Bathing The Feet

Sources: Papers On Health

This apparently simple treatment, if the best

results are desired, must be gone about most carefully. A foot-bath for

ten or twenty minutes, though a considerable help in many cases, is not

at all sufficient. It must be given, in most cases, for forty minutes

to give sensible relief. Some patients faint long before this time if

the feet are placed in very hot water from the beginning. To avoid this

faintness, proceed as follows: Get a vessel that will hold the feet

easily, and be deep enough to reach nearly up to the knees. Put water

in this one inch deep, and at blood heat--that is, just to feel warm to

an ordinary hand. Set the feet to be bathed in this, and have plenty of

hot water at hand. Let the patient be comfortably covered and seated,

and wait two minutes or so. Add then a little hotter water, and every

two minutes add a little more water, hotter every time, gradually

increasing the quantity and temperature of the water. In half an hour a

good strong heat and large deep bath will be reached, and in only a

very few cases will there be any faintness. If the heat is raised too

fast, give a little cold water to drink, and proceed more slowly. This

is in cases where simple stimulus to vital action is required.

If the bathing be for sores, or disease of joints, the sores should be

dressed first with cold cream or vaseline, or covered with a cloth

dipped in olive oil. If the skin becomes irritated from prolonged

bathing, cover before bathing with a cloth dipped in weak vinegar or

very weak ACETIC ACID (see). If the patient is too weak for bathing,

a fomentation may be applied as described in article on Angina

Pectoris, only extending, however, over the knees. Such fomentation may

also be used whenever cold cloths applied to a diseased or inflamed

part tend to cause a chill. It will quite prevent this.