- The use of compresses is good for so many ailments that one should know how to apply them. Compress cloths are made of two or three thicknesses of old linen (crash toweling is good), and can be of whatever shapes wished. The difference between compresses and fomentations are, the first is wet, and wrung so it will not drip, in tepid or cold water, - hence linen is best; while the latter is wet in hot water. A dry flannel of two thicknesses, a little wider and longer, is put on over the linen compress, which is re-wet three times a day in chronic cases, or when it feels uncomfortable. The throat compress, for chronic trouble, is wet in tepid water, and is worn day-time in summer, and at night in winter; and when taken off, the throat is bathed in cold water and rubbed till red with a crash towel. The chest compress, in acute cases - such as pneumonia - should be re-wet every three hours in water at 90°; for chronic lung trouble, re-wet whenever it feels unpleasant. The abdominal compress is one of great value in fevers, kidney trouble, indigestion, weak back (for this, use salt in water), female weaknesses, and is always a relief when one is tired and restless. For acute or chronic cases, wear till the disease is conquered. The spinal compress is used where there is pain in the spine, with sense of heat, and is given like a fomentation, only with the linen compress: 70° for five minutes; 64°, five minutes; 60°, five minutes; 54°, five minutes; 50°, five minutes; and sometimes the last changes are ice-cold. For weak back caused by a sore place, use a hot flannel compress five minutes across small of back, then a cold linen one, then hot, and so on for half an hour, with cold last, rubbing dry with crash towel. Another remedy for simply a weak back, is to first sponge with hot water one minute, then cold one minute, for two or three times, rubbing dry, and then use oil and ammonia. Compresses are very much used after giving fomentations, and, in that case, no sponging off in cool water or oiling is necessary, but immediately put on the wet girdle and cover with dry flannel.