the sweating process.

When the perspiration is flowing freely, emerge from the towel and carefully go over the whole face and neck with an old soft cloth or piece of flannel. You will be very much surprised to see the amount of soil that will come off. Taking the tips of the fingers rub in some good skin food, such as the following:

Lanoline Cream.

        Lanoline ............................... 1 ounce.
        Sweet almond oil ....................... 1/2  "
        Boric acid ............................. 40 drops,
        Tincture of benzoin .................... 10   "

The movement should be upward and rotary. No more specific directions can be given, for that comes under the difficult head of massage, which no one but an expert can successfully attempt. To her also must be relegated the task of removing wrinkles, of rendering a thin face plump or reducing superfluous flesh. All I have endeavored to do is to show women how they may keep their bodies in such a thoroughly healthy condition that the reflection may be seen in their faces. The face is the visible seat of emotion, and to it we look for evidences of character, and form our opinions accordingly. How necessary is it then that we should make it a fit medium for revealing the hidden soul, which, after all, is the true source of all beauty.


What the Hands Show.—Hands show the effects of time and ill-usage, almost, if not quite as much, as the face. Between the ages of sixteen and twenty years they attain their maturity and beauty of symmetrical development. If not subjected to harsh treatment, they will remain practically unchanged until thirty. After that an almost imperceptible alteration begins, and, without careful attention beauty is on the wane. The tissues become attentuated, the skin begins to grow dry and inclined to wrinkle, causing the joints and veins to show more prominently. This is due to the gradual absorption of the fat cells by the subcutaneous tissue. It is the same cause as that which promotes wrinkles in the face— the looseness of the epidermis. Neglect will hasten the aging of the hands and care will rejuvenate them. Hands which have suffered from unremitting toil and neglect, as well as utter indifference as to their welfare, will readily improve by systematic daily treatment and respond most gratefully by showing an unfamiliar smoothness, whiteness and flexibility.

Training the Hands.—The hands grow stiff and ungainly and lose their suppleness without exercise, just like any other member of the body. Sleight-of-hand tricks, the pianist's skill and all exercises which require manual dexterity are performed only through repeated daily practice. Much of the individual dexterity of the fingers is lost in performing heavy household tasks.

Exercise for the Muscles.—A good exercise for promoting flexibility of the muscles of the hand is to double it up into a fist, then open it suddenly; stretching the fingers wide apart. Repeat these exercises twenty-five times with each hand several times a day, if the joints seem to be losing their suppleness.

The Five-Finger Exercise.—Five-finger exercises, the same as performed upon a piano, using instead a hardwood table as a key-board, give independent action to the finger muscles, and are useful when the fingers begin to grow stiff from age or other causes. Anointing the hands with pure olive or sweet almond oil is a beneficial preliminary to the exercise.

Anointing the Hands.—Another way to make rough and stiff hands supple is to anoint them thoroughly with oil and work it well into every joint. Wash it off with warm water and pure, bland soap. Dry carefully and apply the following lotion: Best glycerine, witch-hazel extract and distilled or boiled water, equal parts. Now, place one hand upon the back of the other and grasp firmly. Slowly pull the under hand out. Repeat a dozen times with each hand. If persevered in, daily, this treatment will render the hands flexible, soft and shapely.

To Wash the Hands Properly.—Imperfect washing and incomplete drying of the hands, especially in cold weather, renders them rough, red and liable to chap. To hastily and frequently dabble the hands in hard water of varying temperature, to neglect to rinse off the soap and to carelessly dry them on a rough, unabsorbent towel, is to invite a most unbeautiful condition of the hands.

Wearing Gloves.—When engaged in sweeping and dusting and similar household tasks, the hands should be protected with loose gloves. If rubber gloves are not used in dishwashing, a dishmop should be used, to prevent the hands from being so frequently immersed in hot, soapy water.

