In addition to cold compresses, wet wraps and washing affected areas with a sponge, Vincenz Priessnitz applied other methods in his treatment. Previously unused, these in particular included a sweating cure, after which the perspiring patient was immersed briefly in a bath of cold water. Complementary medical treatments included occupational therapy combined with physical exertion, regular life management and sufficient sleep.
Based on preserved archival materials, some authentic Vincenz Priessnitz methods, the effects of which have been historically verified, are still in use up to the present time.
Priessnitz's outdoor baths of lower limbs
It is a historically proven and valuable procedure to improve blood flow not only in lower limbs, but via reflexes in the head, neck and upper body, so regular daily ‘stork walking’ in a pool with natural flowing cold water at 8°C to 15°C leads to improved heart and blood vessel functions, increased resistance to infections and to preventing physical and mental stress. A moderate physical activity by walking in slightly hilly terrains is required for prior preliminary heating the body before bathing, while the bath is necessary to be followed by terry towel rubbing and walking in the terrain.
Priessnitz's outdoor baths of upper limbs
Immersion of the upper limbs in a shallow pool with a natural flowing cold spring, at a temperature of 8-15°C, when applied daily, leads to the disappearance of migraines and insomnia, calms the rapid heart rate in heart problems and disorders of thyroid function, reduces allergic symptoms and improves breathing. The bath improves local blood flow in upper limbs and increases the same via reflexes in the chest, neck and head.
Priessnitz's single-phase and double-phase half-bath
This is a complex procedure combining hydrotherapy, wraps, pouring water and skin brushing. The client is first briefly pre-heated by warm water in a shower. This is followed by a whole-body wrap using a cold wet sheet and the wrapped person lying down calmly. After subsequently warming up and sweating, there comes a warm water semi-bath at 35 °C with brushing and pouring cold water over the nape of the neck, back and legs.