Years ago, my mom was kind enough to make me a homemade heating pad — a fabric tube filled with rice that I could pop in the microwave whenever my period cramps were out of control. It was a huge step up from my electric heating pad, which required me to sit near an outlet for hours on end.
I still use this DIY heating pad to battle my cramps and PMS, but it has its unique inconveniences. It's a little bulky, I have to carry it around with me, and it cools down within about 45 minutes. I get what I like to call "marathon cramps," so that means getting up and reheating my heating pad several times throughout the day.
These are the reasons why I was so excited to road-test Rael's Heating Patch for Menstrual Cramps ($6 for a 3-count box), essentially a thin, stick-on heating pad that is infused with botanicals like lemon balm, juniper berry, jasmine, rosehip, and dandelion root, to further decrease pain and reduce bloating — and it did not disappoint.
Meant to be applied on undergarments (not skin!), the patch stays warm for up to six hours, totally eliminating the need to constantly get up and reheat my heating pad, or just hold it awkwardly at my stomach.
As soon as the adhesive peel is removed from the patch and placed on your underwear (or lower back if you get period back aches!), it warms up to what the brand calls a "therapeutic temperature."
My favourite part about it – besides the relief from pain, obviously — is that the patch is incredibly thin, so it's not uncomfortable and doesn't feel bulky under my clothes.
For those of you questioning that six-hour promise, Rael's patch really does deliver. I was shocked how warm it still felt even after hour six. While I'm spending most of my days at home right now, I'm so happy to have found a portable heating pad option for those days when my to-do list is popping and sitting home on the couch isn't possible.
And honestly, can one have too many period pain home remedies? I think not.
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