Washing of the Hands.—After doing rough, coarse work which has begrimed the hands, before attempting to wash them, rub in the pores a little vaseline or oil to loosen the dirt. Then wash them in hot water and pure soap, using a hand-scrubbing brush. Lather them well and remove every particle of grime from about the nails. Turn out the soapy water and rinse them in tepid water and, lastly, in cold, so that they will not be made too tender. A bit of borax added to the rinse water— just enough to make it feel slippery—aids in softening and whitening the hands. Hard water is very harsh and drying to the skin of face or hands, and boiled, distilled or soft rain water should be used when obtainable.

Drying the Hands.—After thoroughly rinsing the hands, dry them carefully upon a soft towel. Press the finger tips separately between the folds of the towel to give them a tapering shape.

To Prevent Chapping.—-As a further precaution against chapping in cold weather a little almond meal, or fine corn or oat meal may be dusted over them. Some hands are so delicate in winter that the use of even a mild soap is attended with harshness and cracking of the skin. In such cases the water may be softened with a bit of borax and the almond meal rubbed upon them while wet, rubbing it off as they are dried upon a towel.

Removal of Stains.—Before washing the hands, all stains should be removed by a mild acid, such as lemon juice, a slice of raw tomato, diluted vinegar or oxalic acid. If strong acid is used to remove obstinate stains, a little cold cream should be rubbed in afterwards.

Whitening the Hands.—It is claimed that the hands may be quickly whitened by rubbing them well for three nights in succession with sweet almond oil and then dusting over them as much fine chalk as they will retain. The secret of soft white hands is not idleness, nor complete immunity from household tasks, but thorough washing, frequent oily inunctions and careful drying.

Red Hands.—Anything which impedes the free circulation of the blood, such as tight lacing, tight sleeves, or belt, too small gloves, etc., will produce, in some people, redness of the hands or nose. The blood is prevented from returning freely from the extremities. If there is no existing construction of any part then there is a naturally deficient bodily circulation, which should be corrected by exercise, or body massage, which is but exercise by proxy. Hold up the hands as much as possible so that the veins may become depleted. Hands which are continually allowed to hang down will always present a swollen condition of the blood-vessels.

A Whitening lotion.—An excellent bed-time lotion is made of the following simple and harmless ingredients:

        Honey .................................. 1 ounce
        Lemon juice ............................ 1 ounce.
        Eau de Cologne ......................... 1 ounce.

It can also be used to rub on the hands after rinsing, just before drying them.

Wash for Rough Hands.—The following wash will smooth and whiten rough hands:

        Lemon juice ............................ 3 ounces.
        White wine vinegar ..................... 3 ounces.
        White brandy ........................... 1/2 pint.

Remedy for Chapped Hands.—A whitening and healing remedy for chapped hands is camphor ice, which is made as follows: Place one-half pound of sweet almond oil in a bain-marie or earthenware dish, set in a vessel of boiling water. Add one-half ounce of white wax and one-half ounce of spermaceti. Dissolve in the heated oil one ounce of gum camphor. Stir with a wooden implement until the lump camphor is entirely dissolved. Then pour in slowly, stirring all the time, one-half pint of best rose water. After it has cooled somewhat, pour into small china jars.

Remedy for Moist Hands.—For moist or perspiring hands a little starch, scented with any favorite perfume, may be dusted over them occasionally, as it is very drying. Washing them in water in which a lump of soda is dissolved is also helpful, as the soda neutralizes the acid of the perspiration. Another remedy for undue moisture of the palms consists of Cologne water, seventy grams; tincture of belladonna, fifteen grams. A gram is the unit of French measurement and equals about fifteen and one-third grains, troy weight. Clammy hands that do not exactly perspire may be benefited by washing them in tepid water in which a few grains of alum have been dissolved.


Manicure Outfit.—Every woman willing to take the trouble can become her own manicure. Her implements need be but four—a pair of curved scissors, a nail file, a chamois nail polisher and an orange-wood stick.

To Cut Without Splitting.—To soften the nails so that they may be filed or cut without splitting, immerse the finger tips in a small bowl of Warm, soapy water for about ten minutes. Dry them by gentle pressure and cut the nails in an oval curve, leaving them just long enough to protect the end of the finger.

