So what is a rice sock? Well, just what it sounds like! You take an old (or new) clean tube sock and fill it with plain white rice. Then tie the end in a knot, tie it closed with a ribbon, piece of string or length of yarn, or sew it shut.
You can also sew a pouch. I have one that is about 4 inches by 6 inches and is perfect for "that time of the month" but also works great on the back of my neck for my (unfortunately) frequent tension headaches. Pouches can be made from any leftover fabric, a wash rag, or a recycled piece of clothing. Just make sure the weave is tight enough that the rice won't poke through.
You can also add things like dried lavender and chamomile or scented oil like tea tree or lavender for a soothing booster.
Either keep it in the freezer as an "ice" pack or store in a cool, dry place and place in the microwave to heat it. Do 30 seconds of heat at a time, then take it out of the microwave, turn over and place back in for another 30 seconds till it has reached the desired temperature. Before using, make sure to shake the rice around to evenly distribute the hot rice.
I have two tube sock kind (one warm, one in the freezer). They are great for laying across your back, wrapping around an ankle or knee and for laying across your neck.
Advantages to a rice sock:
- You can take them into bed with you without worrying about burning yourself or causing a fire (compare to an electric heating pad.
- The rice produces a moist heat that really gets deep into your muscles and joints.
- They are natural and reusable. If the sock gets dirty, simply empty the contents into a bowl, wash and dry the sock and pour the rice back in.
- The heat/cold lasts for about 30 minutes.
- Apply a cold one to a bee sting or fevered forehead for some great relief.
- Very helpful for back labor, ladies!
- Costs you next to nothing to make.
- Are even safe for children, the elderly, and those with sensitive skin.