“ Brand: Essential Aids / Type: Natural wheatbag wrap that soothes aches and pains / Dosage Form: Wraps „
Aches and pains can be a miserable intruder into daily life. Period pain, joint pain, IBS tummy pain and back pain all hit me from time to time and over the years I've developed a range of strategies and an arsenal of products to help me through and ease my symptoms. My wheat bag from Essential Aids is one of my go-to products for all three kinds of pain.
I bought my wheat bag direct from the Essential Aids website several years ago for around £7. I've seen generic ones in the shops for less but they've all seemed quite flimsily made. The Essential Aids one is covered in a funky tartan material, although mine's blue/green, not the red shown in the image above.
The wheat bag is approximately 6cm x 40cm and weighs around 1kg. It's full of wheat granules meaning it's floppy and easy to form around whichever part of my body needs it.
The bags come either with or without lavender. I chose to purchase one without scent because fragrances can sometimes trigger my asthma.
The website advises that the wheat bag can be used both cold (from the fridge or freezer) or warm, but I've only ever used it the latter way as my body pains always respond better to heat than cold.
My wheat bag is a lifesaver. When I'm in a particularly bad phase of pain I can use it for hours at a time. I heat my wheat bag in our microwave. Trial and error has taught me that exactly 2 minutes in our Category D microwave heats it to the perfect temperature.
After heating I apply the wheat bag to whatever needs it: my pelvis for period pain, my tummy for IBS pain, my lower back, my shoulders or my hip. The wheatbag stays in place with ease and releases its heat gradually into my body. I estimate that a 2 minute microwave heat-up gives me a good 45 minutes before the heat has ebbed to almost ambient room temperature, more if I cover it with a jumper, a tea towel or tuck it under my clothes. The fabric is stitched well, and is sturdy and soft, adding to the comforting qualities of the product.
Fortunately I didn't learn this lesson directly, but once when working in an open-plan office a colleague heater her wheat bag (of a virtually identical design) for too long - about five minutes I think. The bag didn't catch fire, but my goodness it stank out the office and surrounding corridors! Ever since I've always kept a very careful eye on how long I heat mine. I don't know how much of a fire risk it actually is, but the results of overheating are very unpleasant.
As it is my bag sometimes has a toasty smell, which happens when the wheat inside the bag has got too dry. This is easily solved by sprinkling a little water onto the bag before heating in the microwave. The water evaporates and circulates into the bag, rehydrating the wheat inside.
This wheat bag is an excellent product that I wouldn't be without. It even goes on holiday with me!
I'm a big fan of heat and cold for helping with pain, and because of this I own a number of microwavable heat packs. I also like to use them instead of a hot water bottle at night time, and one of those which I have is this wheat bag from Essential Aids.
This particular wheat bag is made from a thick tartan coloured material, and is one of my favourites. It's not really to do with the colouring of the material, but the thickness and feel of the material is certainly a factor in making it one of my favourites, but the most important factor is that inside, the bag is divided into 4 pockets which means that unlike with many wheat bags, the wheat inside doesn't slide all to one end when you place it in position, particularly if you're using it for your neck or back when you want the wheat (and therefore the heat) to be evenly spread out.
To use these bags hot, you place them in the microwave and then heat in short bursts of around 30 seconds taking it out and shaking it around before placing it back in for its next burst of heating. When your bag reaches the desired heat level, take it out and place it on your back, knee, neck etc. to help with pain.
To use these cold, you need to place them in the freezer, and I've found that it's best to place them inside a plastic bag first so that the material doesn't get damp from the freezing process. I don't often use any of mine cold, and I don't believe I've ever done so with this particular bag, however, I'd say that you probably need to leave it in the freezer for several hours before using it.
Although many wheat bags come pre-scented, this one doesn't, and again this is another reason why I like it. Although I enjoy the smell of lavender, and actually use it in a carrier oil such as sweet almond, as a rub, I don't really like it on my wheat bags as I do think that the smell can be rather overpowering when heated up.
In terms of holding the heat, this one does seem to hold its heat pretty well. I'd say its almost as good for that as my original 'hotpak' wheat bag, and quite a bit better than some I have which are rice filled not wheat filled. It's hard to give a definitive length of time that the heat will stay in the bag because if I use it when sat downstairs it doesn't last anything like as long as it does if I'm tucked up in a warm bed. On average though, I'd say the heat can last between 45 minutes and 2 hour before you'll want to think about re-warming the bag depending on the circumstances.
I have to say I'm not sure what my wheat bag cost as it was a gift, but those I can see on Amazon sold by Essential Aids seem to be selling for £14.70 plus postage. Now although this is quite high compared to some that you can buy, I do think that if I was looking for another I might well be willing to pay it because it is one of the best I own.
My general feeling would be that this IS a product that's well worth buying despite its higher price tag. Yes, there are cheaper options out there which are nearly as good, but not many which are AS good. This one holds the heat well, it has divisions within the bag so that the wheat within it stays spread out well, and the material that it's made from has a nice feel to it.
These wheatbags are used for soothing aches and pains and can be used hot or cold. They are simply a bag of wheat which you can place anywhere you have a pain. This product states it doesn't have any lavender but I have one that looks exactly the same that already has the lavender on it to help you relax and many others already have this too.
The bag is tartan coloured, although you can get plain ones or other patterns. The bag is quite long and thin, but you can always fold it in two if needed. The bag itself is soft so feels comfortable when on you. It has wheat inside which you can move around to even it out or make it how you want.
How it works:
You can either freeze the bag or put it in the microwave. Personally I always prefer to heat mine up and with the lavender in it it is more relaxing this way. The wheatbag I have states to heat it up in the microwave for no more than 1 minute 30 seconds, which seems to be enough. It tends to feel a bit damp if you do it any longer. It will stay hot for quite a while, which is good although the exact length of time will vary between makes and how long you heat it for.
Once heated or frozen you can place it where you have pain. So if, for example, you have neck ache you can place it around your neck. After a while these can feel quite heavy though and when you take it off it'll probably feel a bit odd until you get used to not having the extra weight. I've found it is best to move it around a bit or take it off and place it back on a few minutes later or it can end up making my neck ache again.
I'm not a big fan of lavender, but I do find that it does make it more relaxing and, when heated, it does usually make the aching/pain a bit better. I've never tried freezing it although I imagine it would work much like an ice pack and would also help the aching/pain.
If you do heat it up in the microwave it is best to do when you won't be using the microwave for a while or just after cooking food as it makes the microwave smell of lavender and can end up making your food smell a bit of lavender too.
These aren't meant to perform miracles. You won't find the pain vanishes after a few minutes and stays away. However, the do help soothe the pain and help you relax. This is a good product. At Amazon they are currently about £10 which I think is over priced, but you can find them cheaper elsewhere so it is worth looking around.