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Treating the Nails.—Do not cut the selvedge about the base of the nail, but dip the pointed orange-wood stick in lemon juice and push the cuticle gently back until the lunula, or half-moon, shows white and even. The moons are indications of physical strength, and are not usually found upon the nails of the sick or enfeebled. Remove all deposit from beneath the nail with the orange-wood stick. Do not use a sharp instrument to scrape the nail either beneath or upon its surface.

Polishing the Nails.—Apply a little cold-cream to the surface of the nails and cover them with a polishing powder. Rub them briskly across their surface until they feel warm from the friction. Then put on the finishing touch by rubbing each nail with the palm of the other, hand. This process consumes but a very little time once a week, and a light rubbing with the chamois polisher each day will keep the nails in dainty and attractive condition.

If the nails be hard or brittle, immerse them in warm olive oil every night or rub a little vaseline upon them.

Formula for Nail Powder.

        Violet talcum powder ................... 1/2 ounce,
        Pulverized boric acid .................. 1/2  "
        Powdered starch ........................ 1/2  "
        Tincture of carmine .................... 15 drops.


Kind of Food.—The first essential is a good stomach, then good, nutricious food. Digestion and assimilation must be perfect.

Meals.—Meals should be regular and substantial. Let the breakfast be of oatmeal or mush, with bread, butter, potatoes and meat. Let the dinner be of meats and vegetables, the latter in great abundance. Eat fruits at all meals.

Drinks.—Drink little at meals. If tea or coffee, use plenty of milk. Cocoa is fattening. Water is the best drink. Drink plenty of it before and after meals—not ice-water, not hot water. A tumblerful on getting up in the morning is excellent.

Sleep.—Take plenty of sleep. Take no cares to bed. Pass pleasurable evenings. Eat an apple or some appetizing fruit before retiring.

Exercise.—Gentle exercise must be regularly taken, but rest after a meal. If food lies heavy, start digestion with a little water and salt, a soda pinch or an approved tablet.

Bath.—A quick bath every morning in cool salt water, with a good rubbing afterwards, will stimulate the skin to perform its function unhampered by accumulations of perspiration and dust.

Results.—Nervous, pallid, anemic persons will know what nourishing the brain is by adopting the above mode of living. Food will begin to build up strength. Sleep will come to the exhausted brain. Color will take the place of pallor. The nerve centers will gain equipoise. Genuine body building and filling out will begin. And it can be kept up, too, till the desired degree of freshness and plumpness is obtained.


Dr. J. Madison Taylor, an expert upon this subject, advises fat people desirous of ridding themselves of cumbersome adipose and reducing their weight to pursue a course of self-treatment, of which the following embraces the essential parts.

The Chief Point.—The chief point which it is proposed to emphasize is, first, that obesity can be relieved most satisfactorily by movements and measures of a reasonable sort, not interfering with the ordinary conditions of life, and by these the very best results are to be realized.

Excessive Feeding and Disease.—It is a well-established fact that a very large proportion of the ailments of modern life, especially civilized life in temperate climates, is the direct outcome of excessive feeding. Even among the poorer classes in America there is little or no difficulty in procuring an adequate amount of food.

Proper Chewing of Food.—In almost any walk of life dyspepsia and various direct and indirect disturbances of digestion are only too common, and are most of them curable by a very simple device which the late William E. Gladstone so clearly outlined, namely, a deliberate mastication of the food. A person will be far more satisfied with a smaller amount of food if they will pursue the plan of chewing every mouthful at least thirty-two times.

Gladstone's Rule for Chewing.—This rule was the outcome of Gladstone's and others' observation of the gramnivorous animals while feeding, and he noted that they always chewed their food at least the number of times mentioned. It is a simple experiment that any one can make for themselves, that if while eating they will carefully note how long it requires for them to thoroughly masticate each mouthful and prepare it for comfortable swallowing, they will find that it occupies about the amount of time required to chew the food thirty-two times.

Value of this Rule.—If they pursue this throughout the entire length of any meal they will eat distinctly less than they might otherwise do (if the appetite be good) by chewing less frequently each bolus. The amount of food each one takes is measured much more by the pleasure which it gives than by the actual needs of the economy.

