Most of the time, I love my electric heating pad. It really helps relieve the frequent unexplained soreness that seems to be inherent to getting older. ;-) But even though I love my electric heating pad, there are some instances when it lets me down! For instance, I can’t use it while relaxing in my favorite recliner chair, because the cord isn’t long enough to reach an outlet from there. And even on the lowest heat setting, my electric heating pad gets really warm (uncomfortably so!) I often find myself wishing it had an even lower heat setting.
In those cases, I put my electric heating pad back in the closet and grab my homemade “heating pad” instead. You might already be familiar with this sort of heating pad, because it’s been around forever. (Maybe you even made one in Home Ec!) It’s essentially just a bag filled with rice, but it actually solves both of my complaints about my electric heating pad. Since you warm it up in the microwave, you can use it anywhere without worrying about the closest outlet. And you can control how hot it gets by microwaving it for more or less time!
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Today I’ll be showing you how to make one of these homemade heating pads, but with an added therapeutic twist. I like to add essential oils to mine, according to whatever ailment I’m dealing with at the time. The one I use the most frequently is infused with lavender and peppermint essential oils to help treat headaches and migraines! (We’ll get into more details about essential oils shortly.) These therapeutic heating pads are easy to make, easy to use, and are SO inexpensive to make. I think they’d make a lovely and thoughtful gift too! Here’s how you can make your own.
Related: 9 Simple Home Remedies for Headaches
Homemade Heating Pad
- Cotton dish towel (or any fabric of your choice)
- 4 – 5 cups rice
- Essential oils of choice*
- Sewing machine
*Note: There are plenty of different ways you can customize your “heating pad,” depending on which essential oils you use. Below I’ve included several different “recipes” of essential oils that can help treat or ease certain conditions. Use of my recipes, or use your own!
First, you’ll prepare the rice mixture that will get sewn into your bag. Pour the rice into a bowl or bag and add your essential oils. Stir the rice well with a wooden spoon, or roll it around in the sealed bag for a few minutes. This will ensure that the oils are evenly distributed throughout the rice. Set the prepared rice aside.
Next, cut your dish towel or fabric into two pieces of the same size. My finished pouched ended up being about 6″ x 10″, but you can make yours bigger or smaller.
Place the right sides of the fabric together, then sew 3 of the sides to form a pouch. On the remaining open side, sew in from the edges while leaving a 3-4″ opening in the center.
Turn the pouch inside-out by pulling the fabric through the opening, then pour in the prepared rice mixture from earlier.
Finally, sew or hand stitch the opening closed. Make sure to seal it up well so that your rice won’t fall out!
Oil Blends For Your Heating Pad
Here are a few different blends that you can add to the rice you put into your heating pad. If you want to make your own custom oil blend, just aim to use about 10 drops of oil in total!
For Menstrual Cramps
- 4 drops peppermint essential oil
- 2 drops frankincense essential oil
- 2 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 2 drops cypress essential oil
For Joint Pain
For Back Pain
How To Use Your Homemade Heating Pad
Place your heating pad in your microwave for 15-30 seconds, just to warm it up and activate all those beneficial oils. Then lay the heating pad across your body wherever there’s pain or discomfort, and relax! Let your heating pad work it’s magic for at least 15-20 minutes, or longer if you prefer. Use as needed for quick and easy relief!