Ever wonder why after a long and tiring day, people often seek relaxation through warm showers or dipping on a hot tub? For some reason, it helps us calm our minds and relaxes our muscles. Inhaling the steam can also help with opening up your airways and improving the flow of oxygen to your body.
Heat therapy, or what others know as thermotherapy, is a way to relieve pain and relax the muscles through the use of heat in different forms. Whether it’s heat from a warm shower, infrared heating pad, or hot towels, it all eases muscle sores and help us relax.
How Does It Work?
Muscle pain is often caused by overexertion and strains, which result in tension in your muscles. Because of this, proper blood circulation is interrupted, thus sending signals to your brain to feel pain.
Applying heat to your muscle can cause your blood vessels to dilate or widen. This process increases the blood flow to the area, bringing in more oxygen, protein, and nutrients to the muscles to help heal the damaged tissue. It also stimulates sensory receptors in the skin, thus decreasing pain signals to your brain.
More benefits include:
Soothe body stiffness
Body stiffness can be caused by several factors; one of those is sleeping in the wrong position. Muscle stiffness can cause pain and lack of mobility or movement. It can even interrupt your activities of daily living. Applying heat, combined with stretching, can help relieve this muscle stiffness.
If you have an inflamed sore or wound, you can opt for heat therapy for faster healing. One good example is having phlebitis or thrombophlebitis. Applying warm packs can help increase blood flow to the area and can help heal injury to the blood vessel. This often goes hand in hand with a cold compress to decrease inflammation. Make sure you go to your doctor to assess your injury before doing any intervention. Some conditions prohibit the use of warm packs like stomach pain or appendicitis.
Stress and tension are two words that don’t go well together. Help relieve these two by soaking your body on a hot bath. This provides comfort and releases stress from your body. Warm showers are also a great idea as it provides you with steam to inhale. This inhalation of steam can help widen your airway and breathe in more oxygen to your body. It can even help with allergic rhinitis or runny nose.