Heat has long been used to ease muscle tension and pain. It helps increase blood flow to the affected area. It may also reduce muscle spasms and increase flexibility and range of motion. Applying heat offers a myriad of health benefits to the body. After an intense workout or a stressful day, you usually end up with muscle aches and stiffness. The best way to loosen those knotted muscles is through heat therapy. After examining the various benefits of heat therapy in massage, you would like to have a soothing massage with heat therapy option.
What is a heat therapy?
Heat therapy also called thermotherapy or warmth therapy is the method of treat by using heat. It applying heat on a specific part of the party to relieve muscle pains and open veins for better blood flow. This type of treatment is very popular and comes in varying methods across different cultures and countries. It is one of the most effective ways of increasing and accelerating healing from injuries, joint and muscle stiffness, inflammation and many more.
Two Types of Heat Therapy
Also called a convection heat, is a fast and effective application of heat. It can be a full body or regional application that uses hot water or steam. Moist heat requires less time and used not more than 2 hours. Examples of this is sauna, steamed towels, hot bath, hot tub, massage spa bath and hot shower.
Also known as conducted heat therapy, uses tools or heat sources that are easy to apply and on specific portions of the body. This includes hot packs, hot gels, wraps, heating pad, infrared sauna and massage chairs.
See also: Best Neck and Shoulder Heating Pads | Best Foot Massager for Metatarsalgia
There are several benefits of heat therapy in Massage. These include
- Relieves joint pain and stiffness
- Reduces muscle inflammation
- Reduces muscle spasms
- Improves blood flow and distribution of vitamins and minerals in the body
- Improves immune system
- Relieves toxins from the body
- Clears nasal congestion
- Improves and clears skin
Another benefit of heat therapy in massage is that heat and massage therapy provide a lot of the same benefits, and when used together, they increase each other’s advantages. Those seeking the relaxing effects of these conjunctive therapies often opt for a hot stone massage, get a shoulder rub before a warm bath or use heated massage pads. The benefits you can experience from heat and massage are:
- Increased Flexibility
- Enhanced Blood Flow
- Induced Relaxation
Top 3 Benefits of Heat Therapy in Massage
Heat and Massage Increase Flexibility
A study published in the Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy evaluated how well heat therapy and stretching enhanced flexibility. Researchers measured the range-of-motion outcomes when they treated volunteers solely with heat, stretching on its own and a combination of heat and stretching. The study determined that blending heat and stretching yielded the best results in terms of flexibility. These findings illustrate heat’s limbering power when combined with another therapy.
Like heat, massage therapy also targets flexibility, and you may benefit from using the two together. According to Massage Today, it’s the inflexible muscles and soft tissue that cause limited mobility and elevated pain. Massage therapists work to literally loosen these taut tendons and fascial planes, contributing to increased range of motion.
Heat and Massage Enhance Blood Flow
Both heat and massage therapy may boost blood flow. The University of Rochester Medical Center explained heat therapy dilates the vessels, allowing blood to more easily stream through the veins. This makes heat therapy ideal for treating chronic conditions like arthritis or long-term injuries, so more oxygen can get to healing tissue. Massage therapy boosts circulation in a similar way. Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago found that massage therapy actually changes the way blood vessels work on a systematic level – not just at the site of the muscle injury – improving blood flow overall.
Heat and Massage Promote Relaxation
Everyone who has had a massage knows that this therapy is great for unwinding and putting an anxiety-ridden mind to rest. Heat provides the same advantages. In fact, the Outreach Services of Indiana cited heat therapy as a recommended comfort measure for palliative care programs. So the next time you have a long day at the office or are stressed from your busy lifestyle, use your massager and unwind with a warm bath.
Other Benefits of Heat Therapy in Massage
- Heat therapy increases the caliber of blood vessels. This aids in tissue ventilation, lowers lactic acid, and lowers other harmful chemicals. Muscles aches could be a thing of the past.
- When nerve endings are stimulated, you can feel pain. Applying heat to a painful area stimulates the same nerve endings. This added stimulus helps to mute the pain. The injury is still there, but the brain is not being told that there is any pain.
- Your joints contain a lubricant called synovial fluid. When you have poor blood flow to your joints, the amount of synovial fluid can decrease, leading to stiffness and soreness. Applying heat to a joint, can increase blood flow and bring relief from joint problems.
- When the temperature of tissue is increased, blood vessels are widened. Wider blood vessels mean that oxygen and nutrients are supplied, leading to a decrease in carbon dioxide, and less metabolic waste.
Massage is good, getting it with heat therapy is better. You would be surprised at the great feeling it gives you to enjoy the benefits of heat therapy in massager. Get a massager with heat option and be glad.