Avicenna - The Canon of Medicine - The value of baths
Type of Spiritual Experience
In reading this, one should remember that this was quite revolutionary thinking in his time of no running water and infrequent washing. Much of what he wrote is related to hygiene, even though he had no knowledge of 'germs'.
A description of the experience
Avicenna (1999). The Canon of Medicine (al-Qānūn fī'l-ṭibb), vol. 1. Laleh Bakhtiar (ed.), Oskar Cameron Gruner (trans.), Mazhar H. Shah (trans.). Great Books of the Islamic World
The beneficial Effects of Baths: The benefits are
(1) induction of sleep
(2) dilation of pores
(3) cleansing of skin
(4) dispersal of the undesirable waste matters
(5) maturation of abscesses
(6) drawing of nutriment towards the surface of the body
(7) assistance to the physiological dispersion and excretion of poisonous matters
(8) prevention of diarrhea and
(9) removal of fatigue effects.
…..A person should not go into the bath immediately after exercise. He should rest properly first…………..Injurious effects include the fact that the heart is weakened if the person stays too long in [a cold] bath……