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Cold Compress

Hydrotherapy, the use of water as a healing agent, uses the mineral components of water to heal or relieve a wide variety of illnesses, ranging from fatigue, sore throats, flu, inflammation of the joints, rheumatism, arthritis, jaundice, diabetes and even soft tissue injuries. Hydrotherapy is rapidly gaining popularity as it is one of the oldest, cheapest and safest alternative systems of healing. It helps in stimulating blood circulation, improving the immune system, lessening pain sensitivity and increasing the production of stress hormones. One of the most commonly used methods of Hydrotherapy is the cold compress.

This treatment method can be used to control inflammatory conditions of the liver, spleen, stomach, kidneys, intestines, lungs, brain, uterus, bladder and other internal organs. It is also used to regulate the blood circulation and functions of these organs.

It is similarly useful in treating localized inflammatory conditions too, whether itís superficial or deep. In cases of fever, repeated placing of an ice pack to the head can help lower the temperature. When this treatment is applied over the area of the heart, it helps to reduce palpitation and also contributes to lowering the temperature of the blood as it passes through the heart and lungs. Application to the face and the upper spine can help stop nose bleeding. This also helps stop bleeding from piles and hemorrhage in the heart and lungs. It can also help in reducing swelling when applied to areas of bruises and sprains.

The cold compress can also be applied by using an ice bag to stop bleeding in any internal organ and from external wounds. The ice bag may be applied over the stomach in cases of severe vomiting. It cools the skin in Dermatitis and relieves inflammation or external portions of the eye. When the eyeball is affected, the icing should be applied after a short fomentation. When applied to the abdomen, it helps one to relieve pain and congestion indigestive as it can help to increase the blood circulation to the abdominal organs, activates metabolic functions, reduces inflammation and calms the nervous system.

A cold compress can be made D.I.Y at home by ourselves or bought from stores. To make one, soak a piece of cloth in iced water and then wrung out so that the desired amount of moisture remains in the cloth. You can make a single or double fold. A single fold involves placing one layer of wet cloth over the affected area. A double fold involves putting a dry material such as wool or flannel over the folds and then applying it over the affected area.

If you are afraid of the drippy mess of ice cubes and water, commercial cold compresses can be bought conveniently at stores nowadays. They are portable and easy to carry for hiking, camping and sport activities. It helps in relieving pain and reduces swelling fast. It is good for emergency first-aid treatment like sprains, strains, insect bites, bumps, bruises, toothaches and simple headaches. It is convenient as it needs no refrigeration and it can be used immediately wherever you are and whenever you need it. However, this form of therapy should be used under the direct supervision of a physician if the person using it has known or suspected circulation problems.
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