Sometimes, after a long day of cooking oats, we just want to kick our feet up and relax. When muscle pain was starting to get in the way of our relaxation time, we decided to sew soothing therapy bags filled with oat groats! If we can make therapy bags so can you, but fair warning – you will have to get a little crafty.
For anyone unfamiliar with therapy bags, they’re those handy little fabric bags, filled with grains, that you can heat or chill to provide instant, soothing relief for aches, pains, sprains and cramps. They are as useful as they are easy to make – if you can sew two squares together, you can make a therapy bag.
When choosing your fabric, look for something that feels nice on the skin and has a tight weave. We like 100% cotton for this project – quilting cottons, pillow ticking and chambray are all great choices. This is also terrific way to upcycle a stray pillowcase or a piece of clothing that has outlived its usefulness.
To make your oat therapy bag: cut two squares or rectangles of fabric and sew them, right sides together, leaving an opening for turning and filling. Turn your bag right side out, fill two-thirds full with oat groats, and hand sew the opening shut. That’s it!
If you’re not a sewer, no problem – simply fill a clean tube sock with oats and tie the opening shut. (It’s not as pretty, but it works!)
To Use Your Oat Therapy Bag
Cold: Place your therapy bag in the freezer for at least an hour to chill. Remove from freezer, place on the affected area and relax.
Hot: Place your therapy bag in the microwave, alongside a mug half-filled with water. Heat on high for 30 seconds to 1 minute, being careful not to overheat the bag and/or scorch the contents. Remove from microwave and shake well to distribute the warm oats. Check to make sure it’s not too hot, then place on the affected area and relax. (Note: microwave ovens vary – use caution when heating your therapy bag.)
After you have used your oat therapy bag for a while, you may want to replace the oats. Simply open up the hand-stitching, empty the bag and refill with fresh oat groats.
Please remember, oat therapy bags are comforting and relaxing, but are not a substitute for medical care. Please seek medical attention for severe muscle pain. Hot or cold bags should never be used on infants.