Psychiatric treatment/form of restraint made famous by the book "I Never Promised You a Rose Garden" it's also called a sheet pack, and works on two levels: it effectively immobilizes the patient while forcing the body to tranquilize itself. Its chief drawback is that it's labor-intensive and easily abused: you have to strip the person naked, get them into the pack, and monitor them closely while so encased for heart and/or breathing problems, as well as the obvious ones of excretion, etc. with some degree of sensitivity, which is pretty rare in public hospitals. (Its also illegal in many places, nowadays, for just that reason.)

Its main advantages are that its noninvasive, nondestructive of grey matter (unlike lobotomy, ECT, or neuroleptics), chills the patient out within half an hour (as opposed to 3-4 days with neuroleptic treatment) and...dare I say it? When done well, it feels good. (Believe me.)

Clinically, it's done with a big canvas wrapper, with leather straps and all, lined with a hospital cotton sheet dipped in warm water, and a towel. The person being so honored is first wrapped in the wet sheet, with the towel placed around their neck, and the canvas closely taco-wrapped around them and strapped down. What happens is due to thermogenesis: the body cools off from the water, and then makes heat for itself. Trapped by the canvas, the water in the sheet becomes warm and steamy within fifteen minutes or so -- which promotes sweating, which makes it even more warm and steamy, and the person underneath gets sleepy and calm, not unlike an endorphin high. Standard duration for this is from forty minutes (which is what I had in a spa in Mexico) to three hours.

You can try this at home, even without a wrapper, though in the first few minutes, it's damn nasty: put on your pyjamas wet, tuck yourself into bed, and don't move. With just blankets (you'll need more covers than usual) it can be left on all night -- you'll awaken automagically warm and dry, if you didn't get up to pee or anything in the meantime, and you'll be pretty toasty while its working, too! With an extra pair of hands, you can put a cold compress on your head, and/or witch hazel over the eyes. A dose of niacin would more than likely help the result, and aromatherapy buffs can have a grand time devising packs for any occasion.

Happy experimenting, and be safe!

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