Fomentek Hot/Cold Water Bag Application Techniques | HEALTHandMED
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The Fomentek Hot/Cold Water bag is a great product to use to alleviate pain using either cold or heat therapy, depending on the type of pain you’re experiencing. The Fomentek bag can be applied using a wide variety of techniques:

Fill the bag 1/3 full with warm water, then place it crossways near one end of the massage table with the fill spout facing down. Have the client lay supine with just enough of the bag sticking out above the shoulders to reach to the top of the client’s ears, thereby supporting the skull with the rounded edge of the Bag . The therapist then stands beside the table and inserts the hand closest to the head of the table into the upper corner of the Fomentek™ bag with the palm up. The client’s body will rise slightly as the therapist’s hand and arm enter the bag, due to the increased volume.

As the therapist’s arm enters the bag, the therapist may use the other hand to gently support the client’s head, allowing the client to relax the neck muscles. The therapist then pushes his or her arm deeply into the Fomentek™ bag, then explores the client’s back with the fingertips, feeling for “knots”. After briefly pausing at each position, the therapist relaxes his or her hand and moves to another position of the back and repeats the frictioning procedure several times across the back and upper shoulders. The therapist can continue frictioning with the Fomentek™ bag in this position, move on to other muscle groups while the client soaks up the heat, or proceed immediately to the next Fomentek™ bag assisted technique, hyperextension of the spine.

Hyperextension of the Spine

With the client supine – on a large Fomentek bag which is vertically aligned with the table, the therapist stands at the head of the table. The therapist, with palms up, pushes his/her hands into the two top corners of the Fomentek bag as far as possible, pushing both hands toward the lumbar region. The motion should be smooth and steady. When the fingertips reach the small of the back, the therapist cups the hands for a couple of seconds allowing the fingertips to come into contact with the back through the Fomentek bag. The hands are then withdrawn about one inch and the maneuver is repeated. This sequence of cupping-relaxing-withdrawing-cupping-relaxing-withdrawing continues until the therapist’s fingertips have reached the upper thoracic or lower cervical region. The technique should be repeated several times as necessary until the spine articulates freely. It is not uncommon for the therapist to hear “oooh’s” and “aaah’s” of delight as the work is done. If the therapist chooses to “strip” the muscles upward in a continuous move, it is recommended that a few drops of massage oil be put into the Fomentek bag every third filling. Oil serves to lubricate the walls of the bag which slide against each other when employing this technique.

Continuing the Massage

By now the client’s back muscles have been heated and kneaded, flexed and relaxed. The client feels warm and is truly prepared to lie quietly as the therapist addresses other muscle groups. The Fomentek bag can, at this point, be placed beneath the client’s chest or abdomen (prone). Many clients enjoy the luxury of having their feet wrapped in a Fomentek bag during massage. If, on the other hand, the therapist wishes to continue the massage without the Fomentek bag, it is a simple matter to place the still warm Fomentek bag aside. Storing the Fomentek bag in a styrofoam ice chest between sessions enables the Fomentek bag to retain its heat for the next client.

Upper Back Heating and Frictioning

Fill the large Fomentek bag 1/3 full with warm water (instructions included). Place the large Fomentek bag crossways near one end of the massage table with the filled spout facing down. Have the client lay supine with just enough of the Fomentek bag sticking out above the shoulders to reach to the top of the ears, thereby supporting the skull with the rounded edge of the Fomentek bag. The therapist then stands beside the table and inserts the hand closest to the head of the table into the upper corner of the Fomentek bag with the palm up. As the therapist’s hand and arm enter the Fomentek bag, the client’s body rises slightly due to the increased volume. As the therapist’s arm enters the Fomentek bag, the therapist may use the other hand to gently support the client’s head. This skin contact and slight pressure reassures the client and gives the client “permission” to relax the neck muscles. The next step is for the therapist to push his/her arm deeply into the Fomentek bag.

Now the therapist, gently at first, explores the client’s back with the fingertips feeling for areas of greater density or “knots” as they are sometimes called. After briefly pausing at each position, the therapist relaxes his/her hand and moves to another position of the back and repeats the frictioning procedure several times across the back and upper shoulders.

By providing soothing heat, touching the areas that hurt, and acknowledging by thought and movement, the therapist communicates with the client that the therapist knows where the client hurts … so much better than waiting until the end of the massage to address back pain. The therapist can continue frictioning with the Fomentek bag in this position, move on to other muscle groups while the client soaks up the heat, or proceed immediately to the next Fomentek bag assisted technique, hyperextension of the spine.