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Home > Hydrotherapy Techniques > Local Applications > Compresses and Packs > Fomentations


Large wet, hot applications, usually wool-mix cloths to produce skin hyperaemia. Cloths are changed as they cool SYN: foments

Fomentation equipment

from Hydrothermic Remedies...

Procedure is found in:-

  • Simple Remedies on page 8
  • Hydrotherapy on page 6


from Dr JH Kellogg's Hydriatic Techniques...

  • Follow with short cold
  • use vaseline before daily treatments

Preparation for cold

Derivative, Revulsive, Antiphlogistic and Analgesic

Analgesic Excitant

5-10 min every 2hrs, as hot as the patient can bear, wrung very dry, Cooling Compress or Heating Compress in interval in:

Cooling Compress or Ice Bag to heart in interval


Preparing a fomentation from a steam box

from Dr GK Abbott's Prescriptions...


  • Avoid burning when sensation is not intact
  • Place gauze next to skin when given to face
  • If general sweating use Cold Mitten Friction
  • Protect bony prominences (ilia, costal arches, clavicles and scapula) with extra towels
  • In fever or if danger of cerebral congestion apply cold to neck and head
  • If rapid pulse use Precordial Compress


  • Analgesic: as hot as possible renewed as soon as it becomes comfortable
  • Derivative
  • Preparation for cold treatment
  • Stimulating - brief and hot followed by cold
  • Sedative - prolonged moderate application

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