how to do hot fomentation

what is a fomentation

The application of a heated, moist cloth or towel to a bodily area is known as a fomentation. Fomentations are extremely effective and may be used to treat a wide range of disorders.

Following each heat application, a quick cold application to the treated body region is frequently performed. (When treating pleurisy, kidney stones, and painful menstruation, the cold may be skipped.) The body benefits from fomentations in the following ways:

  • Increase the flow of germ-fighting white blood cells through out the body.
  • Increased perspiration helps eliminate bodily wastes through the skin;
  • Increased perspiration helps eliminate bodily wastes through the skin;
  • Relieves pain in the nerves, muscles, joints, and internal organs; and
  • Reduces congestion of the internal organs by improving blood flow to the skin surface.

Effects Of Heating Application on the Body

Short, hot applications (3 to 5 minutes): Boost local circulation and blood flow,  Alleviate pain

Long, gentle heat applications (6 to 10 minutes): Sedate and calm the nerve,   Muscle spasms can be relieved.

Indications for Fomentation Treatment

  • Chest congestion caused by a cold or flu, bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, or pleurisy
  • To repair and enhance the function of internal organs
  • Nerve pain (neuralgia)
  • Muscle and joint pain (back injuries, arthritis)
  • Difficulty sleeping and anxiousness (apply prolonged, gentle heat to the spine)
  • Warming a body area in preparation for massage

fomentation Treatment Precautions

  • Take care not to burn a patient who is unconscious, paralyzed, edematous (swollen tissues owing to fluid retention), diabetic, or has other sensory loss (numbness) and reduced blood supply to the legs and feet.
  • Body parts where the bone is close to the skin’s surface may require additional cushioning to avoid burning.
  • Avoid cooling by changing fomentations quickly and covering the body.
  • Take care not to transmit illness; carefully clean the equipment before and after use.
  • If there is bleeding or hemorrhage, do not use fomentations.

Equipment Required for Fomentation

  • A canning kettle or a large pot of boiling water
  • Big bucket (if a foot bath is included in the treatment)
  • A basin of cold water—preferably ice—for the cold compress to the head
  • Hot water pitcher or tea kettle
  • Ice water pitcher
  • A big chunk of plastic (to keep bed dry)
  • Pillow
  • 1 large or 2 small blankets
  • 1 big or 2 small sheets
  • 4 large dry towels
  • 2 washcloths (for applying a cold compress to the head)
  • Fomentations (big towels may be used)-2 or 3
  • Fomentation coverings (a big, dry towel or a thick blanket)-2
  • A glass of water and a straw

Preparation for Fomentation

Fomentation Method Using Boiling Water

boiled water fomentation
Boiled Water Fomentation
  1. Pour water into a big, covered saucepan or canning kettle. Bring the water to a boil.
  2. Fold a towel twice lengthwise. Twist the towel tightly around both ends.
  3. Place the twisted towel in a pot of boiling water. Keep the towel’s ends out of the water.
  4. Remove the heated towel from the water and spread the ends apart to wring out any extra water.
  5. Quickly untwist one end of the towel, then fold it widthwise twice.
  6. Place a fomentation cover on top of the folded towel. Wrap the heated cloth in the fomentation cover.
  7. Roll up the fomentation (to save heat) and transport it to the patient.

Fomentation Method Using Steaming

Fomentation Using Steaming Method
Fomentation Using Steaming Method
  1. In a big covered saucepan or canning kettle, place a metal rack.
  2. Fill the container halfway with boiling water. Maintain a water level slightly below the metal rack.
  3. Take three big towels and fold them twice widthwise.
  4. Soak each folded towel in water, wrap it up, and squeeze out any excess.
  5. Place the damp towels, wrapped up, on top of the rack over the boiling water. With the cover on the pot, heat the towels for around 30 minutes.
  6. Using tongs or safety gloves, remove the first towel from the canning kettle.
  7. Unroll the hot cloth quickly in the center of a fomentation cover. Wrap the heated cloth in the fomentation cover.
  8. Roll up the fomentation (to keep it warm) and transport it to the patient.

Fomentation Procedure for Treatment

fomentation procedure
Fomentation Procedure for Treatment

Fomentation Treatment preparation

  • Make sure the room is warm and clear of drafts.
  • Have all of your equipment ready. Wrap a thick piece of plastic around the bed. Cover the plastic covering with a sheet.
  • Explain the treatment method quietly and cheerfully. Assist the patient in undressing and preparing for treatment.
  • Position a hot fomentation lengthwise on the bed to place beneath the spine. Place a dry cloth over the fomentation and have the patient rest on it.
  • Fill a foot bath with warm water to thoroughly cover the ankles, and lay a dry towel underneath. By testing the water with your elbow, you can ensure that it is not excessively hot. 
  • The patient’s feet should then be cautiously placed in the water.
  • Use a sheet and blanket to completely cover the patient and the foot bath. Leave the head and neck visible.

how to do hot fomentation

how to do hot fomentation
  • Remember that prayer invites the participation of the Great Physician.
  • Before applying the warm fomentation to the patient, place a dry cloth on top of the body portion being treated. Then, using another dry cloth, cover the fomentation.
  • If the fomentation becomes too hot, take it off the skin and replace it with another dry towel.
  • Leave the fomentation in place for the stated amount of time or until it cools.
  • Remove the cooled fomentation and massage the hot region vigorously for one minute with a cold towel. Before administering the next fomentation, thoroughly dry the treated region. Remember to keep the patient totally covered throughout the therapy.
  • Apply a second fomentation to the treated region and repeat the procedure.
  • Apply a second fomentation to the treated region and repeat the procedure until the treatment is finished. A treatment includes three to five fomentation treatments.
  • Apply cold washcloths to the patient’s head and neck as soon as they begin to sweat.
  • Encourage the patient to drink water often throughout therapy to replenish fluid lost via perspiration.
  • Keep the feet warm by adding hot water to the foot bath on a regular basis. Put your hand between the hot water and the patient’s feet (to avoid burning the feet).

What To Do Completion Of Fomentation

  • After removing the last fomentation, massage the treated area vigorously with a cool towel before drying it.
  • Remove the patient’s  feet from the hot water and point the toes upward. Pour cold water over the feet quickly.
  • Remove the feet from the foot bath and set them on a dry towel. Dry the feet and toes thoroughly. To keep the feet warm, use warm socks or slippers. Sweat should be removed from the rest of the body by wiping it vigorously with a cool towel and completely drying it. Replace wet clothes with clean, dry clothing.
  • Allow the patient to relax in bed for roughly one hour; a mild bath or shower may be required if further perspiration develops while resting.

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