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.
Australian Essential oils can ease aches and pains
Aussie Massage Oil for Aches and Pains
Aussie Massage Oil for Aches and Pains has been made especially for the relief of muscular and joint aches and pains. It includes Eucalyptus oil, Lemon scented Tea Tree oil and grapeseed oil.
All these oils are anti-inflammatory. This means they help ease inflammation. I have written a lot about inflammation. Its symptoms include heat and redness causing pain.
Eucalyptus oil is the most typical oil for Australia. The aboriginal people were already using the eucalyptus tree for healing when British settlers arrived on the shores. Eucalyptus oil contains tannins which are believed to help reduce inflammation.
Eucalyptus oil is used by athletes for muscular aches and pains as well as by people with Arthritis.
Lemon scented tea tree oil (Leptospermum petersonii) is also an anti-inflammatory. It smells nicer than Tea tree oil. It is not the same plant as tea tree oil.
Grapeseed oil also has anti-inflammatory properties and helps reduce pain.
Multi Purpose Oil
Although this oil is suggested to be only for muscular and joint aches and pains, it is really a multipurpose oil as each of the oils have other healing properties.
Eucalyptus oil is also wonderful to help relieve coughs and colds, nasal and bronchial congestion, it helps heal wounds and fungal infections and kills bacteria, some viruses and fungi - moulds.
Lemon scented tea tree oil is also multi purpose. It prevents moulds, is anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. It is a powerful insect repellent and also helps kill off some lung infections.
Other articles on the same subject
Inflammation and Essential Oils
Natural Supplements for Inflammation
Is there a Connection between Potatoes and Arthritis?
Is There a Connection between Potatoes and Arthritis? Part 2
Photo and design by Therese Vahland
A quiet place aids peace and serenity
Gentle Tai Chi Practice
Tai Chi is a gentle practice that helps to ease aches and pains. It is a gentle form of exercise. Because of its gentle movements it is especially suited to the elderly although it can be done by anyone, from children to adults. Children often prefer the more active form of tai chi - Kung Fu. They are also familiar with this through the popular film of the same name.
Qi Gong is another form of Tai Chi. It focuses more on breathing and slow movement. Its movements focus more on the arms than combining legs and arms as in tai chi.
How does Tai Chi Work?
The slow movements of tai chi and qi gong are designed to open up the meridians, the energy channels of the body. When these channels are open, the energy can flow easily, thus clearing any blockages or stagnant energy. When there is blocked energy we get aches and pains and other symptoms of ill health.
The mind is part of the whole person. Remembering the sequence of moves of tai chi also helps the mind. People look at others doing tai chi and qi gong. It looks so easy and simple. However trying to remember all the moves can be challenging.
It is a much better idea to be able to remember the sequence of moves because then you can do tai chi and qi gong wherever you are and at any time in your life. If you rely only on 'follow the leader' type classes, you have to be in the class to do the moves, otherwise you cannot remember them for yourself.
Scientific Studies to Prove the Health Benefits
These gentle Chinese forms of exercise have been proven to help the body and the mind. Much study has been done on them at universities both in China and in the West to scientifically prove the health benefits. Because Tai chi challenges the memory, it is good exercise for the brain. Any exercise for the brain helps to ward off Alzheimer's Disease. There are forms of tai chi developed especially for Diabetes and Arthritis although any form of tai chi or qi gong will benefit the body. There are also specific forms of medical qi gong.
When Annie started doing tai chi she had great difficulty with her shoulders as well as lots of other parts of her. She had been ill for some time. It was hard to lift her arms very far and her shoulders hurt with the movement. She used to get angry at having to be shown how to do the exercises all the time. She used to get angry at herself because she could not remember, even immediately after she had been shown.
However, Annie turned up to classes each week. Sometimes she would not appear when things got too much for her. But then she was there again, ready to learn the next movement.
Gradually her shoulders loosened up and did not hurt anymore. Slowly her mind began to work and she found she could remember some of the moves. After each achievement, the next one was not so far away.
It became easier and easier. Her body loosened up, she lost her anger. and she was so happy that she had achieved. Now she can do tai chi every day at home or wherever she is. She found that it was a good idea to do the movements regularly to keep her body supple as it warded off most of her aches and pains.
