There is a lot of controversy surrounding this question – should I use heat or ice? There is a time and place for everything., but in the massage world most often heat is our go to!
Here is why:
Heat Therapy or Thermotherapy
- Heat stimulates blood and fluid flow to an area. Oxygen and nutrients are carried in blood, promoting healing.
- Use heat for achy muscles or for chronic pain.
- Helps manage discomfort from sore muscles or stiff joints
- Heat helps remove lactic acid buildup from overtaxed muscles, which in turn alleviates pain.
- Finally, heat has a sedative effect on the nervous system. Producing a calming, comforting sensation.
Cold Therapy or Cryotherapy
Cold constricts blood vessels and therefore significantly slows blood and fluid flow to an area. Cold’s place for an injury is only when the injury is new or immediate; for injuries like stubbed toes or swollen ankles.
- Use cold for acute injury less than 3 days old only to control pain
- Cold will numb nerve endings to reduce immediate pain
- Cold reduces blood and fluid flow, this can control or limit swelling. This should be done only for a short time after injury and at intervals.
Heat is used in massage therapy at Wellness Co in a number of ways (unless the client specifically requests it not to be utilized). We have heated massage tables as well as utilize a heat pad for areas to move circulation and fluid flow to tissues that need more focus. It is a simple way for us to offer you a better massage experience!
Heat is a wonderful and easy way to heighten your workout recovery, ease stiffness after a long day, or just as a comfort to relax!
Kellie Collis, LMT