Fomentation Armchair

Sources: Papers On Health

This is applied as follows. Over a large

armchair spread a folded sheet. Provide a good large blanket prepared

as above in Fomentation. Then rub the haunches, thighs, lower back and

abdomen of the patient with a little olive oil. Wrap these parts in a

warm dry towel. Open up the hot blanket and spread it (still some

three-ply thick) on the sheet on the armchair. Let the patient sit down

upon it as soon as it is cool enough not to hurt. Fold the blanket all

round the patient's lower body and thighs. Draw the sheet over all, and

cover up well to retain the heat. At the end of an hour, or such less

time as the patient can endure, a smart washing with hot vinegar, and a

gentle rub with warm olive oil, will complete the treatment. This is

best done at bedtime, as the patient must go to bed immediately after


In cases of failure of the large hip-joints, or of the lower limbs, in

sciatica and lumbago, the armchair fomentation is of great use; also

when running sores exist from one of the hips or lower back, or even in

numbness or lack of vitality in the feet and toes. It is referred to

under the headings of the troubles in which it is of advantage.

Suppose that we are dealing with lack of vitality in some organ in the

lower part of the body. We argue that the nerves supplying this organ

are needing in some way to be increased in force. This is to be done by

getting them heated. There is an arrangement in nature which hinders

this being quickly done. The rapid circulation of the blood which is

going on all round these nerves tends to keep them about the same

temperature. The heat, as it is applied, passes off rapidly in the

stream of the blood. But if the heating process is carried on long

enough, the whole blood of the body becomes gently raised in

temperature, and by-and-by the heat applied to the surface reaches the

roots of the nerves, not only by means of the circulation, but by

gradually passing through the skin muscles, and the bones that are near

it. New life is infused, and that where it is specially required. The

flagging organ soon shows that it responds to this true stimulant.

After a few such fomentations it begins to act as perhaps it has ceased

to act for months, and even for years. We speak of what we have seen

again and again in cases where distress was caused by what is called

"sluggishness" in some important organ, or when such an organ was

altogether ceasing to act properly. The armchair fomentation is more

successful than the hot sitz-bath, though this is by no means to be