Requirements: The equipment consists of a big washbasin covered with a lid, having two openings for inserting the arms. Hot and cold water connections and a thermometer are also provided.
Water Temperature: 40–45°C.
Duration: 15 minutes
Procedure: The patient should drink 1 or 2 glasses of cold water and then the arms, up to the middle of the upper arm (biceps), are immersed in water. The trunk of the patient should be covered with a shawl or a blanket. Gradually the temperature of water is raised from 40–45°C. At the end of the bath, hot water should be fully drained and the cold water taps opened so that the hands gets a dash of cold water for a minute. Keep the limbs warm soon after drying.
Uses: The blood vessels of the hands are dilated in this bath which facilities draining of blood from the thoracic organs to the arms, thus relieving their congestion. This also induces perspiration and both these reactions help to relieve cough and other problems connected with lungs. It gives immense relief when given during an asthma attack. This bath gives immediate relief in case of pain in the chest muscles.
Contra–indications: As in the case of Hot foot bath.
Requisites: A small tub or bucket.
Water temperature: 8–12°C.
Duration: 1–5 minutes.
Procedure: Water should be filled in the tub to a level of 16” to 18”. The feet previously warmed, should now be immersed in the tub. Friction should be continuously applied to the feet during the bath, either by an attendant or by the patient himself by rubbing one foot against the other.
Uses: Short cold foot bath (1–2 minutes) relieves cerebral congestion and uterine hemorrhage (especially excess bleeding during menstrual periods). When it is prolonged, it relieves sprains, strain, inflamed bunions etc. It is also useful as a diuretic measure.
Contra–indications: In inflammatory conditions of the genito–urinary organs, liver and kidneys.
Water Temperature: 18–24°C.
Duration: 15 minutes, unless otherwise indicated.
Procedure: The tub should be filled with cold water enough to cover the hips and reaching up to the navel of the patient when he sits in it. Generally four to six gallons of water are necessary. If the patient feels chill or when the climate is very cold or if the patient is very weak, a hot foot bath should be given along with the cold hip bath. The patient should gently rub the abdomen around the navel in clockwise direction with a coarse cloth. This should be continued during the entire period of the bath. It is important that the legs, feet and the upper part of the body should be thoroughly dry and should not get wet during and after the bath. Wear shoes before entering the bath. After the cold hip bath, the patient should undertake moderate exercise like brisk walking, yogasanas, suryanamaskaras etc. If he is very weak, he should lie down in bed covering a blanket.
Uses: A cold hip bath is a routine treatment for almost all diseases. The treatment is meant to relieve constipation, indigestion, and obesity and to help the eliminative organs to function properly. This bath is also helpful in sub involution of the uterus, inflammation of the pelvic organs, piles, hepatic and splenic congestion, urinary incontinence in young children, chronic uterine infections, chronic congestion of the prostate, seminal weakness, atony of bladder in both sexes, impotency, sterility, dilation of the stomach and colon.
Contra–indications: Avoid in cases of inflammation and neuralgias of pelvic and abdominal organs and in painful contractions of the bladder, rectum or vagina, low back pain and during menstrual period, diarrhea, dysentery and fever.
Duration: 15 minutes
Procedure: The patient lies in the spinal bath tub after getting undressed and adjust himself to the water columns of the tub so that they touch the entire length of the spine from the nape of the neck to the lowest portion of the spine. Footwear should be worn so that the circulation is not interfered with. After the bath the patient should walk briskly or perform suryanamaskars so that heat is generated in the body. If the patient is weak he can lie down on the bed and cover himself with a blanket.
Uses: Cold spinal bath relieves irritation of nerves, fatigue, high blood pressure and excitement. It is recommended in almost all nervous disorders such as hysteria, fits, mental derangement, sleeplessness, loss of memory, tension etc.
Contra–indications: Cervical and lumbar spondylosis and arthritis.
Requisites: For this purpose, a specially designed tub having 2 compartments, one for each hand is required in which the water springs out as fine columns of jets through the perforated tubes. The tubes are arranged in such a manner that the water column cover the hands fully.
Water temperature: Hot 40–45°C., cold 18–20°C.
Procedure: The patient sits on a stool and keeps both hands separately in each chamber and the tub is covered with a metal sheet. First, hot water ejects through the tubes for 3 minutes and then cold water for 1 minute. This procedure is repeated 4 to 5 times ending with cold water.
