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Source: Papers On Health
(1) Nerve or imaginary chills. These are feelings of cold,
where there is no real chilling; the back feels as if cold water were
poured down it, or even the whole body feels chilled, when an
examination will show that there is no real chill whatever. Nervous
patients are peculiarly liable to this, and often are greatly alarmed
at it. The treatment in such cases is partly mental; let the patient
know that the chilly feeling is only a feeling, and nothing alarming.
This will often of itself remove it; so will a cheery thought or a
cheery talk. Physical treatment may begin with such a rubbing of the
head as is recommended in Eyes, Squinting. Then treat the whole body to
a gentle massage on similar principles. This will sometimes cause nerve
chills at first to increase; but the patient will soon disregard this,
and the squeezing very gently of the muscles will stimulate and revive
the organic nerves. Warm olive oil used in this squeezing process will
help greatly. It may be that a considerable time will be required
before these nerve states are entirely overcome, but with anything like
careful treatment they will gradually be so. Keep the patient warm in
bed the while. Give easily assimilated food (see Assimilation). A
mixture of milk and boiling water in equal quantities may be freely
taken. This treatment will besides greatly help nervousness of every
(2) In the case of real chill to the surface of the body, shivering
is an early symptom. If the frame is strong, the shiver may pass off
and no evil results follow: but frequently this is not the case, and
trouble is apt to intervene. In such a case give a thorough rubbing all
over the body, and especially the back and chilled part, with warm
olive oil; this, if applied early enough, will probably prevent all ill
consequences,--it will at least mitigate them. If the chill has passed
into feverishness however, this treatment will not suit; but we only
deal here with the cold shivering stage. The rubbing will be greatly
assisted by a good hot fomentation to the feet, or even up to the
haunches. The use of Kneipp linen underwear, by promoting a healthy
action of the skin, and rapidly conducting away the perspiration from
its surface, will do much to prevent chills, either real or imaginary.
See Angina Pectoris, Underwear, Massage.
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