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15 Rocking also is very suitable for chronic maladies which are already abating; it is also of service both for those who are now entirely free from fever, but cannot as yet themselves take exercise, and also for those in whom persist sluggish remnants of maladies, not otherwise to be got rid of. Asclepiades has stated that use is to be made of rocking even for dispersal of a recent and severe fever, especially an ardent fever. But that gives rise to danger; an attack of that sort is better sustained by keeping quiet. If anyone, however, wants to give it a trial, let him try it when the tongue is not furred, when there is no swelling, no induration, no pain, either in the viscera or head or about the heart. And on the whole a body in pain should never be rocked, whether the pain be general or local, except, however, when sinews alone are in[p. 183] pain, and never during the rise of a fever, but only during its remission. But there are many sorts of rocking, and they are to be regulated both by the patient's strength and by his resources, lest either a weak patient undergo overmuch depletion, or a poor man come short. The gentlest rocking is that on board ship either in harbour or in a river, more severe is that aboard ship on the high seas, or in a litter, even severer still in a carriage: but each of these can either be intensified or mitigated. Failing any of the above, the bed should be so slung as to be swayed; if not even that, at any rate a rocker should be put under its foot so that the bed may be moved from side to side by hand. And this sort of exercise of the lighter kinds suits the infirm, the stronger kinds again those who have already become free from fever for several days, or those who, whilst feeling the commencement of grave disorders, as yet are free from fever (which happens in the case both of phthisis and of stomach disease, and of dropsy, also, at times, of jaundice), or when certain diseases such as epilepsy and madness persist without fever, for however long. In which affections also those kinds of exercises are necessary, which we have included in the passage where we prescribed what healthy, yet not strong, men should carry out.
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