This means steaming the patient's body with the steam produced by boiling certain traditional Chinese drugs so as to promote his recovery from a disease. This therapy can not only be performed on a specially-made therapeutic bed, but also in a self-designed vessel according to the differences of the specific state of disease, location of disease, conditions, etc. In general, put the prepared traditional Chinese drugs into a gauze bag and bind it up at first. Then, place the bag into the vessel with the drugs and add a proper amount of water to the vessel. Next, decoct the drugs until the water boils for about 20 minutes. At this time, the drugs can be applied, once or twice a day, 30 minutes a time. It is proper that the steam has enough warm sensation but does not give rise to scald and burn.
The prescriptions may be accordingly selected for fumigating therapy according to the difference of syndromes. For example, the prescriptions for promoting blood circulation to remove blood stasis may be selected for the patients with meridional blood stasis; the prescriptions for warming meridians to dispel cold, removing dampness and stagnation may be selected for the patients with cold, dampness and stagnation, etc. The theory of selecting the prescription according to syndrome differentiation is identical to that of rehabilitation with oral medication. In sum, fumigating and steaming therapy with both the actions of heat and the effects of drugs has the functions of dredging sweat pores, removing toxic substances, checking itching, regulating qi and blood, removing blood stasis, relieving swelling, warming meridians to dispel cold, removing arthralgia, checking pain, etc. It can be applicable to the rehabilitation of various intractable skin diseases, rheumatic arthritis, headache, flaccidity syndrome, paralysis as well as traumatic pain of tendons, bones and muscles, etc.
Attention should be paid to the fact that the site (general or local) used for fumigating and steaming therapy should be determined according to the state of disease and should not be invariable. The therapy is contraindicated in the patients with hemorrhage or the tendency to bleed, suppuration with carbuncle and swelling, as well as skin ulceration. The method should be used with caution in pregnant women and during the menstrual period.
Washing-soaking therapy is a method to promote the rehabilitation of the affected organism by bathing and soaking the body generally or locally with the decoction of traditional Chinese drugs. When applying this method, wrap the drugs in a piece of gauze first. Then, add eight to ten times of clear water and soak the drugs for fifteen to twenty minutes. Decoct the drugs for about 20 minutes after the water boils. Filter the decoction and pour the decoction into a sink, a tub or another vessel. At this time, fumigate and steam the affected part first. When the decoction is warm and cannot scald the skin, soak or dip the affected part in the decoction to bath the body generally or locally with a towel, once or twice a day. One dose of the drugs may be applied for two or three times.
Many prescriptions may be used for washing-soaking therapy. These prescriptions should be accordingly selected according to the differences of diseases. The general washing-soaking therapy can clean the skin directly, kill parasites and check itching. Besides, with the help of the medicinal property and heat, the therapy can dispel wind, remove dampness, warm meridians to expel cold, and promote qi flow and blood circulation, etc. It is commonly applicable to general or local skin itching, hemorrhoid, hysteroptosis, baldness, sequalae of poliomyelitis at the early stage as well as paralysis, flaccidity syndrome, infantile malnutrition and various traumatic diseases. Pay attention to avoiding wind, cold and overfatigue when applying washing-soaking therapy. The patients should have bed rest soon after the washing-soaking therapy. The therapy is contraindicated in all the patients with skin hemorrhage and women during menstrual periods. The washing-soaking therapy should be stopped if adverse reactions occur such as dizziness, palpitation and retching during the washing-soaking process.
Plastering therapy is a method to promote the recovery from a disease by applying prepared herbal medicines on the affected part or acupoints directly. Pound the fresh selected herbs into paste, or grind the dry herbs into fine powder. Then, add a proper amount of water, or vinegar, or honey, or sesame oil, or egg white, or vaseline, etc. to the powder to make the powder into paste. Afterwards, apply the paste on the affected part or certain acupoints. Replace the paste with fresh one once every one to three days.
Plastering therapy is widely applied because many fresh herbs and the commonly-used decoction, bolus, etc. in clinic can be mostly pounded into paste or made into paste. The therapy is applicable to aphasia, asthma, insomnia, vertigo, headache, abdominalgia, tympanites, Bi-syndrome, flaccidity syndrome as well as dysmenorrhea, infantile malnutrition, fracture, and soft tissue injury,etc. during rehabilitation according to the different selection of drugs.
Pay attention to the fact that plastering therapy is contraindicated in the patients with local ulceration. Pay attention to the observation of local pathological changes at all times to prevent infection. Apply the method with caution on the abdomen and lumbosacral portion of a pregnant woman.
Plastering-ironing therapy is a method to promote the rehabilitation of the body by applying the heated medicinal herbs on the affected part or certain acupoints directly or by ironing externally with the cloth bag containing the drugs. The specific usage is as follows: Apply the heated medicinal herbs on the affected part or certain acupoints directly and then bind up the part or acupoints with a piece of cloth. Heat the site with certain methods (like ironing with an iron). Besides, two cloth bags with hot steamed or hot parched drugs may be alternately applied on the affected part or certain acupoints. Replace the cold one with the hot one. The bag is moved upwards and downwards, from the left to the right. The therapy is generally applied once or twice a day, 30 minutes or so each time.
With the help of the heat and medicinal potency, plastering-ironing therapy has the actions of warming meridians to dispel cold, promoting qi flow to remove stagnation, activating blood circulation, dredging collaterals, etc. With different formulas and medicines, the therapy is commonly applicable to diseases such as various types of Bisyndrome due to wind, cold and dampness, headache, hypochondriac pain, epigastralgia and abdominalgia with cold, impotence, sterility due to uterine cold, unsmooth urination and proctoptosis due to prolonged diarrhea.
Pay attention to these points during applying plastering-ironing therapy: it is contraindicated in the patients with skin injury, on the underbelly or lumbosacral portion of a pregnant woman; the temperature should be proper to prevent scald.