This is a local application using a cloth, which has been wrung out in cold water. The cloth should be folded into a broad strip and dipped in cold water or ice water. The compress is generally applied to the affected area like head, neck, chest, abdomen and back. The cold compress is an effective means of controlling inflammatory conditions of the liver, spleen, stomach, kidneys, intestines, lungs, brain, pelvic organs and so on. It is also advantageous in cases of fever and heart disease. The cold compress soothes dermatitis and inflammations of external portions of the eye.
This is a cold compress covered in such a manner as to bring warmth. A heating compress consists of three or four folds of linen cloth wrung out in cold water, which is then covered completely with dry flannel or blanket to prevent the circulation of air and help accumulation of body heat. It is sometimes applied for several hours. The duration of the application is determined by the extent and location of the surface involved, the nature and thickness of the coverings and the water temperature. The area should be rubbed with a wet cloth after removing the compress and then dried with a towel.
A heat compress can be applied to the throat, chest, abdomen and joints. A throat compress relieves sore throat, hoarseness, tonsillitis, pharyngitis and laryngitis. An abdominal compress helps those suffering from gastritis, hyperacidity, indigestion, jaundice, constipation, diarrhoea, dysentery and other ailments relating to the abdominal organs. The chest compress, also known as chest pack, relieves cold, bronchitis, pleurisy, pneumonia, fever, cough and so on, while the joints compress is helpful for inflamed joints, rheumatism, rheumatic fever and sprains.