Annie found that when she started the class each week she was not feeling well but as she performed the exercises her mood changed and by the end of the class she was feeling great. When this happened Annie became to come to classes more regularly because she knew that, even though she didn't feel great at the start, she soon would.
Finding a Good Teacher
It is worth finding someone who can guide you through tai chi. You will get so much more information about how to do the movements and why they are done in a particular sequence.
If you are in pain you should adjust the movements so that they are comfortable for you. If you find a considerate teacher, he/she will help you to do this so that they do not cause you extra pain. Tai chi exercises can also be adjusted for people in wheelchairs.
Have a great day!
The regular practice of Qi Gong brings serenity and health
Qi Gong for Health
The benefits of Tai Chi are becoming known around the world. People are beginning to practice it more often in the western society. Millions of people in China have benefited from its health promoting exercise for centuries. It is common to see people gather together in China to do their regular exercise, especially early in the morning before their work day begins.
Qi gong and the Meridians
Qi Gong is a lesser known form of tai chi in the Western society. Some say Tai chi is a form of Qi Gong. Qi means energy or life force. I have talked about the energy flowing through the meridians in our body before. Meridians are invisible channels through which this energy travels. Qi is the name the Chinese give to describe this energy.
Qi travels around the whole body, not just a part of it. It affects the whole person. Therefore when some part of our body is blocked with emotions, the energy to this area is blocked and becomes stagnant. Think of the example when someone is blocked with grief and cannot express themselves - the throat is blocked and the words will not come out.
The practising of qi gong helps to unblock these areas, opening up the channels for the energy to flow again.
'The gentle, rhythmic movements of Qigong reduce stress, build stamina, increase vitality, and enhance the immune system. It has also been found to improve cardiovascular, respiratory, circulatory, lymphatic and digestive functions.' (See link below)
Qi Gong and the Emotions
Our emotions as well as our physical health and the state of our mind can all be influenced for the better by the regular practice of Tai chi or Qi Gong.
The Chinese medicine system treats the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual parts of our systen as a whole. Illness is a result of blockages of the energy or imbalances in the whole person.
Qi gong helps calm the mind. It is a set of simple, meditative exercises combined with the breath and a focus of intention. It helps us to keep healthy or become healthy. It helps reduce stress when practised regularly.
Qi gong and Tai chi are especially good for seniors. It improves the balance, strengthens the legs and the breathing. Regular practice has a benefit for the elderly helping to lessen the number of falls they have.
Tai Chi in China
We have been priviledged to spend a few hours watching the best people in Tai Chi in the world practising their routines. They practice 8 hous a day every day and are the fittest people and most energetic, all from tai chi.
I encourage you to seek out a class near you to get you started. Usually the people involved in Tai chi and Qi gong are lovely people.
The flowers from this willow tree can help ease our emotions
Inflammation and Emotions
Scientists have studied the relationship of inflammation and our emotions. The have found some inflammatory markers in our body that are tied to stress, depression and other negative emotions.
Inflammatory markers can be measured in our blood. Extra protein is given off from the site of the inflammation. These are the inflammatory markers.
Stress, Depression and Inflammation
People who are stressed or depressed have the same kind of inflammatory markers as people who have inflammation of part of their body. Therefore it is always important to treat the person emotionally. High levels of inflammatory markers are found in frail older adults.
Emotions can be treated naturally and gently with Flower Esences. In the 1920s, Dr Bach, a famed doctor and surgeon of his time in London found a different way to help people. He used the energy of flowers and trees. These worked so well that he found they not only helped people emotionally but also physically. Since then his work has travelled around the world.
Negative Emotions and Pain
Negative emotions have long been tied to arthritis and there is evidence that they can cause the physical symptom of pain. There are many negative emotions including anger, hostility, irritability, resentment, jealousy, shame and fear.
Agrimony The person needing argimony suppresses or denies their feelings and can become addictive.
Beech This remedy helps people who are critical of others and intolerant of themselves. In the past they have not been allowed to express anger. The part of their body that is affected is around the throat, neck and shoulders and chest.
