Abdominal Pouring Douche

When a douche apparatus is not available, a very efficient abdominal douche may be applied in an ordinary bath tub. A hot bath at the temperature of 102° to 103° should be applied for one to three minutes. Then the outlet should be opened and cold water should be poured on the abdomen while the water is running out. By lifting the dipper to the height of five or six feet a sufficient degree of force may be obtained to produce a decided reflex effect. The temperature of the water may vary from 60° to ice cold, the temperature being gradually lowered as the patient becomes accustomed to the cold application.

Applying a Wet Girdle.

Applying a Wet Girdle.

Hot Sitz And Cold Pour

The patient sits in water at a temperature of 102° or 103° for two or three minutes, then leans back in the tub while the attendant pours cold water 70° to 50° over the abdomen for half a minute.

Rubbing Cold Sitz Bath

In this bath the patient sits in water at a temperature of 75° to 55° for two minutes, rubbing himself vigorously meanwhile. This bath produces a powerful reflex influence upon the intestines, especially in the colon, and is frequently followed soon after by a desire to defecate. The patient should rub himself continually during the bath, and the feet may be kept in hot water if there is a tendency to chilliness. The shoulders should be covered by a woolen blanket.

The Sedative Sitz Bath

A bath at the temperature of from 60° to 70° for fifteen to twenty minutes produces powerful and prolonged contraction of internal muscular structures. This bath is useful in diarrhoea, and is one of the most efficient means of improving the tone of the abdominal muscles and of an atonic colon. This bath should not be given in cases of spastic constipation. In general, prolonged cold baths of any sort, (that is, baths longer than two or three minutes), are aggravating in this condition.

Alternate Applications To The Abdomen

A hot fomentation to the abdomen for five to ten minutes, followed by a cold application for one minute, is an excellent means of stimulating peristalsis and improving the muscular tone. The cold application may consist of a compress of ice water, but the most effective method is to rub the abdomen with a smooth piece of ice. The effect of this application is increased by repeating the alternation two or three times in succession.

The Wet Girdle

This is a simple method which has been used for centuries by the peasantry of Europe. The abdominal girdle consists of a coarse towel of three yards in length, half of which is wet, the other half remaining dry. Beginning with the wet end, the towel is wound round the trunk of the body, great care being taken to see that it fits the skin snugly. Outside the towel a flannel bandage is applied. The towel should be changed before it becomes dry. It should be worn night and day to secure the most pronounced effect. The mackintosh or oiled muslin, often applied with the moist bandage, should be omitted when it is the purpose to relieve constipation.

Fomentation to Abdomen.

Fomentation to Abdomen.

Fomentation To The Abdomen

The abdominal fomentation is a capital means for use in spastic constipation, the result of colitis, and when the ileocecal valve is in a state of spasmodic contraction due to chronic appendicitis or ovarian disease. In general the fomentation is highly useful in all cases of constipation accompanied by pain in the abdomen, no matter what the cause.

The electric fomentation heater is a convenient means of heating a fomentation compress.

The best time for applying the fomentation is soon after breakfast, or shortly before the regular time for moving the bowels. Applications may be made with great advantage two or three times daily, or at least morning and night, so as to relax the colon several times during the day.

In very pronounced cases of colitis, with spastic constipation, a short very hot bath is of great service. The duration of the bath should not be more than two to four minutes. It produces debility and anemia if long continued and often repeated. The effect of hot applications is to lessen the irritability of the nerve centers, and thus to relieve the intestinal spasm which may be due to congestion or inflammation of the appendix, ovaries, bladder, rectum or gall-bladder, or still more often, to colitis.

Combined Hot Bath And Hot Douche

Perhaps the most effective measure for the relief of intestinal spasms, such as sometimes occurs in muco-membranous colitis, is a warm bath (100° F.) combined with a very hot spray to the abdomen. The water should be allowed to fall on the abdomen in very fine streams with very little force, at a temperature of 115° to 120°. The duration of the application should be two to five minutes. It should be followed by a cold application at a temperature about 80° for one or two minutes.