Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Seated Chest Wrap and Hot Foot Bath

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.

The Hydro4COVID website is up with the latest version of the protocol and I was advising fomentations when chest symptoms had developed. I now think this is too late! But couldn't think of a way for someone to give themselves fomentations.

It is important to treat yourself in that time after symptoms first appear because:

  1. You don't want to infect family or friends if you have COVID-19
  2. You may live alone
  3. 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):

  1. Get my bed ready for a good rest (warm covers, window open if good air outside)
  2. 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.
  3. Turn on the warming for your shower/bathroom. Place your pyjamas near the shower with your bath towel. 
  4. Spread a large warm blanket (or two) where you can spread it over yourself and the footbath, while seated in the chair. 
  5. 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.
  6. Place another towel, folded double as a bath mat, next to the footbath, on the side you get into / out of the chair.
  7. 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.
  8. Have a drink of hot water, to start the heating process.
  9. Undress and toilet
  10. 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. 
  11. Add hot water to the foot bath if needed, still holding the wrap.
  12. Sit down in the armchair and place feet in foot bath. 
  13. 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. 
  14. Use the cold compress to cool your head as needed. Reaching out carefully so not let too much hot air in.
  15. Stay until sweating.
  16. Carefully uncover. Take your feet out of the footbath and place on towel on the floor
  17. Take off the rest of the covering and the wrap.
  18. Get up slowly, be careful not to fall.
  19. Grab your towel (and the Cold Compress bowl if you are using a cold pour.)
  20. 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.
  21. Get dressed in your pyjamas and go to bed for at least 30 minutes.
  22. Leave the chair where it is for the next two days as you should repeat this for the next two days at least.
Long list but that would be a good treatment.