What is heat therapy? Essentially, it is the practice of using heat for pain relief and to improve one’s health. The benefits of heat therapy for the human body are providing relief to those suffering from arthritis, lower back pain, headaches, for sore backs and for simple relaxation.
Compared to much more invasive types of treatment, heat therapy can be a very effective and worthwhile choice that is a lot easier than some of the other options.
Listed below are few types of heat therapy:
Saunas have been around for a very long time and are one of the primary ways to experience a heat session. Traditionally, saunas were heated by pouring water over hot stones, thus creating steam.
More recently, modern saunas use infrared technology. Infrared saunas emit Far Infrared light (FIR) which heats up the air around us and our bodies directly. FIR saunas have found their use in many fields such as detoxification, different cardiovascular benefits like heart health and increased blood circulation. Spending time in an infrared sauna has also shown to help with the immune system.
All this is making saunas a popular choice for athletes as well as anyone else that is dealing with sore and aching muscles.
On top of that, it’s incredibly relaxing and there are countless health benefits to reduce your stress levels. You can read more on this subject here.
Hot Stone Therapy
This is a type of massage that involves placing warm stones on the body. Sometimes, they’ll use the stones as an extension of their own reach, other times the massage therapist will simply place the stones on various points of the patient’s body.
This treatment is relaxing, and great for the muscles and blood flow. The stones are commonly made from marble or basalt. Typically, the hot stone therapist will use several different stones; their size depending on the muscle group. Here are some more examples of hot stone therapies and how the treatment is performed.
A hydrocollator is a device that you can use to warm up cloth heating pads to place on your body. There are heating pads filled with bentonite and they are submerged in warm water to heat up, then removed and place into slip covers.
You’ll often find hydrocollators in spas and physical therapy clinics; however some people opt to have them in their homes as well. This particular method to warm and soothe the muscles may be somewhat less effective for overweight patients, as suggested by research in a 2009 study.
Final Thoughts on Heat Therapy
Heat therapy is available in numerous forms, the simplest being taking a warm bath, but that doesn’t compare to the professional treatments out there. Our bodies react to heat more than you might think and every day researchers are proving that this way of healing is sometimes even more efficient than standard medicine. And after all, treat yourself to a nice day at the spa, you deserve it.
Today's article was written by guest author Delane Palmer. He is studying Sports Medicine. Welcome Delane.
I am a trained Natural Therapist, Teacher, published Author and Artist who lives on the south eastern coast of Australia.
Click here to see info on my book about Allergies and Chronic Fatigue
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The topics on this site are the opinion of the author and as such are only for research and educational purposes. Any products used or statements made are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Always use your own best judgment and consult a medical professional when making important health care choices.