A friend of mine started having a great deal of pain with her sciatic area. I have had surgery for sciatic issues previously and found that heat was a help for the pain. It relaxed my muscles that would tense from the pain. I thought that a little warmth might help my friend also, so I decided to make her a “Heat Seat”. It is sort of a takeoff on my Girl Scout “Sit-Upon”, from days of old. Have I ever mentioned that I was a Girl Scout for 25 years? From Brownies to Senior Scout, then Troop Leader for two Girl Scout troops.
This particular sit-upon can be heated in the microwave or chilled in the freezer to provide a cold treatment.
The way I made it is I used 100 percent cotton flannel fabric cut into two identical squares. Sew the squares together right sides together on three sides. On the fourth side, sew the edge together with two openings about two inches from each side. Sew the space between the two openings closed. This will leave two gaps on one side of the “pillow”. I use 100 percent cotton thread to sew the pillow and a triple stitch around the outside edge. The two circles in the image below indicate where the two openings should be.
Clip the four corners and turn the pillow right side out.
Sew a straight seam directly down the center between the two gaps, from side to side, making two attached “bags”. Use the openings to pour about two cups of rice in each opening. Sew a crosswise straight seam, making a box containing each portion of rice. Fill the remaining two compartments with about two cups of rice each and hand sew the openings closed. This makes four individual compartments of rice. It is important that each compartment be only filled partway with rice. The whole idea is that the rice be malleable when used.
It is important that only 100 percent cotton fabric and thread be used if the heat seat is going into the microwave. Polyester and other materials may burn or melt in the microwave. I actually caught myself starting to use dual duty thread to sew my openings closed! Good thing I remembered in time!
Here are the instructions for using the heat seat:
To heat: Place the heat seat in a microwave for 2 minutes maximum. Test for warmth. If needed, may be heated additionally in 1-minute increments. DO NOT OVERHEAT. May cause burns. Sit on or wrap intended area as needed. Reheat at 1-minute intervals as desired.
To chill: Place in plastic bag and into freezer for at least one hour. Remove from plastic bag and apply to intended area. May be stored in the freezer. If stored in the freezer, it is best to bring cushion to room temperature before heating. If time doesn’t allow for that, heat in two- minute intervals only.
As an added touch, I infused the rice with essential oils prior to using in the cushion. I used ordinary long grain rice. To infuse the rice, I used a cotton pad soaked with essential oils, in this case lavender and lemon, in a heavy plastic bag for about a week before I used the rice. My intention is to help the cushion smell a little less like rice pudding when used and to add some therapeutic properties.
I am happy to report that my friend is very, very happy with her cushion.
Until Next Time!