FEVERS in kiddos- rediscovering HYDROTHERAPY (a fancy word for hot and cold towels)
During spring break, of course all three of my kiddos got high fevers. Even better, we were traveling and staying in a rural cabin in the Sierras. Needless to say, I had no access to the normal array of natural medicines I would typically be shoving down their throats every couple of hours. The first night, I felt helpless and sorry for myself and stayed up way too late worrying about my predicament. The next morning, I kicked myself into action. Enough was enough, I needed to get these kids better. What could I do for them with the limited supplies at hand? Of course, hydrotherapy.
Maybe it’s because we are in a culture that is so oriented to “pill-popping” but for some reason, I constantly have to remind myself that hydrotherapy is truly one of the most effective methods we can use to help our bodies naturally find health and balance. So, I got out a bunch of hand towels, a beach towel for each kid and two large pots filled with the hottest and coldest water the faucet would deliver (pretty extreme during early spring in the mountains). Then I got to work.
I started by putting each kid face up in their bed on top of a beach towel (simply to make sure the bed stays dry). I then placed a hot hand towel (towels are always well wrung), folded in half over their belly and chest. I covered them with a blanket and waited 3 minutes, then I refreshed the hot towel with a new one for 2 more minutes. While waiting for the 2 minutes to be up, I readied the cold hand towel (again folded in half and well-wrung). I did a final hot refresh for 1 min (each time making sure to recover with the blanket) and then swapped the hot towel out for the cold towel which sits for 10 minutes. Phew! I was half way done. All I had left was to repeat the above with the child laying on their belly and the folded towel covering their shoulders down to their low backs.
By the time I finished the treatment, I had a quiet cabin of sleeping children. An added benefit to doing this treatment is that your patient usually falls asleep AND it is a great way to trick your kids into being quiet and staying in their beds ☺. I repeated the treatment 3 times that day and 2 times the following day. I felt empowered and my kids were getting better. We talk a lot about magic in my household right now (my kids are slightly obsessed). If magic is found in this world, it certainly exists in hydrotherapy!
Dr. Erin Sharman, ND
*I love helping families navigate illness without the use of antibiotics or fever reducing medications. I truly believe this is an important foundation to healthy immune functioning in early childhood and adulthood.*