Using heat therapy during massage is a successful way to relax muscles and ease pain.
Heat therapy dilates blood vessels, allowing for greater blood flow. Heat also helps combat tight and tense muscles and fascia. One study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy measured improvements in the range of motion in the hip joint and noted that the greatest increase in flexibility occurred when heat was used in conjunction with stretching.
Massage also stimulates the flow of blood, bringing more oxygen to injured areas; when used in conjunction with heat therapy, the effects can bring much-needed relief.
Check out the following blog for more information about heat therapy and the practice of hot stone massage.
Image courtesy of: Ali Sparkes
“Heat therapy is the use of heat in therapy for pain relief. It can take the form of a hot cloth, hot water bottle, hot stones, ultrasound, heating pad, hydrocollator packs, whirlpool baths, cordless FIR heat therapy wraps, and more. It can be beneficial to those with arthritis, stiff muscles and injuries to the deep layers of muscle fibers. Heat may be an effective self-care treatment for conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.
Heat therapy is most commonly used for rehabilitation purposes. The therapeutic effects of heat include increasing the extensibility of collagen tissues; decreasing joint stiffness; reducing pain; relieving muscle spasms; reducing inflammation and edema; aids in the post acute phase of healing; and increasing blood flow. The increased blood flow to the affected area provides proteins, nutrients, and oxygen for better healing.”