A Test of the Rule.—Any one can also test this matter by leaving in the middle of a meal and remaining away for half an hour, when they will find they do not care to return and finish, and, moreover, they will not suffer any special hunger before the next mealtime comes.

Mixed Foods Best.—The ordinary diet of most of us is fairly satisfactory, and will be followed by no disagreeable results, provided the food is deliberately taken and thoroughly masticated, and, as has been shown, if this mastication is deliberate less food will be voluntarily taken. It does not matter much whether a person eats much of vegetables or meats, it had better be a fair proportion of each, except at certain seasons.

Hot Weather Foods.—During the hot weather one instinctively omits the stimulating foods, such as meat, and takes naturally to vegetables and fruits. It is by no means wise, however, to urge any one to eat of one food simply because there is a preconceived notion, or they may be informed by some prematurely wise person that this or that article is particularly wholesome.

The Question of Drink.—The next question is that of drink. Stimuli of all sorts should be avoided by a fat person, because they, as a rule, urge on a normally flagging appetite and seem to assist in the processes of digestion. If these functions are impaired medical aid may be necessary. If these are normal the appetite is usually in excess of the needs of the middle-aged individual.

Water and Fat Making.—Water should be taken in abundance, but it is a fairly well-established fact that a large amount of water-drinking at meals assists in the accumulation of fat. A certain amount of fluid is necessary at meal times to make digestion comfortable. It is a better rule to take water (and this should be done abundantly in almost all conditions) between meals.

Mineral Spring Treatment.—The curative effects of the European spas is almost entirely due to the system and regularity of the measures pursued. These nearly always consist in going early to bed and getting up early in the morning. Also at most of these resorts the local physicians, who understand the use of the springs, first recommend a gentle walk before breakfast with the drinking of one or more glasses of water on an empty stomach. It is a peculiarly mistaken notion which prevails rather largely that the drinking of water makes fat. Fluids are necessary to normal digestion, but to interfere seriously with the normal digestion would be to impair digestion, and this is certainly not to be desired under any conditions.

The Question of Sleep.—Next comes the question of sleep. Fat people generally seem to require more sleep than thin ones. This should be combated, and naps during the day, and more than seven hours at night for men, or eight hours for women, is unnecessary unless the health for other reasons demands it. It is also fairly-well established that excessive sleep produces harmful effects, and also a tendency to sleep too much is an evidence either of inherent weakness or of slothfulness, and serves no good end.

Abdominal Pressure.—Now for the practical purpose of attacking that part of the body where over-accumulation of fat is most resented by women, namely, about the abdomen and waist, many devices are suggested. Among the most important is pressure. It is undoubtedly true that much good can be accomplished by the use of various forms of belts to press in the tissues around the waist and support the relaxed abdominal walls. In women who wish to get rid of the flesh about their abdomen the use of a snug, well-fitting belt which presses the abdominal contents upward and inward, is capable of producing excellent effects. Where the individual is not vigorous, or when any condition exists which forbids active movements and exercises (and this is very rare), these belts answer admirably.

Strengthen the Abdominal Walls.—But upon reflection it will be seen that the artificiality of depending upon such extraneous support is not to be compared in value to the education of the existing structures to do this work for themselves. If a woman with a relaxed, pendulous belly, the result it may be of child-bearing or excess in diet, it would seem a much more rational procedure to strengthen and improve the walls of the abdomen so that they themselves may hold in their own contents. It may be safely stated, as an incontrovertible fact, that where this is done the results are far better, more permanent, and to be relied upon than those artificial aids, such as the encircling band.

Using Up the Fats.—Again, a point always to be considered where women are concerned, and, indeed, not to be ignored in men, is the fact that where the tissues are taught to reacquire their normal tone and vigor, it produces a far greater degree of symmetry and a much more pleasing appearance of the torso. Where there is an excessive amount of fat or loose flabby muscle about the body the first thing to be accomplished is to use up—cause to be absorbed and otherwise to get rid of this fat, and in so doing increase the tone of the muscles, both those of the back and the encircling muscles of the abdomen. Special movements directed to this end accomplish extraordinary results in a relatively short space of time.

