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Source: Papers On Health
A piece of fine new flannel made to cover the whole
back, and sewed under the usual underclothing, has a truly wonderful
effect when worn in certain cases of illness. The same effect is not
produced by doubling the flannels that are worn. What we have specially
to call attention to is the fact that the piece is extra to all that
which covers the rest of the body. The heat of the back, which is so
very important from the nerve structure of the spinal system, is made
to gather under a single ply of flannel, but much more quickly under
two folds of the same material. When, therefore, there is anything like
natural heat in the back, this piece of new flannel makes it gather
quickly, and keeps it stimulating the parts to which it is confined.
Then, if the front of the body is more thinly clad, it is very much the
same as when a hot bag or a bran poultice is applied to the back, and a
cold cloth in front. The effect is not so immediate, but in the course
of time it gets to be even greater. We have never been able to see much
come of "magnetic" or "electric" belts other than would result from
wearing the woollen material they are covered with; but we have seen
constantly all the good effects ascribed to the most costly appliances
produced by a bit of new flannel. If there can be a good rubbing given
with olive oil, and then the extra flannel put on, the effect is
delightful. Again, when the skin has been cleansed effectually with the
mixture for NIGHT SWEATS (see), put the flannel on. It causes a
gathering of heat, which stimulates the spinal nerves, and produces
good effects all over the body and limbs.
A broad band of extra new flannel round the lower half of the body is
somewhat equivalent to fomentation got in the armchair, or in the hot
pack of the lower body. Those who are exposed, as coachmen are, and
subject to lumbago and other troubles, will find a flannel band work
wonders. This flannel band on the lower back is valuable in cases of
rheumatism, sciatica, and various kidney troubles. On the upper back it
is good for bronchitis and some forms of asthma.
It may be used in connection with the other forms of treatment given
for these in separate articles. When linen underwear is worn, this band
should be worn under that, next the skin.
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