Gynecological Gymnastics from Outer Space (1895)

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A set of rather uncanny diagrams from Die Heilgymnastik in der Gynaekologie: und die mechanische Behandlung von Erkrankungen des Uterus und seiner Adnexe nach Thure Brandt (1895), translated from German as “The physiotherapy in gynecology and the mechanical treatment of diseases of the uterus and its appendages by Thure Brandt”. As the title implies the gynecological exercises are based on those invented by the Swedish obstetrician and gynecologist, Thure Brandt (1819-1895). Brandt began treating women in 1861, combining massage, stretching, and general exercise as a form of treating gynecological conditions. After his methods were examined in Jena by German gynecologists in 1886, they became widely used in Europe. The images in this particular text are eye-catching today less for the gynecological technique they depict but more the bizarre similarity between the rakishly thin figures employed in demonstrating the exercises (no doubt an attempt to de-sexualise the images) and the figure of the so-called “Grey Alien” – thin body, huge head, large eyes – which wouldn’t hit popular consciousness for another 65 years.

Housed at: Internet Archive | From: Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine via MHL
Found via: Nemfrog
Underlying Work: PD Worldwide | Digital Copy: No Additional Rights
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  • Silent Waft

    why

    • Public Domain Review

      not

      • PapayaSF

        Excellent find, and a fascinating site! Bravo! I will recommend it to friends. Good luck!

  • boll ocks

    Man… dumbstruck

  • Mélanie

    Is it just me or in fig. 42 the gyneco inserts a finger in the woman’s anus?

    • Shamfee

      No, the vagina, the fingertip touches the cervix while the other hand obviously exerts pressure to reposition (?) the uterus from outside

  • Gina Walker

    what the…? i’ve seen some strange stuff…squid, etc. but this totally blows my mind.