As we have pointed out in the chapter dealing with water treatment in acute diseases, only water at ordinary temperature, as it comes from well or faucet, should be used in hydropathic applications. It is positively dangerous to apply ice bags to an inflamed organ or to use icy water for packs and ablutions in febrile conditions.

Likewise, ice or icy water should not be used in the hydropathic treatment of chronic diseases. Excessive cold is as suppressive in its effects upon the organism as are poisonous antiseptics or antifever medicines.

The baths, sprays, douches, etc., should not be kept up too long. The duration of the cold-water applications must be regulated by the individual conditions of the patient and by his powers of reaction; but it should be borne in mind that it is the short, quick application that produces the stimulating, electromagnetic effects upon the system.

In the following pages are described some of the baths and other cold-water applications that are especially adapted to the treatment of chronic diseases.