Precaution: Care should be taken that water does not fall on other parts of the body as this interferes with blood circulation.
Uses: It gives a gentle massage to the hands. It relieves congestion in other parts of the body, sprains and spasms. It is helpful in treating muscular weakness and rheumatoid arthritis.
Requisites: A specially designed apparatus similar to the arm bath tub is used for this.
Water Temperature: Hot 40–45°C., cold 18–20°C.
Here the water is ejected as fine columns on both legs.
Procedure and Precautions: Same as in contrast arm bath, but instead of arms both legs are placed in the tub.
Uses: This gives a gentle massage to the legs and is an effective aid for relaxation. It is useful in treating arthritis, varicose veins, muscular sprains and strain and headache.
Hip bath is given at cold, neutral, hot and alternate temperatures in a special Hip Bath Tub.
Better results could be obtained by combining Hot foot bath and Arm bath for all types of headaches, broncho–nasal congestions such as asthma, cold, sinusitis and other problems. The duration is 15 minutes. In this bath, the temperature should gradually be increased from 40 to 45°C. The patient should be covered with a shawl or blanket around his trunk. Just as in other hot treatments, the patient should be given cold water to drink before the treatment and the head should be protected with a wet towel. A short cold shower is to be given soon after the treatment.
Requisites: A small tub or bucket, cold compress, a blanket.
Water temperature: 40–45°C.
Duration: 15 minutes
Procedure: The patient should drink 1 or 2 glasses of cold water. The head should be protected with a cold compress. The legs, up to the calf, should be immersed in the water and the patient is covered with a blanket (so that heat is not lost). During the period of treatment, the patient may be given water to drink, if he feels thirsty. After the bath, the patient should take a cold shower immediately.
Uses: Hot foot bath is useful to stimulate the involuntary muscles of the uterus, intestines, bladder and other pelvic and abdominal organs. It increases supply of blood to the uterus and ovaries and helps to restore delayed menstruation. This bath relieves sprains and ankle joint pain, headache caused by cerebral congestion and cold due to chilled feet. It is also used in cases of cold, cough and asthma.
Contra–indications: It should be avoided in cases of high blood pressure, weakness, and heart diseases.
Requisites: Hip bath tub, 1 cold compress
Water temperature: 40–45°C.
Duration: 10 minutes.
Procedure: The patient should drink one or two glasses of cold water before the treatment. The bath should be started with water at 40°C and the temperature increased gradually to the required level. The water temperature should be maintained adding either hot or cold water. While undergoing the hot hip bath, the patient should not apply friction to the abdomen. During the treatment a cold compress should be placed over his head. Thereafter, the patient should take a cold water shower for one or two minutes.
Uses: Hot hip bath is used in cases of delayed menstruation, pain in the pelvic organs, painful urination, inflamed rectum or bladder or pain due to piles. It is also useful in cases of enlarged prostate gland, painful contractions or spasm of the bladder, sciatica, neuralgia of the ovaries and bladder, lumbar spondylosis etc. and also helps in relieving painful menstruation, (but should not be avoided during periods).
Contra–indication: It should be avoided in case of recurrent High BP, weakness and fever.
Precautions: Care should be taken to prevent the patient from catching cold after the bath as it causes unpleasant symptoms and spoil the reaction. Terminate the bath if the patient feels giddy or weak or complains of excessive pain.
Water temperature: 40–45°C.
Duration: 10 minutes
Procedure: As in neutral spinal bath. All precautions recommended for the hot hip bath should be taken during this treatment.
Uses: Hot spinal bath is helpful in stimulating the nerves, especially when they are in a depressed state. It also relieves back pain, sciatica and gastro–intestinal disturbances.
This is also known as genital bath or Linga Snan.
Requisites: Hip Bath tub, a stool specially made for this, a soft linen cloth.
Water temperature: Cold 18–24°C.
Duration: 2–10 minutes.
Procedure: In the hip bath tub, the stool specially made for this bath is placed. The tub is filled with cold water leaving the top of the stool dry. The patient then sits on the stool, keeping the legs outside. In case of a female patient, she dips a soft linen cloth in the water and gently washes the genitals from top, downwards. It is important that the external lips only be washed and inner parts of the sexual organs remained unwashed and untouched.
