The History of Heat Therapy

The History of Heat Therapy
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Who invented the heating pad? The history of heat therapy: that’s what we will be talking about in this post. Before we jump to that discussion, let us first look at heat therapies and heating pads.

Muscle pains, muscle cramps, and stiff joints all connote pain. It can be an occasional pain, or it can be constant. There are different reasons we experience such pain, including overuse of the muscles, staying in one position for a long time, tension, stress, and minor injuries.

Some muscle pains may be a symptom of a medical condition that needs to be checked by your doctor. The pain can be categorized as mild, severe, or in worst cases, disabling. It can also be a localized pain or something that affects the whole body.

Every time we feel pain, the first thing that comes to mind is what will be the easiest way to relieve the pain. Do we take oral medications? Do we use pain-relieving cream? Will hot therapy work? You can try all that, but for now, let’s talk about heat therapy and heating pads.

What Is Heat Therapy?

Heat therapy, or sometimes called thermotherapy, is the kind of treatment that uses heat applied to the target area to stimulate circulation. It relaxes stiff joints, lessens pain and swelling, and eases muscle spasms.

Therapeutic heating is popular because muscle pains react well to heat in a positive way. It is an inexpensive way to treat muscle spasms and other everyday aches and pains. Aside from treating body aches and stiffness of the muscles, heat therapy can be used for relaxation as well.

In every advantage comes the disadvantage. It will always be a two-way street. Same goes with heat therapy. It does not work for everyone. Thermotherapy is not allowed for people with fresh injury, infection, or swelling.

The Benefits of Heat Therapy

Heat therapy offers warmth, comfort, and relaxation to the body. It relieves muscle soreness caused by over-exertion. It can also help in easing the pain and healing injuries faster by increasing the blood flow during heat therapy sessions.

Heat therapy can reduce inflammation and relieves muscle spasms. You can get the most out of a heat therapy session if you do it in the right amount of time.

15 to 20 minutes of a heat therapy session for minor aches and pains will get a positive result. Thirty minutes to two hours is the recommended therapy session time for moderate to severe strain or spasm.

Wrong sleeping position can cause stiffness, especially when combined with some stretching exercises, and heat therapy can help. Also, heat therapy lessens the pain of menstrual cramps. Additionally, heat therapy using heating pads will relieve muscle pain and body.

What is A Heating Pad?

A heating pad is a pad or cushion designed to warm aching body parts to ease pain, stiffness, cramps, and more. It is made of a sealed fabric with insulated resistance wires specially designed to resist electricity flow. It has electrical connections and regulators inside waterproof housings.

For finishing touches, they will cover the assembled heating pad with a soft fabric that looks pleasing to the eyes and feels comfortable on the skin. The heating pad’s warmth can decrease body tension and promotes flexibility of the muscles and tissues in your body.

The History of Heat Therapy

The history of heat therapy is quite an intriguing topic. We will try to get all the facts related to heat therapy and heating pads so that we can thank them in providing us with an affordable and accessible pain reliever.

The Person Behind Heating Pads

The first heating pad was called “El Warmo.” It was invented in 1911 by a man named Earl Richardson in Ontario, Canada. He was a worker for the local utility company in their area.

He was an ingenious man who likes to experiment on things. In fact, he also invented other household items that we still use today.

The History of Heat Therapy

Now we have answered the question who invented the heating pad? The history of heat therapy or when and how it started is another thing we need to understand.

  • The Greeks and Egyptians

According to history, heat therapy treatments date back to the time of the ancient Greeks and Egyptians.

Begun in 500 BC, the early physicians from Egypt have rules for the sun and used its rays for heat therapy. They also use mud baths, thermal baths, and hot air caverns from volcanic sources.

Hippocrates once said, “Give me the power to produce fever, and I will cure all disease.” He gave this statement in recognition of the power of heat and its ability to heal.

They were also using sand, hot water, and steam in treating pain and muscle spasm. It was also this time that they were using heat therapies to heal skin problems, fever, illness, and disease.

The use of heat therapy as a natural way of treating a sickness continued through the years. Until now, most people believe that the easiest way for a sick person to get well is to break out a sweat.

  • The Native Americans

The Native Americans widely used hot vapor baths in treating fevers. They also use the same method to cure neuritis, rheumatism, and arthritis. The practice of sweat baths to heal any illness is still observed by this group up to this day.

  • The Japanese, Chinese, and English

The Japanese and Chinese empires also used heat therapy using hot springs during the 16th century. Some people use heated stones to treat different ailments like urinary tract infections, syphilis, rheumatism, and arthritis.

They even use this method to treat digestive and respiratory problems. On the other hand, people from England also observed bathing in hot springs during those days.

In our modern world, the Arthritis Foundation still considers that the use of natural cold and heat therapies are still the most simple and yet the most impressive and efficient way to heal swelling and arthritis.

Final Thoughts

We have invented a lot of medications and medical equipment over the years, but we cannot deny the fact that the old and tested natural healing methods still exist and observed by many. Not just because it has been part of their culture, but because it works. Sometimes, it is good to go back to what is essential and straightforward.

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