Simple way to make a Moist Heat Pack

An effective self care tool is a moist heat pack.  You can use moist heat packs at home to help reduce muscle tension from a long day on the computer or from working out.  People often ask we choose to use moist heat vs. dry heat.  Here are my thoughts:

  • Dry heat makes my skin itchy.
  • I don’t like to use an electric hot pack because it is adding more electric current to your field – I am a believer that we are exposed to enough electrical currents as is.
  • There is not an extra costs to making a moist heat pack – everyone has a couple of towels.
  • I have never seen anyone burn their skin when falling asleep with a moist heat pack – I’ve seen plenty “I feel asleep with my heating pad on” burns.
  • Moist heat seems to go deeper into the muscle.
  • Moist heat is a perfect complement to essential oils for muscle relaxation.

Three easy steps to making a moist heat pack.

1. Get your “hot” towel ready – usually a hand towel is a good size, but you can also use a face towel for small areas or a bath towel to cover a large area.  Fold it in thirds the long way or “hot dog” way.
Now roll it up like a sleeping bag.
(Add your essential oils to the skin if you are using them.)

2. You now need hot water…  you can use the hot water from the tap or heat up some water in a kettle.  You want the water Hot – but not so hot that it will burn your skin.
Hold your rolled “hot” towel over the sink or bowl and pour your hot water in the middle of the rolled “hot” towel.  Add water to both sides and squeeze it out.  The goal is for the water to be hot – but not so hot that you can’t manage squeezing it out with your hands.  Sometime I press it against the bowl and use my knuckles.  This my personal safety control – I know if my hands can’t touch it for a few seconds – then it is too hot!

3. The last step is to make a “Hot Pack Sandwich” by laying a dry towel on the skin, then unroll the hot moist towel and cover up the hot moist towel with another dry towel.  Sometimes you can use one bath dry towel and make a “Pita Bread Hot Pack”, (just fold it in half with the hot moist towel in between) saving on towels to wash.

Just allow that hot pack to cool off naturally.

While you are “cooking” you can snooze if you’d like – no worries about it getting too hot like electric hot pads.

I use this moist heat pack method at the end of Raindrop Technique – and everybody loves it!

Some Oils I like to use with a Tight Muscle Moist Heat Pack are:
Basil
Deep Relief Blend

 


Join the community of people who are taking steps to be Active, Pain Free and Healthy!

This is a Private Facebook group hosted by Brian and Christina.

Each week we focus on a different health concern such as the Rotator Cuff or Plantar Fasciitis.  You’ll learn basic and advanced foam rolling techniques for that muscle group.  The goal is to increase range of motion to reduce the chance of injury or support the work you are already doing with your PT, Fitness Trainer or Chiropractor.   We’ll also share other self care techniques to support that muscle group such a lymph drainage, essential oils and stretching.  Join here!  https://www.facebook.com/groups/YourHealthyStepsCommunity/

Back Pain and Massage

Whether it’s a pulled muscle from yoga class or an afternoon basketball game, or a long-term pain caused by injury, most of usNeuroMuscular Picture copy will come to know the beast that is called back pain. In fact, when it comes to low-back pain specifically, researchers say that 70-85 percent of the population will experience it at some point in their lives.

Experts say the cause of back pain can be the result of several factors. High on the list is stress. When our body is stressed, we literally begin to pull inward: the shoulders roll forward and move up to the ears, the neck disappears, and the back tightens in the new posture. “It’s an armoring effect,” says Angie Parris-Raney, a Denver-based massage therapist who specializes in deep-tissue massage and sports therapy. “That protective mode, with the muscles in flex, can even result in visceral problems,” she says, where the pain also affects internal organs.

In addition to stress, poor posture, bad ergonomics, lack of exercise, arthritis, osteoporosis, a sedentary lifestyle, overexertion, pregnancy, fibromyalgia, excess weight, and more can contribute to pain.

Those who suffer with back pain know there are no easy answers for chasing the pain away. Physical therapy has proven effective for some sufferers, as has chiropractic and acupuncture, but massage therapy is also making a name for itself when it comes to providing relief. In fact, research has shown that massage can be a great friend to the back-pain sufferer.

“Massage therapists have long treated low-back pain safely and effectively,” says Les Sweeney, president of Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals. “They have done so less expensively and less invasively than is possible with other treatments.”

In fact, a study by the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle found that massage was more effective at treating low-back pain than medication. Patients who received massage once a week for 10 weeks were more likely to report that their back pain had improved, and improvements were still present six months after the study. Other research from the University of Miami School of Medicine and the Touch Research Institute showed that massage can decrease stress and long-term pain, improve sleep and range of motion, and help lower the incidence of depression and anxiety that often accompanies back pain.

Whitney Lowe, owner of Oregon’s Orthopedic Massage Education and Research Institute, says the benefits of massage for back pain depend on the primary cause of the pain. “If it is predominantly muscular pain, then massage has a great deal to offer in reducing pain associated with chronic muscle tightness, spasms, myofascial trigger points, or those types of problems. If it’s something caused by a joint alignment problem or compression on a nerve, for example, then the role of massage might be somewhat different, such as helping to address the biomechanical dysfunctions, but not really being able to get pressure off the nerve itself.”

When it comes to back pain, there are a lot of options out there. Ultimately, massage, and its myriad benefits, might be a viable answer. For back pain sufferers, Parris-Raney says massage can work wonders. “Massage can help relax the body, relax the psyche, and improve a client’s range of motion and circulation to the affected tissues,” she says. Not only can massage help directly with the pain, but it can also make life a little easier, too. “Massage lets you tap into the parasympathetic system,” she says, “and tap into all the good hormones that help you sleep better and help you handle stressors along the way.” All of that helps in building a healthier back and a happier you.

Benefits of MassageFrom stress relief to skin rejuvenation, the benefits of massage are extensive. When it comes to managing back pain, however, there are some specific benefits touch therapy can offer:

–Improved circulation. With increased circulation comes faster recovery time for sore, overworked muscle tissues.
–Increased release of endorphins. The prevalence of these natural painkillers is boosted every time you have a massage. This can only help in managing pain.
–Improved movement. Range of motion and flexibility both get a boost with massage.
–Increased relaxation. When you relax, your muscles relax, thereby calming the pain.

Article by Karrie Osborn

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