In case of males, the extreme edge of the foreskin of the genitals is washed in cold water. The patient should hold the foreskin between his middle and forefinger of the left hand and draw as far as possible over tip of the glans penis till the skin touches the water level in the tub. He should then gently wash the extreme end of the foreskin with a soft cloth. Under no circumstances should the cloth in the right hand touch the glans penis.
Soon after the bath, care should be taken to restore the warmth of the body by undertaking moderate exercise.
Uses: This treatment stimulates the nervous system, since the genitals are known as an important center of the central nervous system. In subnormal temperatures, it produces necessary heat in the body. Morbid internal heat in the body is diminished and, at the same time, a marked invigoration of the nervous system with increased vitality could be achieved by this application.
Requisites: Cold compress for the head, besides the tub.
Water temperature: 32–36°C.
Duration: 15 minutes.
Procedure: The patient should drink 1 or 2 glasses of cold water and sit in the tub, avoiding friction to the abdomen. Cold compress should be kept on the head. After the bath, both cold shower and exercise are to be avoided. Relaxation/rest for 30 minutes is advocated.
Uses: The neutral hip bath is helpful in relieving all acute and sub–acute inflammatory conditions of the bladder and urethra, sub–acute inflammation of the uterus, ovaries and tubes. It helps in relieving neuralgia of the fallopian tubes, testicles, painful spasm of the vagina, pruritus (itching) of the anus and vulva and hyperesthesias (excessive sensitivity) of the abdominal organs. It is a sedative treatment for erotomania in both sexes. It is the ideal treatment for spermatorrhea.
Water Temperature: 34–36°C.
Duration: 15 minutes
Procedure: The patient should drink 1 or 2 glasses of cold water before the bath and the head should be kept cool. The procedure is same as in cold spinal bath, but after the bath exercise should not be done, instead the patient should relax for 30 minutes.
Uses: The neutral spinal bath is a soothing and sedative treatment especially when the nerves are in an irritable condition. It is the ideal treatment recommended for insomnia (loss of sleep). It also relieves muscular tension of the vertebral column when it is exhausted with prolonged sitting, exercise and labor. It relieves congestion of the lungs and relaxes the cardiac muscles.
This also soothes the nervous system, the back muscles, low back sprains and help one in treating Sciatica.
Requisites: 2 Hip bath tubs, cold compress.
Water temperature: Hot 40–45°C, Cold 18–24°C
Procedure: There are two methods of giving this bath. In both the methods 1 or 2 glasses of water should be taken before treatment. The head should be kept cool by applying a cold compress over the head. The treatment should end with cold hip bath.
The patient first sits in the hot tub for 5 minutes and then in the cold tub for 5 minutes. This increases the peristaltic movement of the digestive system and relieves constipation and gases. This also activates the kidney and other genito–urinary organs. It reduces irritability caused due to infections.
The second method of giving alternative hip bath is 3 minutes hot and 1 minute cold, repeated 4 to 5 times.
Uses: This also relieves deep seated pain of gastric origin or pain caused due to severe constipation. It eases the pain in the lumbar vertebrae. This bath is helpful in treating other disorders like incontinence of urine and stones in the kidney. It also helps in relieving chronic inflammatory conditions of the pelvic organs such as salphingitis, oopheritis, cellutitis and neuralgias and hyperaesthesias of the genito–urinary organs, sciatica, lumbago etc.
Modern Sauna bath chambers are improved replacements of the old time Turkish Bath Chambers. A cabin specially made with pine wood is used for this purpose. Depending on the size of the cabin, two to ten patients could be treated at a time.
Duration: 20 minutes.
Procedure: Before entering the chamber, the patient should drink plenty of cold water and take a cold shower. While in the cabin, the person should frequently rub himself to encourage dilation of the surface vessels. When the person feels sufficiently hot, he should take a cold shower and return to the cabin. Finally, after inducing perspiration for the second time, the patient should take a cold shower and quickly dry himself. This should be followed by relaxation for 30 to 40 minutes. A glass of cold lemon juice will be refreshing.
Precautions: The treatment should be stopped if the patient feels giddy during the treatment and should be given a cold shower immediately. Rest for 20 to 30 minutes will relieve the unpleasant symptoms.
Uses: This bath is useful in treating a majority of chronic disorders such as rheumatism, toxemia of chronic, dyspepsia and biliousness, obesity, sciatica, lumbago, all painful afflictions involving large nerve trunks.