Acquiring a Normal Attitude.—The first thing is to acquire a normal attitude, and this is as nearly as possible that of a healthy active child of 10 or 15 years of age. To acquire this desirable attitude, place the feet and legs well under the body, the pelvis on a line, the abdomen closely retracted, the arms hanging limp and relaxed. Then drop the head lower and lower till the relaxed arms reach the floor. Hold this attitude for as long as twenty seconds, raise slowly and repeat five times. All the while the abdomen is held forcibly retracted, the breathing deep and full and slowly regular. This much is enough to occupy more than a half hour of any day, with intervals of rest and regular deep costal breathing as a further form of exercise, giving tone to the diaphragm and expanding the tissues of the thorax. It should be borne in mind that none of these exercises can in any way hurt the central organs nor imperil the integrity of the probably soft and toneless tissues. They will speedily reacquire lost tone and a pleasurable sensation will follow and not a sense of strain and fatigue, which is so liable to follow active free so-called gymnastic exercises.

The Perfect Shape.—In a perfect form it will be seen that the backbone is nearly straight, the head and chest are well balanced, the thorax is held well up, the abdomen naturally is held in. When standing the legs are well gathered under the body, and the pelvis is nearly on a level. As age creeps on, sedentary life exhibits its effects, faulty attitudes are acquired; the tendency is for the head to droop, the shoulders and chest to sag down, all the tissues about the abdomen and back settle, either in a thin or a fat person, and the pelvis has a tendency to tilt forward in front. This brings about a laxity in the tissues of the thighs, and instead of the legs being held well under the body, in the alert, graceful way, like a thoroughbred horse, they acquire one way or another ugliness which is not only obvious to the eye, but impair ease of movement and activity.

Standing Erect.—The next thing, therefore, a fat person should learn in endeavoring to get rid of his excess of flesh is to stand erect. This does not mean the faulty military attitudes so often and so carelessly recommended, but that the torso should be in itself held vertically, the shoulders should acquire their normal balance, the chest should be kept high up in front, and the abdomen forcibly held in below. This will result in bringing back the pelvis to more nearly a normal level. A good way to do is to stand with one's back to a door or flat wall, with the heels almost touching the wall, and then try to make all parts of the body touch, the head, neck, shoulders, above all, the small of the back, the buttocks and the legs come into one line. The most difficult point will be to get the neck to touch the wall. This, indeed, is practically impossible, but it should be striven for as nearly as possible, for excellent reasons.

Movements to Improve Elasticity.—Movements to improve the elasticity of the tissues lying about the loins and hips are of particular value. These may be done by stooping from a standing position till the hands reach the floor, the legs held straight meanwhile, such as are commonly directed by all teachers of physical culture. When this is acquired it should be done sitting on the floor, the legs held horizontally, the back vertical, the arms first straight down till the hands touch the floor at the side of the hips, bending the body a little forward of the line, then alternately extending and flexing the legs. Later seize the toes with the corresponding hands and repeat the alternate movements of the legs. This it will take time to acquire.

Further Useful Movements.—Finally, kneeling on all fours, advance one leg till the foot is on a line with the corresponding hand, the other leg extended posteriorly and resting on the toes, sway up and down, the back and near leg on as near a straight line as possible, repeating several times. Reverse the position of the legs and repeat. After a time the change of position can be made by a leap from the rear toes to the flat position of the forward foot. As a relief from these motions, which are rather painful at first till the contractures are overcome, stand erect and make neck movements, which will not fatigue. Let the head be thrown far out in front, from side to side, and drop down on the chest— all the time holding the chest high up, the back flat, legs stiff and straight.

The Back Exercise.—Next the small of the back should and can be made to touch the wall. This is also done by forcibly pulling in the abdominal walls and practically forcing the small of the back rearward by this effort. The arms should be allowed to hang perfectly natural, forced neither back nor front, but in an absolutely easy position. The chest should be held forceably up as high as possible, so as to force the tissues of the upper part of the thoracic walls up until the clavicles are not to be seen or felt. Among fat people these collar-bones will often-times stick out and show prominently. Even in thin persons who hold themselves properly these bones should not show at all. While doing this it is well to clasp the hands, turn the palms downward and push down with the hands as far as possible while pulling the chest up, and thus in this position practice and emphasize the normal acts of breathing.

