I have to be honest with you… people suggested I try moist heat for a long time before I actually did it.
Frankly, buying a new heating pad seemed unnecessary when I thought I was getting the same benefits from taking hot showers, or spending time in the hot tub at my gym. After all, both of those things involve hot water and some steam. It’s the same thing, right?
There is something uniquely awesome about a heating pad holding all that steam against your skin.
Steam is, by its very definition, hotter than water in its liquid state. Sure, there is steam in the bathroom when you’re taking a shower, but it’s floating all over the place and out through the cracks around the door. The heating pad traps it right against your skin, where it’s harder to escape.
For this reason, a moist heating pad can actually be better than a hot shower or a hot tub.
Granted, it’s not as much of a whole-body experience, but if you are trying relax one specific part of your body, this is what you want. Try it… you’ll see what I mean.
I just love it because it’s so quick, easy, and cheap. A spa in a 12″ x 24″ rectangle.
Here is the heating pad that I use:
The Sunbeam King Size with Ultra Heat Technology. (I got mine from Amazon, which seems to have the best price).
At first, I was a little nervous about combining water and electricity, but the inner cover is completely waterproof. This is what it looks like with the outer cover removed:
It’s very important to inspect this inside part, to make sure there are no cracks in the plastic. As long as it’s intact, it’s waterproof.
You add moisture to the sponge that goes inside.
I’ll be honest with you… I don’t have a picture of the sponge. Because I lost mine. But it’s no big deal because I’ve found that wet paper towels draped over the inside cover work just as well.
Here are some steps which I’ve found make it the easiest to use a moist heating pad:
1) Put a towel down on your bed/chair before you get started. Not to be gross, but you want your skin to be dripping by the time the thing’s really heated up.
2) Make sure there aren’t any cracks on the inside cover before you use it. It’s only waterproof when the electrical bits are all sealed up.
3) When you’re done using the heating pad, be sure to wipe the moisture up right away. When water evaporates from your body, it actually takes heat with it. (This is why sweating helps to cool us down). In the winter, you will be cold if you leave the steam on your skin to dry up on its own.
Buying a moist heating pad:
Although you don’t have to take my recommendation, be sure you do buy one that says “moist heat” on the box.
And also… make sure you get one with an automatic shut-off! Moist heat is so relaxing, you will probably fall asleep at least once.
So… that’s all for now.
If you have any questions, you can leave a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
“Hot Tub Water” picture courtesy of pacfolly on Flickr.