Many years ago, I met an amazing physical therapist named Ashley Boyle . I saw her for a hip problem that I incurred while taking a belly-dance class with two friends of mine (I kid you not!). Ashley knows so much about healing the human body and she is well known for getting bodies back to normal functioning. After each session, she would place a heat-emanating machine over my hip; it had something to do with keeping the myofascial tissue pliable but I really cannot tell you the details of it, since I don't remember. I am forever grateful to Ashley (and the practice she was with at the time). Whenever I have any aches (female related, labor related, or not), I crave that heat feeling. So I was super excited when many years ago in a newsletter from Laughing Sage Wellness, Alissa Vitti wrote about the Hot Water Bottle.
Here is the excerpt from Laughing Sage Wellness (or click here for the link and pdf) and enjoy your new comfort in a bottle:
"Once you use a hot water bottle, you won’t know how you got along without it. It applies soothing heat therapy conveniently to any part of the body. When you heat a body part, your system sends more blood to that area. Local circulation increases, so your blood delivers more nutrients to the surrounding tissues. The blood and lymph vessels expand to help relieve congestion, tension, and stuck energy. The surrounding muscle fibers warm, loosen, and… ahhhhh… relax.
"These physiological responses to heat also cause your body to release endorphins, the body’s own “feel good” pain reliever. So while you bring healing to the area where you directly apply the hot water bottle, you also induce a state of deep relaxation for your whole body. Studies show that this “relaxation response” creates the best internal conditions for your body to heal itself naturally.
Fill a hot water bottle with warm to hot water from your sink (not boiling water).
Sit or lie comfortably and apply heat to desired area.
Wrap in a towel if initial heat feels too intense.
Enjoy for at least 30 minutes.
Hot water bottle will stay warm for up to 2 hours.
- Chest: relieves congestion, improves circulation in key area of lymphatic system, opens heart energy.
- Abdomen: improves digestion, relieves constipation, triggers deep relaxation, deepens sleep, relieves anxiety.
- Lower abdomen: pain relief for menstrual cramps, improves circulation to ovaries and uterus*; when used with castor oil pack helps to shrink fibroids and reduce PMS.
- Lower back: relieves aches and pains, warms kidneys and adrenal glands that are cold/deficient due to fatigue and burnout, triggers relaxation.
- Hips/Butt: relieves aches and pains, especially healing for women because our bodies store memories and emotions related to feminine experience in this area.
- Feet: warms and relaxes hard-working feet, creates groundedness and continued abdominal healing as it draws circulation and energy from upper to lower body.
*If you are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or you just had a baby, please consult with your midwife or doctor before applying heat directly to your uterus.