The cold compress is used to regulate the blood circulation and functions of the liver, spleen, stomach, kidneys, intestines, lungs, brain, uterus, bladder and other internal organs. It is used to control inflammatory conditions of these organs. The cold compress is valuable in treating localized inflammatory conditions, whether superficial or deep. It can be advantageously employed in cases of fever. Repeated application of the cold compress to the head lowers the temperature. The cold compress applied over the area of the heart reduces palpitation and also helps in lowering the temperature of the blood as it passes through the heart and lungs. Cold compress to the face and the upper spine stops nose bleeding. This also helps stop bleeding from piles and hemorrhage in the above mentioned organs. The cold compress can also be applied by using an ice bag to stop bleeding in any internal organ and from external wounds. In severe vomiting, the ice bag may be applied over the stomach.
The cold compress cools the skin in dermatitis and relieves inflammation or external portions of the eye. When the eyeball is affected, the cold compress should be applied after a short fomentation.
- Hot water bag or cotton cloth wrung in hot water.
- A cold compress.
- A dry cloth.
Duration: 5–7 minutes.
Procedure: When the hot water bag is used, it is advisable to cover the area of application with a cotton cloth wrung in cold water. Fomentation is then applied over it. After the application is over, a cloth dipped in cold water should be placed on the area of application for 1 to 2 minutes. After removing the wet cloth, the area should be covered with a dry cloth for at least 30 to 40 minutes. If the symptoms recur, the application should be renewed.
Uses: For relieving acute pain in any part of the body, especially in the abdomen, it is an invaluable treatment. In arthritic pains, this may be repeated twice or thrice in a day for better results. In cases like bronchitis, asthma, pneumonia, pleurisy, fomentation to the upper back gives immediate relief. In congestive headaches fomentation should be applied over the back of the neck and shoulders and the face washed with very cold water. Fomentation is used to relieve both the pain and the congestion in cases of inflammation of liver, acute and chronic gastritis, splenic congestion and enlargement, inflammation of the ovaries and uterus and all types of muscular pains. It also helps to relieve pain caused due to gallstones, kidney stones, infections, jaundice etc. When the patient feels extremely cold he may be given fomentation over the whole back and to the feet and hands. Within 10 to 15 minutes he will get relief. In Inflammatory conditions like diphtheria, tonsillitis and throat pain caused due to cold, fomentation given on the throat gives immense relief. It is also helpful in menstrual pains associated with scanty flow. It may be given on the perineum in case of prostatic inflammation. In urine retention, fomentation may be given over the lower abdomen for 10 minutes followed by cold friction for one minute. In Bell’s palsy, fomentation to the facial muscles will improve the condition.