Need of Perseverance.—Of course, these various postures cannot be constantly maintained, and yet the more the habit is acquired by systematic effort to do as set forth above, the more nearly will one reach the proper attitudes which not only cause a person to look far more symmetrical, their clothes to fit far better, but cause to follow different effects of a physiologic sort which result in that pleasurable condition known as perfect health. Persons who may say that the attitude thus recommended is a very forced and unnatural one have only to go and contemplate a normal and healthy child and those who are admitted to be models of physical symmetry. They will then see, unless they be blind, that it is perfectly possible to acquire and maintain an equipoise as recommended.

The Wall Exercise.—During the time that one is doing the wall exercise there should be two forms of breathing pursued. One, the long, deep breathing, about six breaths to the minute, always with the mouth closed, and through the nose, and next rapid breathing, known as sniffling, which is breathing as rapidly as possible, thus exercising the diaphragm. It is of the utmost importance, the reason for which cannot be set forth here, to acquire a thorough training for this most important muscle. A good deal more should be said about the training of the thorax by means of these costal breathings, but we must pass on to other measures directly in the line of our pursuit.

Second Wall Exercise.—Next stand, as above, against the wall, with the back and head in, the hands clasped over the head, the arms touching the walls, and raise and lower the shoulders, first slowly, then more and more forcefully, until the movements are made quite freely. This will lift up the tissues, or a very large number of them from the waist up, from their sagging, downward position, and improve the flexibility of the skin and lateral muscles as well as the anterior and posterior tissues. For the first week or two these movements should be done accurately and forcefully, but not rapidly, then a greater degree of rapidity may be acquired until these movements of raising and lowering the shoulders can be done with great rapidity and for a much longer period. Then stand away from the wall, the hands still clasped over the head and, holding the backbone as straight as before, the abdomen well in, the legs trimly under the body, rotate the pelvis, pushing the buttocks forward and back until the tissues around the waist acquire a greater degree of elasticity.

Hand-Clasped Movement.—Then a series of further movements may be made with the hands clasped behind the head, the elbows drawn forward and back so as to meet in front of the nose and to return to the lateral level of the body. This will cause a very perceptible pull upon the muscles between the shoulders, and will improve their tone. Then, with the hands still clasped as before, press the head as far forward as possible, and raise it up again, the hands resisting, until the tissues at the back of the neck acquire a thorough exercise.

Stooping Movement.—Next a series of stooping movements should be done. Stand as before, chest well up, abdomen held in, the legs held straight. Let the body fall forward, the arms perfectly relaxed and head hanging limply down; raise and lower the head and back until the fullest stretch of the back is reached. At first this will cause a rather painful feeling, but after a few days it will cease to be uncomfortable. The movements of the back should be as free as possible at the hips, keeping the legs as still as possible and perfectly straight, and allowing the body to sink down with a hinge-like motion between the hips until a greater freedom of movement is acquired.

Floor-Touching Movement.—Next a series of exercises can be undertaken by which the hands are made to touch the floor; first the finger tips and finally the whole flat of the hand, without bending the knees. To acquire this, other movements are usual, and sometimes necessary as a preliminary. Stand erect as before, holding the arms straight out on a level horizontally with the sides. Move so as to hold the right arm high in the air, the left arm touching the ground. Keep the two arms as nearly as possible in a straight line. To do this it is necessary to bend the knee slightly on the side next the arm which is down. Then raise and turn so that the right arm projects in front and the left arm back, then the right hand down to the ground. Repeat this movement first slowly and then rapidly a number of times until the method is acquired accurately. This is better done by using a pole the length of the outstretched arms, which should also correspond with the exact height of the individual, if he or she be normal.

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Last Modified: Monday, 13-May-2013 15:31:47 EDT