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a preventive treatment during which the individual parts of the body are rapidly rubbed with either a coarse cloth or a rubber sponge moistened in water whose temperature, at first 32°–30°C, is gradually lowered to 20°–18°C. Sponge baths cause the body to feel warm, refreshed, alert, and infused with strength. They are used to strengthen the body and increase its resistance to colds. They are also prescribed for overfatigue and neurasthenia, between rheumatic attacks, and when the body is weakened after disease.