A wrap describes one or more cloths placed around the body (whole body wrap ) or a part of the body (partial wrap) that are moistened with a temperature-controlled liquid or coated with a substance. As a rule, wraps also include pads, compresses or envelopes made from towels that are applied to the skin. In the area of professional care , wraps and pads are among the alternative care methods; separate training to become a specialist in wrapping applications is possible in Germany and Switzerland. However, compresses are also used as home remedies in non-professional care . A well-known example of this is the calf wrap . In contrast to bandages and therapeutic plasters , compresses are only applied for a short time and they are mainly used to apply active ingredients or to achieve physical effects .
Structure and differentiation
Wraps are composed of several layers. The inner cloth lying on the body is formed from several layers of fabric and wrapped around the body or the body part. This is followed by wrapping the inner cloth with a dry and substance-free outer cloth. In the case of cushions, the inner cloth is limited to a certain part of the body, for example the chest. The inner cloth is usually also attached with an outer cloth that is wrapped around the body part concerned. Wraps and pads can also be differentiated in terms of the size of the area or their application. For example, wraps in which at least half of the body is wrapped in several layers of cloth are called packs and poultices or paste envelopes are called cataplasms. The term peloid describes paste envelopes made from moor , healing or clay , such as mud packs . Cold water wraps are also described as Prießnitz wraps, while Kneipp wraps can be applied cold, warm or with substances, but follow a certain structure with three towels made of linen, flannel and wool.
Purpose and areas of application
Wraps and pads can be used for a variety of reasons. In physical therapy, for example, warm and cold compresses are used to set a stimulus to stimulate blood flow in the skin and thereby influence the metabolic process in the affected area. Some wraps are supposed to dissipate tension elsewhere via a peripheral stimulus, for example, foot pads are used for headaches. Wraps and pads coated with substances such as clay, clay, medicinal herbs or oils should, depending on the specific effect of the substance, bring the appropriate active ingredients through the skin into the body. In addition to this mode of action, wraps generally have a psychogenic effect; the person concerned receives attention, feels secure and comes to rest.
Moist and hot compresses
Damp and hot wraps cause local vasodilation and blood flow to increase through intense heat and are primarily used for relaxation and relaxation. They are used for chronic inflammatory processes, muscle tension and pain-related feelings of cold to increase well-being. The use is contraindicated, especially in acute inflammation and trauma , circulatory disorders, varicose veins and in patients who subjectively perceive cooling to be pain-relieving. If used incorrectly, moist and hot compresses can lead to scalding and circulatory problems; the use in people whose articulation or reaction is limited, such as small children, the very old or the unconscious, therefore requires special precautionary measures. Moist and hot wraps are used as joint wraps, steam compresses, chest, stomach and kidney pads. Potato toppings , hay flower bags and linseed compresses are also applied moist and hot.
The wraps, which are kept at maximum body temperature, are usually used to introduce an active ingredient into the skin, to ensure that it is gently warmed and have a relaxing effect. Essential oils can be added to increase the patient's well-being. The wraps and pads are coated with substances depending on the indication. Contraindications relate primarily to the substances used; in addition to allergies and intolerances, the active ingredients can have a negative impact on medical or homeopathic therapy. Temperature-controlled wraps include, for example, ear wraps with onions, lavender breast wraps, bladder compresses with eucalyptus oil, chamomile compresses and ointment pads with marigold , arnica , angelica or copper ointment . Wraps at low temperatures can also be used without active ingredients, for example in the case of a very high fever before applying a cold wrap in order to prepare the patient for the cold.
The beeswax wrap is traditionally used for coughs and colds. It should have a soothing and expectorant effect in a gentle, natural way. It consists of a beeswax sheet and is gently warmed up and placed directly on the skin. A tight-fitting undershirt, a beeswax heat pad or an outer cloth for the belly and chest are suitable for fixing the beeswax wrap.
Applications with skin irritating substances
Coverings with skin-irritating substances cause reactive hyperemia by irritating the skin , the skin is irritated by the substance, the blood vessels are widened as a reaction and there is a significantly stronger blood flow to the tissue. These pads are used to alleviate chronic diseases such as asthma or inflammation in the kidney, bladder, lungs, frontal and maxillary sinuses . This type of wrap can damage the skin and in some cases place a heavy load on the circulation. They should only be used by competent persons and after medical clarification of possible risks. The applications and are often perceived as unpleasant. The substances used are ginger , mustard seeds and horseradish in the form of compresses or smaller amounts.
Cold and cooling compresses are applied to reduce bleeding through vasoconstriction and to achieve decongestion, to create a stimulus, to dissipate heat in inflammatory processes and to reduce the sensation of pain. In order to increase the cooling effect, substances can be added that dissipate heat better or evaporate faster than water and thus increase the cooling evaporation effect. Cold compresses are used for pain caused by inflammatory processes, for swelling after acute trauma, for lowering fever, for burns and for hemostasis. Cooling compresses are contraindicated for exhausted and very old people, as well as for patients with sensory and circulatory disorders as well as paralyzed body parts. A distinction can be made between intensive cold-promoting wraps such as deep-frozen salt water compresses, ice or gel bags and mild cold-promoting wraps. The latter are, for example, vinegar socks, calf, alcohol, lemon and quark compresses.
- Sandra Bachmann, Alfred Längler: Home remedies in modern medicine: teas, wraps, baths & Co , Elsevier, Urban & FischerVerlag, 2005, ISBN 3437569406 , pp. 59–79
- Rudolf Likar, Günther Bernatzky, Dieter Märkert, Wilfried Ilias: Pain therapy in nursing: orthodox medical and complementary methods. Springer, 2009, ISBN 3211720863
- Annegret Sonn: Wraps and pads. Georg Thieme Verlag, 2004, ISBN 3131119128
- Ursula Uhlemayr: Wickel & Co. - Home remedies for children as strong as bears , Urs-Verlag, 2001–2017, 21st edition, ISBN 978-3-9807815-0-3
- Annegret Sonn: Wraps and pads. Georg Thieme Verlag, 2004, ISBN 3131119128 , p. 7
- Annegret Sonn: Wraps and pads. Georg Thieme Verlag, 2004, ISBN 3131119128 , pp. 7–8
- Rudolf Likar, Günther Bernatzky, Dieter Märkert, Wilfried Ilias: Pain therapy in nursing: orthodox medical and complementary methods. Springer, 2009, ISBN 3211720863 , pp. 415-416
- Rudolf Likar, Günther Bernatzky, Dieter Märkert, Wilfried Ilias: Pain therapy in nursing: orthodox medical and complementary methods. Springer, 2009, ISBN 3211720863 , pp. 419-422
- Ursula Uhlemayr: Wrap and Co., strong home remedies for children. Urs-Verlag, ISBN 978-3-9807815-0-3 , pp. 99-101
- Rudolf Likar, Günther Bernatzky, Dieter Märkert, Wilfried Ilias: Pain therapy in nursing: orthodox medical and complementary methods. Springer, 2009, ISBN 3211720863 , p. 422
- Rudolf Likar, Günther Bernatzky, Dieter Märkert, Wilfried Ilias: Pain therapy in nursing: orthodox medical and complementary methods. Springer, 2009, ISBN 3211720863 , p. 419