Wet Sheet Pack

Wet Sheet Fold
Wet Sheet Wrap


from Hydrothermic Remedies...

The effects of a wet sheet pack depend upon its duration and number of blankets applied to control evaporation. According to the degree of heat generated within the pack, it passes through 3 stages as follows:

  1. Cooling or evaporation
  2. Neutral
  3. Heating and sweating

Cold Water for soaking sheet 15-20°C



A wet sheet pack is a procedure in which is the patient is wrapped in a wet sheet (can use wet pyjamas and then into sleeping), outside of which are dry blanket coverings to regulate evaporation and to control the temperature.

Physiologic Effects

  1. Cooling stage - The first 5-12 minutes of the pack before the sheet has been warmed to body temperature. Body heat is removed by evaporation - reduces fevers.
  2. Neutral stage - When the sheet reaches or slightly exceeds skin temperature, the amount of blood in the brain is lessened (by deprivation), thereby tending to induce sleep.
  3. Heating stage - When the warming of the pack causes skin temperature to rise, the blood vessels in the skin dilate and draw blood away from congested organs.


  1. Cooling stage - Antipyretic to reduce Fevers
  2. Neutral stage - Insomnia, Mania, Delirium, Restlessness, Nervous Exhaustion, Nervous Indigestion, Hypopepsia.
  3. Heating and Sweating stage - when the warming of the pack causes the skin temperature to rise, the blood vessels in the skin dilate and draw blood away from the congested organs. Used to treat Alcoholism, Tobacco recovery, Gout, Bronchitis, Common Cold, Influenza, Jaundice, (Measles, Scarlet Fever -- to help develop the Eruptions).

Contraindications or Cautions

  1. Very few contraindications the following are cautions
  2. Diabetes or others with poor circulation.
  3. Very weak patients with severe colds or influenza
  4. Feeble persons
  5. Skin eruptions


  1. Material for a hot foot bath
  2. Material for a cold compress
  3. One of two woollen blankets
  4. Two large sheets
  5. Bucket of cold water (15-20°C)
  6. One Turkish (bath) towel
  7. Fomentations, hot water bottle, or infra-red lamp


Important Considerations

  • The effects of a wet sheet pack are obtained by regulations of evaporation and control of temperature.
  • The wet sheet pack must come in close contact with the skin in all areas.
  • Mitre dry blanket at neck and shoulder to prevent entrance of air and chilling.

Preparation for Treatment

  • Have all materials at hand
  • Explain procedure to patient
  • Give patient hot foot bath for 10 minutes with a cold compress to head (the feet and entire body should be warm)
  • Have patient void (gone to toilet) before commencing treatment.
  • Fold sheet for use as wet sheet (see illustration below:).
  • Position yourself on one end of the bed and have your helper stand on the opposite end.
  • Spread one dry sheet on the bed or treatment table.
  • Hold the two corners of the sheet and bring them toward the centre, folding the sheet lengthwise.
  • Fold the sheet lengthwise once more to meet at the centre
  • Now fold the two halves together to close like a book.
  • Fold the long pad towards the center from both ends twice and fold it close like a book to make one small pad.
  • Soak in cold water and wring dry as much as possible.


NOTE: The following procedure of wrapping sheet and blankets applies to all stages.(See illustration below for the wrapping sequence.

  • The entire body must be warm before the pack is applied -- if not, precede pack with a heating treatment such as a hot tub bath, hot spray, or hot foot bath.
  • Place one or two woolen blanket lengthwise on the treatment table. The upper end should cover the lower half of the pillow.
  • Spread the wet sheet out upon the blanket, so that the upper end will be a little below the upper edge of the blanket.
  • Have nude patient lie down on wet sheet with shoulders 8-10 cms below the top edge of the sheet. Work quickly.
  • Wrap the wet sheet around the body (under the arms) and tuck in on opposite side. Be sure the sheet is in contact with the skin.
  • Below the hips the sheet is wrapped around the leg on the same side.
  • Wrap the wet sheet from the other side over both arms and around the leg on that side.
  • Be sure no air pockets or loose places occur. Check the neck and arm areas.
  • Mitre the blanket and wrap around the shoulders, arms and legs.
  • Wrap the other side in the same manner and tuck under the body.
  • Be sure the feet are thoroughly. If necessary place a hot water bottle to the feet, wrapped in a towel, to hasten the warming reaction.
  • Cover the patient with additional blankets.
  • Place a Turkish towel around the neck to protect the face and neck from the wool blanket and to exclude air.
  • Duration is according to the effect desired.
  1. Cooling stage used to reduce fevers: Leave person in pack for about 20 minutes or until they feel a general flow and sensation of comfort and well being.
  2. Neutral stage used to induce drowsiness: Leave person in pack for about 1 hour or until person awakens.
  3. Heating stage used to induce sweating: Leave person in pack until they start perspiring. Then it may be continued for another 1 to 2 hours.

Completion of Treatment

  • End treatment with a warm shower or warm water sponge. Then have patient rest 1/2 hour at least.


from Dr JH Kellogg's Hydriatic Techniques...



  • Large double blanket
  • single blanket
  • 2 large sheets
  • 8-12 ltrs of water 15-21°C
  • Apply cold wet towel to head before and change 10-15 min if needed
  • Cover legs and feet more warmly than trunk
  • In feeble patients precede with mild heating treatment begin with one wet towel on chest and wrap, then chest and back, then legs until whole body.
  • For sensitive parts or sensitive people cover with one layer of dry flannel ie in:

Stage I - Cooling, Tonic

for Antipyretic see Cooling Pack

Stop as soon as reaction is established in:

Stage II - Sedative

if continued until end of stage II in:

Stage III - heating and Derivative

if continued to end in:

  • Preparation for tonic cold

If interrupted before Excitant effects ie sweating, in:

Stage IV

Spoliatives and Eliminative see Sweating Pack


  • Skin eruptions and exanthemata
  • Cover sensitive or irritated parts with a dry flannel
  • Feeble patients may be trained by beginning with one wet towel and extending
  • Headache, nervousness, fainting, vertigo indicate too long
  • Sometimes a rose colour, with fetid odour and even sticky secretions


from Dr GK Abbott's Prescriptions...


  • the wet sheet must closely contact the body all over
  • The dry blanket must prevent air entering and thus chilling
  • "Warming-up" must occur promptly
  • Feet must be kept warm throughout the treatment. Use a Hot Water Bottle if reaction is slow.


  1. Cooling Pack
  2. Neutral Pack
  3. Heating Pack
  4. Sweating Pack

In Mania

  • apply at 5-18°C in agitated cases
  • pin pack on so patient not exposed
  • warm room
  • duration of several hours to all night if he sleeps
  • remove if becomes irritating
  • remove if not quiet in an hour, sponge and dry