Chicory The person needing chicory feels they are a victim. Their physical problems centre around the mucous membranes, sinuses and bronchiole tubes in the lungs.
Holly Strong emotions are felt here. The person needing this remedy will feel hate, jealousy, rivalry and suspicion or vengeance. They have no compassion. They tend to get boils, skin eruptions and have chronic swollen glands.
Impatiens Feeling tense, irritable, impatient or argumentative? Then you may benefit from this essence. These people tend to have problems with the colon.
Vine The person needing this remedy may be very angry and controlling. They experience rashes, pain and infections.
Willow People that can benefit from this essence feel bitterness and resentment and find it difficult to forgive. They experience colds and infections in their sinuses, ears and bronchial tubes.
Following are just some of my other articles on how flower essences can help you.
I hope you find a flower essence that can help you. To be human is to need help. There are no perfect human beings around yet. Let's work toward it together.
Plant oils can ease the pain of inflammation
What is Inflammation?
Inflammation is a reaction of the immune system to infection, injury or disease. It involves pain, swelling and redness of the area.
Inflammation can occur on the inside of the body where the internal organs are involved or the outside of the body where the reactions are noticeable on the skin.
Inflammation can affect the joints or muscles and tendons in our body. When
joints are inflamed it is called arthritis.
Muscles are important to us. The skeletal muscles hold the body together and the soft muscles are those of the stomach, intestines and other parts of the internal workings of our body.
When muscle mass is increased, there is more power to fight infection. The more muscles you have the higher is your metabolic rate. The metabolic rate is how fast your body works. The stronger your muscles, the less fat you have.
Healthy people in China
Last year we travelled to China. We went to places where people had not seen Westerners before. We spent quite a bit of time in the country and I noted how muscular the people were. They were small, thin and what I would call 'wiry', an old fashioned word. I suppose it means that you can see the muscles like wires beneath the skin. Even the young people were strong with lots of natural muscles. They were energetic. We do not see that in the Western society I live in. People go to the gym to build muscle. They have forgotten how to work physically to build muscle naturally.
Aromatherapy Oils Can Help Ease Inflammation
Many medicines used to relieve inflammation and pain have what is called COX-2 inhibitors. Many aromatherapy oils have these same inhibitors plus they also have nitric oxide inhibitors. A Japanese research study found that the oils that contain these inhibitors decreased COX enzymes by as much as 75%. Lemon and lemongrass are in this group of oils.
Many plant oils contain these inhibitors. The following aromatherapy or essential oils all centre around the lemon fragrance
Lemongrass also called Citronella
Lemon oil helps relieve inflammation of the joints. Caution: After you
massage lemon oil into your body, do not expose that part to sunlight as it may
Lemon balm or Melissa officianalis relieves muscle spasms and arthritic and joint
pain, fibromyalgia and soreness or pain from exercising. It has antioxidant properties and stimulates the immune system and so is good for people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and allergies.
Lemon verbena extract has been shown in a study done by a University in Spain to decrease the signs of muscular damage in people who do lots of exercise. It helps in ways that antioxidant supplements alone did not do.
Lemongrass, also called citronella relieves tired, aching legs. It also eliminates lactic acid which builds up during exercise.
The National Library of Medicine says that lemongrass has analgesic properties which help reduce pain from inflammation of muscles, joints, tendons and other parts of the body, It is being used in Asian medicine for depression and fatigue or malaise. muscular spasms and acts as a painkiller.
Try some of these oils in a massage oil to relieve pain from inflammation and see how they can help you.
The beautiful flower of the Aloe from my garden.
Science is now Proving the Knowledge
There are many natural supplements that can help relieve inflammation. These have been tried and tested over the centuries and increasingly studies have been done on them to prove the knowledge of these substances.
Many of these natural foods or medicines have other properties besides anti inflammatory power. They may be anti bacterial, anti-viral etc.
Because these natural medicines are made from the whole plant, they do not have the side effects that many Western medicines have. The plants that these natural substances come from have very many ingredients. There may be one that, if taken on its own would cause side effects. But Nature is wonderful, and in these plants that are helpful to us, it also puts other ingredients that will counter any side effects.
