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Top 5 Benefits Of Heat Therapy

For many people, the most convenient way to dismiss aches, pains, and other minor inconveniences is by popping a pill or two. Although there’s nothing wrong with taking medications, too much reliance on drugs can have unwanted side effects. 

Heat-Therapy

Utilizing Heat Therapy

One alternative to taking meds is heat therapy as this method uses warmth to treat common ailments. Below are the top five benefits of heat therapy:

  1. Helps Ease Pain And Muscle Tension

For ages, people have relied on heat compress to relieve different types of pain and muscle tension. Many parents use the warmth of their palms to massage their kids’ back, arms, and legs whenever their little ones are sick with flu and cold. Coaches advise their athletes to soak in a warm bath or press warm towels in problematic areas to help ease muscle spasms. And nowadays, you’ll see your parents or grandparents use a microwavable heating pad to reduce joint pain and inflammation caused by arthritis.  

microwavable-heating-pad

So if you feel some neck pain, back pain, or stiffness in the joints, you can try heat therapy. You can choose among hot compress, warm bath, or hot stone massage. However, heat only helps ease joint pain and relax sore muscles. If the cause of your discomfort is inflammation, you shouldn’t use the therapy because it might make the swelling worse.

  1. Promotes Better Blood Circulation 

Good blood circulation is an essential part of tissue healing mainly because it enables oxygen and other vital nutrients to travel faster to the areas needing treatment. Thus, if you have a muscle strain or other sports-related injuries, you must use a warm compress. 

Heat therapy can improve circulation, which is known to calm nerves, clear the mind, and promote relaxation. It also helps dilate blood vessels, improving blood flow. You can take advantage of sauna steam or heating pad benefits if you want to speed up your recovery from pain, strains, and other related problems. 

  1. Assists In Improving Sleep

Due to modern gadgets and unconventional working hours, many adults today suffer from sleeping problems. Heat therapy has been known as an effective way to promote slumber and improve sleep quality. This is good news, especially for those who are suffering from sleep deprivation. A warm bath before bedtime will help calm your nerves and relax your mind, helping you get into the mood to rest.

Not everyone has an access to a warm bath but there are other ways to keep your house warm. For example, lighting lavender scented candles and using draught excluders can keep your room warm during cold nights. However, don’t overdo your heat treatment because the increased temperature can disrupt your sleep.

  1. Provides Positive Impacts For Depression

Aside from helping with physical ailments, heat therapy appears to have the potential in easing depression. A clinical study published by JAMA Psychiatry in 2016 found participants suffering from major depressive disorder responded positively to a whole-body hyperthermia treatment, which entails elevating body temperature. The participants weren’t taking any medications for their depression at the time of the research. 

Another study, which involved yoga exercises in a heated room, showed positive responses from individuals who suffer from depression. Although these researches are small and more clinical trials are still needed, scientists believe heat therapy improves depression symptoms because of a boost in immune system activity when the body’s temperature is high or in a feverish state.

  1. Reduces Menstrual Discomforts

A lot of women struggle with the discomforts brought about by menstruation. This monthly ordeal can also bring mood changes, irritation, and other hormone-induced problems.

One way to deal with abdominal cramps and back pain due to menstruation is to use heating wraps or pads in the lower abdominal area. The warm compress promotes muscle relaxation and improves blood flow, which may help relieve pain. Some women believe using heat therapy can treat such discomforts better than over-the-counter pain medications. 

One myth persisting through the ages is women who are having their period shouldn’t take a bath. This thinking isn’t only false, but it also deprives them of one of the most effective ways to minimize irritability and mood swings.

Soaking in a warm bath can promote relaxation and ease tension. But since a woman’s body temperature is typically higher during menstruation, it’s advisable to keep the bath lukewarm.

Final Thoughts

Heat therapy is an effective way to reduce discomforts. You can reap the benefits of this treatment in various ways. Using heating pads and wraps, taking a warm bath, having a massage or sauna session, or even slightly increasing the temperature in your room are good examples of how you can start to enjoy this type of therapy.

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