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Experiencing Life Awaken

Complementary Health based on the work of Rudolf Steiner
Located in Byron Shire, Australia

Quark Chest Compress

A quark chest compress is the application of quark cheese warmed to body temperature, spread on a cloth that is then folded over the cheese into a poultice shape, laid across the chest and kept warm.

The quark has a drawing effect on fluid in the breasts and chest cavity. It creates a space for breathing and helps to bring equilibrium to the body’s rhythms.

The compress can be used daily when fluid is ‘caught’ on the chest in conditions such as mastitis and pneumonia. It is also useful on a regular basis as preventative health care to help harmonise the Life Sense and Balance Sense.

Precaution: Contains dairy. Do not use upon persons with an allergy to lactic acid.

Quark is European style of cottage cheese. In Australia Paris Creek Farms produce quark. Quark is the term for the firm curds that separate from the whey in the process of separating soured milk. It is this separation that helps to draw out excess fluid and soothe inflammation from the body. The compress remains on for up to 4 hours whilst the quark dries out. Low fat quark will dry out more quickly than full fat. Through practice one can decide upon using full or low fat. The quantity required is 250g (1/2 lb) for a child-size chest and about twice that for an adult.

The quark is applied to one end of cloth in a layer about 5mm thick then the other end is folder over the quark to form a ‘package’ or poultice. Prepare it in such a way that only one layer of cloth will be between the cheese and the chest. The finished size of the finished poultice is going to be about 15cm x 25cm (5 x 10in) on the average person. Though sometimes a full back and front wrap with larger cloths may be more effective.

Warm the poultice gently and evenly to body temperature between hot water bottles before applying to the chest. Some people use the oven to warm the cloth, and others prefer to warm the quark while it is still in the container by using a double boiler, then spreading it over the cloth. When the cheese is brought to room temperature prior to warming it will only take a few minutes between hotties to bring it to body temperature. Take care not to overheat the quark because it will seperate too much and also be too hot on the body. It should not reach over 40 degrees celsius.

This can be a messy and smelly compress if the cheese leaks. So have enough bedding protection to catch any drips. The compress poultice is applied directly onto the skin of the chest then towels or fabric wrapped around the chest and fixed into position with safety pins or by putting on an old singlet that will fit firmly over the chest.

The temperature of the cheese should feel soothing and warm to the person. Keep it warm with hot water bottles until it ‘dries out’; the solids and liquid will separate. The solids will stay in the cloth and the liquid will soak into the cloth and /or drain out. This usually takes at least an hour. It may be applied to a child at bedtime then quietly taken off later in the evening.

 Please refer to Compress Basics if you are unfamiliar with the technique and importance of wrapping and rest.