Library Collections: Document: Full Text

Natative Knacks

Creator: Lucille Daniels (author)
Date: April 1933
Publication: The Polio Chronicle
Source: Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation Archives
Figures From This Artifact: Figure 1

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EDITOR'S NOTE: This article, written for the Chronicle by Miss Daniels, of the Foundation Physiotherapy staff, is one of a series presented to teach polios swimming tricks. We agree with the Warm Springs Medical Staff in thinking that swimming for recent cases should be rigidly supervised, but old polios who learn these tricks will find valuable relaxation and pleasure, as well as exercise, in swimming.


A LIFEGUARD sat dozing peacefully in the sun, as lifeguards do, when suddenly he was aroused by shrieks of terror. He dashed to the deep end of the pool and observed nothing -- not even a bubble -- to indicate a person in distress. He gazed at the water for a second, puzzled, when another shriek gave him a clue to the source of the trouble. He saw at the shallow end of the pool a fat lady floating on her back in comparative safety but unable to get to her feet.


This happens often to victims of Infantile Paralysis, with lack of muscle power, prohibiting freedom of movement rather than the buoyancy of fatty tissue.


There is a certain trick about getting your feet to the bottom. Polios with arms affected seem to have a harder time than others, so if you are one of these, try this in the shallow end of your pool. From a floating position on the back, take a deep breath and pull your knees toward your chest. As your hips gradually submerge, start a slow up-and-down scissors kick until you get your body weight over your legs, and then you will be able to arch your back and come to an erect position.


Experiment with this method yourself with someone standing by to give a helping hand, and get grandma and auntie to try it when they complain that their feet go up and their heads go down, as they often do. If you find you can get to your feet when you choose, you will lose much of your fear of the water.