This section is from the book "Materia Medica And Therapeutics Inorganic Substances", by Charles D. F. Phillips. Also available from Amazon: Materia medica and therapeutics.
The cold douche is used externally in phthisis, chiefly in Gorbersdorf and Davos. It is only suitable for cases where the temperature of the body is normal, and the disease not actively progressing, and should be employed with the greatest care and under medical supervision. The patient at first is rubbed with dry towels, and then, on being made to take a deep inspiration, is exposed to the cold douche for five seconds - by degrees the duration of the douche may be prolonged, if desirable, to forty-five or sixty seconds - immediately after, the body is dry-rubbed until the skin gets red and warm; the patient is then dressed, and active exercise, such as walking uphill, completes the process. Anaemic patients cannot bear the douche for more than five or ten seconds. When this treatment can be borne, it promotes appetite and digestion, and renders the patient less susceptible to the injurious influences of a changeable climate.