Now, plants cannot be patented. They come already made, given to us freely by Nature.
Pharmaceutical companies cannot make much money without a patent so they take out the one ingredient in the plant that they think is the beneficial one, and ignore the rest. Therefore, the medicines they make from the plants do not have the counter checks and balances.
Some beneficial natural medicines that may help us with inflammation are as follows.
This is a natural NSAID, that is it has natural non-steroidal properties similar to Ibuprofen. It enhances the immune system. It has been clinically proven to help rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Aloe Vera is a well known plant that is well proven for its beneficial effects. When taken internally it can help gastrointestinal inflammation and arthritis. It can also be applied to the skin to ease inflammation of the skin or arthritic pains. Aloe vera has all the essential glyconutrients for our body. This is why it is such a wonderful healer.
Tumeric root extract or Curcumin is a natural COX-2 inhibitor. It has similar anti-inflammatory effects to non-steroidal drugs but without the side effects. It can help arthritis and immune system disorders.
White Willow Bark
White willow bark eases pain and inflammation. It contains salicin. Aspro or Aspirin was made out of it but they did not use the whole ingredients (remember they couldn't patent it then). This remedy does not cause bleeding like Aspirin. It is good for arthritis and other pain.
I hope you find some of these can help you with inflammation and the pain resulting from it.
Order your Survival Remedy Cream today. Great for aches and pains, eczema, acne, back pain, headaches. Has been proven to work in all these areas by customers for 15 years.
My Heartsong Survival Remedy Cream contains Flower essences and crystal energy in a natural cream base.
My Heartsong contains a range of Essences and Elixirs containing the energy of flowers, crystals and marine plants, sand and shells.
My Heartsong also makes Synergy Essences where a range of flowers, crystals and marine plants, sand and shells are made into an essence together. Synergy is when two or more things made together produce an effect greater than the sum of their individual effects.
This means that when the essences are made all together, in the one bowl, the energy they create is greater than if each was made in a separate bowl then joined together at a later stage.
My Heartsong Survival Remedy Essence is a synergy of flower and crystal energy. When these tinctures of blue and orange flowers were mixed together they made an explosion of powerful energy available to us. These were mixed together with flower essences and Crystal elixir to create a power base of healing contained in a bottle. A real genie in a bottle.
This energy is held in water and preserved with alcohol. It comes in a dropper bottle.
How to Use
Shake the bottle. Take 5 drops of the essence ond drop them under the tongue. Preferable used them about 20 minutes away from food or drinks, except water.
This Survival Remedy is wonderful to take in times of stress. It can also help when our stress causes physical symptoms like headaches, exhaustion or sleeplessness.
My Heartsong Survival Remedy Cream is a natural based cream containing Survival Remedy Essence. It is good to apply for skin problems, arthritic and muscular aches and pains, acne and eczema. Rub into areas affected as needed.
The following Link will take you to email where you can ask me for these drops
Comfrey is good for muscular aches and pains and the skin
The comfrey herb has been used for centuries by people to improve their health.
Comfrey is also called Knitbone because it has proven its worth in helping bones to heal more quickly. This has also been proven scientifically. Science just loves to prove that nature is right.
What Comfrey is used for
Comfrey has been used for many different ailments as it helps to lessen inflammation and stimulates cell growth and repair. It is great for arthritis, sprains, varicose ulcers, burns and acne. It has also been used for rheumatism, neuralgias, varicose veins, muscular aches and pains, pulled tendons and skin conditions.
In a placebo controlled study it was found to reduce back pain when used as a cream and rubbed into the area.
Vitamins and Minerals
Comfrey is full of vitamins and minerals. I am all in favour of getting enough minerals into our body as our body uses these to build on. Minerals are very important to our health.
Comfrey contains Vitamin A, lots of B vitamins and vitamins C & E.
The major minerals contained in comfrey are calcium, phosphorus, potassium, chromium, cobalt and copper. There are smaller amounts of many other minerals too.
It is recommended these days that comfrey not be taken internally. Do be careful with it if you have anything wrong with your liver.
I am a trained Natural Therapist, Teacher, published Author and Artist who lives on the south eastern coast of Australia.
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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.