Autumn is here, so it’s time for the Physio to get the hydro-collator fired up!

A very relaxing way of relieving tension and pain in stiff muscles, joints and ligaments

Haven’t we had a fabulous Summer. One of the things I’ve enjoyed the most about this Summer has been watching the children on the Close where we live playing outside …  We’ve lived on this Close for 17 years and, for the first time, the younger children that live on the Close were able to play outside during the School holidays.

Day after day, they were out on their bikes and scooters, or just sitting for hours on the lawns chatting and playing games. They looked happy and glowing with health due to the fresh air and the constant running around. So different from the sickly, pale and sluggish children I observed a few months earlier. I hope that this Autumn and Winter they will get wrapped up and still play outside instead of stuck in their homes in front of the tvs and computers.

However, they are now back at School; the days are getting cooler and the nights are drawing in. That can only mean one thing – Kevin, the Physiotherapist at the Surgery, will be getting out his Hydro-collator. What’s that I hear you say. It sounds like a piece of kit from the film Back To The Future, or Star Trek.

Actually it’s like a big electric kettle, filled with water into which Kevin suspends heavy cotton hessian packs filled with silicone. These packs are heated to 80 degrees C. They are then wrapped in towels and placed on stiff, painful muscles and joints etc. The most popular areas are the upper and lower back. Sounds a bit primitive doesn’t it. It doesn’t have ‘whistles and bells’ on it. There’s no fancy digital displays. It’s just an extremely effective way of introducing steamed heat into muscle tissue, and physiotherapists have been using them for decades.

These heated, moist cotton packs, when placed on stiff, tight, aching muscles, ligaments and joints have the effect of increasing circulation and blood flow. The fresh blood brings oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, ligaments and joints, thereby speeding up recovery and repair, and reducing pain.

Kevin massages specific circulatory enhancing oils into the muscles such as rosemary, peppermint, black pepper, lavender, camphor and eucalyptus, and ‘steams’ these oils in with the hot packs.

Kevin’s regular patients in and around Nottingham always look forward to him dusting off the hydro-collator in September. Not only does it do muscles, ligaments and joints a lot of good, but it’s also very relaxing especially on a cold Winter’s day. Then come April, it gets packed away again until the Autumn.

The hydro-collator packs seem to have fallen out of favour with many Physiotherapists, and I don’t know why because they are so relaxing and so effective at reducing pain and stiffness in muscles.


Linda Booth Naturopath & Registered Colonic Hydrotherapist

IBS, Digestive Health & Gut Disorders Clinic

Nottingham Health & Wellbeing Clinic

Plains View Surgery, Mapperley, Nottingham. NG3 5LB


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