Posted by James Briggs on April 29, 2003
In Reply to: Tobacco smoke where the sun don't shine. posted by TheFallen on April 29, 2003
: : : : I came across the word, "insufflation" in my The Word Museum (the book I raved about a few weeks ago) and it reminded me of the "Don't blow smoke up my ass" discussion. It means "the act of blowing gas or vapour into a cavity of the body, as when tobacco smoke is injected into the rectum." So perhaps the expression hasn't always been as figurative as it is today.
: : : Does it say why that was done?
: : So I was thinking I might check it out when I got to the library this week. Obsessive? Me?
: Using bellows to "insufflate" the rectum with tobacco smoke was in the late C18th considered a viable and scientific means of resuscitating someone who had stopped breathing. I imagine that it'd certainly cause a nasty shock if the insufflatee wasn't quite all the way dead.
: Various herbal websites today recommend tobacco smoke being introduced into the rectum as a cure for constipation, a relief for a strangulated hernia and a cure for intestinal parasites. Me? I think I'll stick with the mainstream.
I'm pretty certain that the term is still in use in modern medicine, such as when pumping gas into the peritoneum in order to get a better view through the laparoscope.