05 Dec 5 great body hacks with your hottie!
5 Dec 2022
Did you know that your hot water bottle can do a lot more than keep you warm? If you use certain body hacks with your hottie, it can have some amazing healing effects. Applying heat to the differing parts of the body causes the blood vessels to dilate and promotes blood circulation. This increased blood flow delivers oxygen and nutrient rich blood to the targeted area. This physiological function is crucial to help relax muscles, soothe aches and pains, heal damaged tissue, and maintain healthy function of the cells. Chinese medicine also states that warmth is ideal to promote optimum flow of Qi and Blood throughout the body. Specific applications of heat are also used to help nourish organs and structures that need support.
Here are our 5 top body hacks:
Female reproductive support
From a Chinese medicine perspective, cold lodged in the reproductive organs is often the culprit for nasty cramping during menstruation. Cold in this region may also have a negative effect on fertility. Heat promotes the circulation of blood, which helps menstrual blood flow efficiently and aids pain relief by relaxing the muscles of the uterus. Warming the reproductive organs will also ensure that they are receiving the blood and nutrients needed for prenatal support. Applying a hot water bottle daily to your lower abdomen will help facilitate these functions. If you experience challenging periods, applying a hottie before and during menstruation can provide relief. If trying to conceive, we recommend only applying hot water bottles to the abdomen on Day 1 of the cycle, up to Ovulation, as to avoid interfering with fertilisation and implantation at the time of ovulation.
In Chinese medicine, the Kidneys/Adrenals are the foundation of reproduction, ageing and the storage point of our life force (or Jing). The Kidneys/Adrenals play a huge role in maintaining the balance of Yin and Yang in our body. They also govern our bones and joints, manage our body fluids, and the health of our urinary system. Placing a hot water bottle across your lower back (just where the rib cage ends and the lower back begins) will help support the function of the Kidneys and Adrenals This can be done daily for 20 minutes, or when you experience lower back tension or weakness.
Post cupping or gua sha treatment
As mentioned previously, heat assists the body’s blood flow, which delivers more oxygen, white blood cells and essential nutrients to an area. This will also encourage the flushing of any toxins or waste products that were lifted during a cupping or gua sha treatment. It will also help soothe and heal the muscles where the cupping or gua sha was applied. Apply heat daily for 20 mins for 5-7 days to support this area, and until cupping or gua sha marks have disappeared.
Last trimester of pregnancy
Keeping the sacrum warm in the last trimester of pregnancy is beneficial and leads to favourable outcomes during labour. Keeping the sacrum warm influences the major nerves connecting to the reproductive system and helps regulate their proper function.
We recommend placing a hot water bottle on the sacrum for 20 mins 3-5 times a week during the last trimester of pregnancy.
Aid healthy digestion
A healthy digestive system requires warmth to break down and absorb nutrients from our food. Heat facilitates digestion by encouraging the production of hydrochloric acid in the Stomach and secretion of enzymes by the Pancreas and improves blood flow to the digestive muscles and organs. Warming the abdomen can help soothe the area and relieve constipation. We recommend using your hot water bottle on your abdomen after eating for 20-30 mins to relieve bloating, constipation and gas. If you experience abdominal pain, you can apply your hot water bottle to your abdomen at any time. We do not recommend this if you suffer from acid reflux or heartburn. An alternate strategy is to place a hot water bottle in the mid back (below the scapulae, but above the end of the rib cage), which according to Chinese medicine will connect the effects of heat and warmth to the digestive organs.
We hope you have learned some new ways to use your hottie!
Simple and effective heat therapy body hacks!
Please note that hot water bottles may cause burns if placed directly to the skin or if they are not closed correctly or can burst if not well maintained or old. Please always use caution and care when using your hot water bottle. If you experience any pain using your hot water bottle, please discontinue use immediately.
If you have any questions or need further care for various health concerns related to our discussions above, please feel free to book in with one of our practitioners, Peter or Veronika, for Acupuncture or Chinese herbal medicine to support your health!