Contra–indications: It is contra–indicated in all cardiac diseases, eruptive skin disorders, diabetes with emaciation, exophthalmia, goiter, arteriosclerosis, hypertension, advanced cases of nephritis, in fever and in weakness.
The spinal baths are given in tubs specially made for them. Like the hip bath, it is also given at cold, neutral and hot temperatures. A perforated tube is provided at the center of the tub in order that the constantly emanating ascending jet will give a gentle massage to the whole spinal column. This tub is not only comfortable, but also helps to maintain constant water temperature. The gentle massage of the fine water columns are capable of giving quick results. The patient has to lie down in the tub so that the whole spinal cord will receive the water columns.
Sponge bath is given to bed–ridden patients who are very weak, suffering from prolonged fever/illness.
Requisites: A bucket, a Turkish towel or gloves made of Turkish cloth, a rubber sheet to cover the bed.
Duration: 3–5 seconds for each part of the body.
Procedure: The patient should be covered with a bed sheet. The towel/gloves is frequently dipped in water and the body parts are rubbed in this order: legs, hands, chest and abdomen. The patient should be gently turned to the other side and the back is sponged. The face and the head should be washed and dried quickly. The patient should then be covered with a sheet. The temperature of water depends on the effect sought and the condition of the patient. In cases of high fever, cold sponge (18–24°C.) helps to bring down the temperature. However, for very weak patients and in fever with chills (when the patient is averse to cold) warm water may be used. Frequent sponging with warm water increases the moisture of the skin and evaporation and thus brings down the fever.
Uses: While using this bath for getting tonic effects, the temperature of the bath should be about 10°C. and the patients should be rubbed vigorously for a duration of not more than 5 minutes. Cold sponge is helpful for the patients suffering from myxoedema, cardiac and renal dropsy.
In hot sponging, the temperature should be as high as bearable and applied for a short duration. It helps in severe cold associated with body pain and fever, in spinal irritation, headache, urticaria, itching (pruritis) and sleeplessness. Alternate hot and cold sponging of the spine excites the cardiac and respiratory centers and hence is useful in treating all cases of toxemia. In nervous headaches it relaxes the central nervous system and relieves pain. It also helps in treating sprains, bruises and rheumatoid arthritis.
Requisites: Equipment for facial sauna is very convenient for this. If this is not available, water can be heated in a vessel till steam is generated.
Duration: 5–8 minutes.
Procedure: Keep the equipment on a stool and add a small cup of water and switch on. In a little while steam is generated. Sit on a stool in front of the equipment and bend over it and inhale the steam through nose and mouth by covering the head with a Turkish towel. Care should be taken not to inhale too much steam as it destroys the sensitivity of the nose and irritates the eyes. Wash the face gently with cold water and dry.
Uses: It is useful in treating cough, cold, diphtheria, tonsillitis and sinusitis. In acute inflammation of the pharynx, larynx and in cases where the Eustachian tube is blocked due to cold, steam inhalation gives tremendous and immediate relief. It also helps in relieving headaches caused due to sinusitis, congestion or chronic cold. In asthma and emphysema cases this acts as a powerful expectorant.
Requisites: A room specially made for this purpose. The steam is passed into the room through perforated tubes.
Duration: 10 to 12 minutes or until profuse perspiration takes place.
Procedure: The patient should drink 1 or 2 glasses of water and take a cold shower before entering the steam room. Immediately after the bath, a quick cold shower is taken. A glass of cold lemon juice soon after the cold shower acts as a refresher. The patient should relax for 30 to 45 minutes.
Precaution: Sometimes, during the bath, one may feel giddy or uneasy. In such cases the patient should immediately be taken out and a glass of cold water given and his head washed with cold water. Sufficient rest should be given until the unpleasant symptoms disappear.
Uses: Steam room is a powerful treatment to eliminate the morbid matter from the surface of the skin, a condition sometimes known as “Constipation of the skin”. It helps in treating cases of arthritis (osteo and rheumatoid), gout, uric acid problems and obesity. Steam room is helpful in all forms of chronic toxemias. It also relieves neuralgias such as sciatica, facial and spinal neuralgias, functional disorders of the spinal cord etc. It is also recommended in cases of chronic nephritis, migraine, malarial neuralgia etc.
Contra–indications: This bath should not be given to very weak patients, cardiac patients and those suffering from high blood pressure and fever.