A fellow hydrotherapist showed me compelling information about the importance of chest fomentations early in COVID rather than later so here is a way you can get some of effect yourself. The original inspiring video has disappeared but I think mine is better. See the protocol below.
It is important to treat yourself in that time after symptoms first appear because:
You don't want to infect family or friends if you have COVID-19
You may live alone
You can treat yourself when you need to or can fit it in.
But I couldn't think of how to change fomentations by yourself.
Then I remembered this video.
This video only covers the chest wrap. I like that it only requires two towels! Vastly better than the 10 we need for the regular bath. I think it is good but could be improved with the addition of the hot foot bath and a short cold at the end.
If I developed symptoms of COVID-19, I would call my doctor and make an appointment for testing. Then at the first convenient time (and I would need at least 2 hours including preparation and rest):
Get my bed ready for a good rest (warm covers, window open if good air outside)
Set up a warm area as near to your bathroom, shower, bedroom as possible and set up an armchair in a place where a little bit of water on the floor doesn't matter or cover the carpet with some sort of waterproof material. Cover the chair with waterproof material, and a blanket and sheet.
Turn on the warming for your shower/bathroom. Place your pyjamas near the shower with your bath towel.
Spread a large warm blanket (or two) where you can spread it over yourself and the footbath, while seated in the chair.
Prepare a Hot Foot Bath in front of the armchair. Make it as hot as you can stand (test with elbow if no thermometer) and boil a kettle and place within reach of the chair.
Place another towel, folded double as a bath mat, next to the footbath, on the side you get into / out of the chair.
Prepare a Cold Compress as shown in the Hot Foot Bath. Make the bowl extra large (at least 2 litres or 2 quarts) if you want to use the water for a cold pour after the treatment. place within easy reach of the chair.
Have a drink of hot water, to start the heating process.
Undress and toilet
Prepare the wrap on your bed as shown in the video above and lie down on it. Wrap yourself up as quickly as you can. Hold the wrap on and go to the chair.
Add hot water to the foot bath if needed, still holding the wrap.
Sit down in the armchair and place feet in foot bath.
Lean back in the chair and wrap yourself and the footbath as warmly as possibly in blankets you are sitting on and those beside the chair. Try not to get the blankets in the foot bath.
Use the cold compress to cool your head as needed. Reaching out carefully so not let too much hot air in.
Stay until sweating.
Carefully uncover. Take your feet out of the footbath and place on towel on the floor
Take off the rest of the covering and the wrap.
Get up slowly, be careful not to fall.
Grab your towel (and the Cold Compress bowl if you are using a cold pour.)
Quickly go to the shower area and have either a few seconds of cold shower (5 seconds is plenty) on the back of your neck /upper back or pour the Cold Compress water over your neck.
Get dressed in your pyjamas and go to bed for at least 30 minutes.
Leave the chair where it is for the next two days as you should repeat this for the next two days at least.
I'm needing your help, and so are a few billion others.
A GP (family physician) friend of mine asked me for something to share with fellow GPs about hydrotherapy for COVID-19. Fortunately this friend was NOT happy with my ramblings on the topic, so I spent my Sunday going back to the books, specifically "Physical Therapy in Nursing Care" telling of the successful treatment of the last pandemic, the 1918/19 Spanish Flu.
So the treatment is: hot fomentations to chest and spine with simultaneous hot foot bath and cold compress to head followed by cold mitten friction once or twice daily with absolute bed rest between.
Basically they treated the person as if they had pneumonia right from the beginning.
So I wrote a page as requested for the General Practitioners' perusal.
But then I woke up this morning and realised it was useless!
How is it possible for an untrained person to do this treatment... safely (I've burnt people with fomentations), effectively (I've hospitalised a lady by changing things slowly and allowing her to get chilled... and consequently making her condition worse, I was lucky/blessed not to have killed her) and efficiently (if I follow the directions for hot fomentations I need 10 towels and 5 each fomentations and covers for just one treatment. If I don't have foments/covers then that's 10 more towels. 20 towels! Twice a day!)
And to be really effective, both the fomentations and the friction work best with 2 therapists.
And finally, I don't remember ever doing that treatment. It's too much work! I don't remember treating pneumonia either. And I had a staffed hydrotherapy department at my disposal.
This treatment is big and dangerous but apparently, powerfully effective.
In the past I've effectively treated all the fevers, flu, dengue, malaria, glandular with a strong, individualised revulsive to sweating, daily for 3 days, but I'm sure we are going to need something more targeted at Active Chest Congestion before this thing is over.
I've checked the Pneumonia and Active Chest Congestion pages on the website and the only alternative seems to be hot blanket pack (which doesn't really excite me - "Make sure the blanket is wrung dry of all water - patient may be scalded otherwise")
So you can help me by answering these questions (or sending this on to someone who can answer them):
1. Have you ever used the protocol (Fo chest back, HftB, CMF) for pneumonia? How did it go?
2. Can you think of a modern, safe and simple alternative way of heating the chest/spine to erythema with moist heat? It should be ubiquitous and cheap.
3. Any other thoughts and suggestions... So many people have contacted me lately that I'm wondering if this is the time.
I haven't treated the disease so I don't know for sure,
The treatment I will tell you about works for normal flu, and every other fever I've thrown it against including dengue, malaria, and glandular fevers. I can't see why it shouldn't be effective in treating coronavirus too.
The section of the talk on hydrotherapy was good because it reinforced what I already knew about treatment of the 1918 Spanish flu and it gave me another case study (no deaths for 90 patients when the usual mortality ran at 10-20%)
When you do hear about the next epidemic that kills the healthy young then certainly try the treatment for the Spanish flu, as Dr Youngberg recommends, but it won't be the best for coronavirus.
The hydrotherapy treatment for Coronavirus
Assume that any time you get a fever or chest symptoms that you are getting coronavirus and begin treatment immediately. If you get onto it early you will probably abort the disease, what ever it is.
First treatment: heat the body until you can see sweating on the top lip. Depending on the method it should take 15 to 20 minutes (no longer). Keep the head cool during this process. My favourite way is steam bath but sauna, hot foot bath (with or without fomentations) or hot tub bath will work. Here in our Aussie summer I know people who use the colourbond garden shed, or wrap themselves in black polythene sheeting and lie in the sun. But remember to keep your head cool! And don't use exercise. You can damage your heart doing that.
Follow up with short cold. Here in summer our shower water isn't cold enough, so get someone to throw 2 litres of ice water over your upper back while you stand in the shower. But in winter, just use the cold water from the shower on the nape of your neck until it makes you inhale sharply. 5 seconds of cold water is enough. If you have good friends a cold mitten friction is great.
Then go to bed! After you dry thoroughly of course. Rest is essential for at least 30 minutes. Stay warm too.
Only do the treatment once a day for a total of 3 days. You should be right by then.
The usual natural remedies should strengthen your immune system:
Whole-food plant-based diet - eat the best food you can afford. Lots of greens, and fruits and vegetables with lots of colour, and onions, garlic especially if you're worried.
Exercise outside - even gentle exercise has lots of benefits for your immune system.