This article provides validation of what women have known for centuries– heating pads are good for you when you’re
under the weather feeling like crap.
The old wivesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ tale that heat relieves abdominal pain, such as colic or menstrual pain, has been scientifically proven by a UCL (University College London) scientist, who will present the findings today at the Physiological SocietyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s annual conference…[He] found the molecular basis for the long-standing theory that heat, such as that from a hot-water bottle applied to the skin, provides relief from internal pains, such as stomach aches, for up to an hour.
It’s actually an interesting study, which examined how certain pain receptor proteins are inactivated by heat receptor proteins. The scientist went beyond the “heat makes things better” of what we already knew, to the WHY of how heat helps.
However, I think it’s long past time the phrase “old wives tale” was put to rest. (and the fact that I recently got married, and I am actually an old wife now, has nothing to do with this, damn it!!)
Alternatively, I demand that any questionable advice about cars, home stereos, or RPGs be termed an “old fart’s tale”. Gender stereotyping for all. (What’s good for the Goose is good for the Geezer?)
I didn’t have much success finding the origin of the phrase “old wives’ tale”–I found half a dozen different sources. There are novels and movies with that name, but none seem definitive. I ask the Skepchick readers for research assistance!