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The Hot Water Bottle: Back to Articles
by Lauren Feder, M.D.

Excerpt from Dr. Feder's, Natural Baby & Childcare

Warmth is key to effective healing for many conditions, though most of us do not make full use of its soothing, therapeutic qualities. We all have hot water bottles buried somewhere in a cabinet; now is time to pull it out, dust it off, and if you cannot find yours, buy one! This part of our medicine chest gets used for most of our illnesses.

To prepare, fill the water bottle midway with hot water. Standing by a sink, I fold the hot water bottle in half to expel the air, with any excess water spilling into the sink, then I securely fasten. Expelling the air helps the bottle retain its heat.

Never place a hot water bottle directly on the skin, but wrap it instead in a towel. The hot water bottle can be used anywhere for comfort, though its most common applications are next to a painful ear or on the chest, tummy, and feet. To warm feet, secure the water bottle around the feet with towels for five to ten minutes until they are warm. Hot water bottles can also be used to warm a cold bed before going to sleep.

An electric heating pad is not a replacement for a hot water bottle. Avoid using an electric heating pad, as studies have linked exposure to low level electromagnetic radiation from these devices to cancer and other health conditions.



 
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