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Paraffin Wax Therapy - Directions for Relieving Pain and Stiffness - Part 2 of 2

Posted Dec 13 2008 11:27pm
Recently, I described how Paraffin Wax can help reduce inflammation and stiffness in your joints, and how nurses and medics have been using this treatment for quite a while. I’ve had this treatment in physical therapy clinics before, and have left feeling much better.

However, you don’t have to go to a clinic to try out paraffin wax therapy — here’s how you can do this in your own home. If you suffer from arthritis, stiff fingers, or lingering injuries, this can provide relief:

First, you need to figure out how you’ll heat the wax. Physical therapists have industrial wax baths that heat the wax for you, or you can just use a double boiler at home. If you want a machine to control the temperature of the wax, you can purchase a wax bath from reputable retailers online such as Homedics, Linens&Things or Target.

To use a double boiler instead: Heat water in the lower pot, and melt the wax in the upper pot. Use a thermometer to check the temperature while it heats and keep your eye on it. You want it to be liquid, but not too hot, never boiling. Make sure you don’t burn yourself! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • a double boiler or wax heater machine
  • 2-4 lbs paraffin wax
  • 4 tbsp mineral or lanolin oil
  • a sheet of foil to wrap around your hand or wrist
  • a towel
  • about 15 minutes’ time

Here’s what to do:

  • Heat wax in the boiler slowly. You don’t want to bring it to a boil, just melt it until it’s liquid but not going to burn you. Use a thermometer to keep it at a decent temperature. If you bought one of those baths specifically for this treatment, then it will do that job for you.
  • When it’s reached the right temperature, turn it low or off.
  • Immerse your affected hand in the wax (check the temperature first!), and then remove it. Let it harden for a second.
  • Immerse it once or twice more, then let harden, to get a decent coating of wax. This holds the heat in your joints.
  • Wrap the entire hand in foil, and then wrap a towel around the foil, to hold in the heat.
  • Let it sit for 10 minutes. Watch tv, listen to the radio, or just relax. Enjoy the warmth!
  • Then, unwrap the foil and peel off the wax. You can dispose of it or save and reuse later.
  • Stretch or massage the hand to increase circulation even further, and enjoy the new range of motion you’ll feel.

If you have arthritis, sore joints, trigger thumb or other injuries, this may help ease the swelling and stiffness. It’s also important to heed the words of the doctor who said that a washerwoman might heal her arthritis simply by the constant activity of dunking her arms in warm water and the exercise of her job. You too can make sure to get enough exercise, and immerse your hands in warm water, to reduce symptoms and prevent future problems. Take care!

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