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Source: Papers On Health
When the nervous system is in a certain state, all
impressions on it are exaggerated, and the patient suffers from light
sounds, and various irritations, far more than is usual or healthy.
This state makes treatment difficult, because either cold towel or hot
flannel distresses the sufferer, and by this does more harm than good.
Narcotics only do harm, without any good, and leave the patient worse.
The nervous system may in such cases be soothed by soaping the back
with soap lather (see Lather; Soap). The lather is to be blood heat,
and very soft and creamy. Spread it all over a soft cloth as large as
the back (having first warmed the cloth), and then place it gently on
the back, lather side next the skin. Let this be done at bedtime.
Fasten the cloth on the back with a bodice that will fasten closely,
and let the patient sleep on it. Wash off in the morning with warm
vinegar and water half-and-half. Rub with oil and dry off. Let the
patient take twice a-day, for eight days, a teaspoonful of well-boiled
liquorice and a tablespoonful of hot water. This treatment will usually
abate the sensitiveness in a week or so, and bring the patient within
reach of other remedies. For example, it will, after a week or so, even
in very trying cases, be possible to foment the feet and legs once a
day, and rub them with warm olive oil. It will even be possible and
well to foment with a hot blanket across the haunches, and in this way
to bring on comparatively strong health. Change of air and scene will
then be desirable: it is highly refreshing to one who is in the way of
recovering, though only harassing to one who is feeling despondent and
increasingly ill. We generally, when asked if a "change" would not be
good in such cases, reply, "Yes, if once you have got health enough to
enjoy it." When that has been fairly secured, stronger measures may be
used with advantage. We feel much sympathy with those who suffer from
sensitiveness, as so many do, and earnestly pray that these remarks may
be blessed to such sufferers.