E1 Hydroculator: What’s a Stationary Heating Unit?
A stationary heating unit such as the E1 Hydroculator by Clinical Health Services is a thermostatically-controlled water bath for placing hot steam packs. This product is used to heat and reheat of packs which can in turn be employed to provide deep, relieving, and moist heat therapy. The pack is immersed in the hydroculator, removed, encased in an especially designed terry cover, and applied on a patient. The pack eventually cools down but since it can be reheated by the E1, it can be used up to hundreds of times.
One way to look at a hydroculator is to see it as a vessel, or vehicle, for a hot pack. Obviously it is the pack that delivers the healing properties of heat therapy, but without a hydroculator the hot pack would be as useless as the moon would be dark without the sun. Similarly, the E1 would be empty and purposeless without a hot pack. Given that there is such a symbiotic relationship between one and the other, knowing what exactly a hot pack is can help us better understand what a hydroculator is.
A hydroculator pack is filled with silica gel and impregnated in hot water to deliver extended moist heat. This pack is ideal for situations requiring penetrating heat, in particular conditions that benefit from weight plus heat, for example hyperkyphosis. A new pack may be very dry, so it is advisable to pre-soak it in lukewarm water for an hour before heating it in the E1 Hydroculator by Clinical Health Services for at least 20 minutes. In the meantime, a folded towel may be placed on the part of the body to be treated. The pack itself may be wrapped in towels or in the aforementioned special cover.
When not in use, the hot pack should be returned to the hydroculator where it will remain heated, clean and ready to be used again. Keep in mind that heating and reheating will result in water loss due to evaporation, water should be added on a daily basis. The E1 is made with stainless steel, but rusting is still a possibility if the proper maintenance measures are not taken. The unit should be cleaned -and the tank drained- every two weeks, but bleach or cleaners containing chlorine should never be used, nor should steel wool or a carbon steel brush be used to clean the E1. Following the manufacture’s maintenance instructions will ensure that the hydroculator will be stationary not only in the literal meaning of the word, but also in the sense that it will always be there when needed.