Heat and massage therapy provide a lot of the same benefits, and when used together, they may increase each other's advantages. Those seeking the relaxing effects of these conjunctive therapies may opt for a hot stone massages, get a shoulder rub before a warm bath or use heated massage pads. Discover how you may experience the same positive results from the heat-massage combination:
A study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy evaluated how well heat therapy and stretching enhanced flexibility. Researchers measured the range-of-motion outcomes when they treated volunteers solely with heat, stretching on its own and a combination of heat and stretching. The study determined that blending heat and stretching yielded the best results in terms of flexibility. These findings illustrate heat's limbering power when combined with another therapy.
Like heat, massage therapy also targets flexibility, and you may benefit from using the two together. According to Massage Today, it's the inflexible muscles and soft tissue that cause limited mobility and elevated pain. Massage therapists work to literally loosen these taut tendons and fascial planes, contributing to increased range of motion.
Enhance blood flow
Adequate circulatory health is crucial to your overall well-being. According to the American Heart Association, your blood carries oxygen to the rest of your body. If your circulatory system doesn't perform this process sufficiently, you become deprived of essential nutrients, contributing to pain, muscle spasms and ultimately nerve and tissue damage.
Both heat and massage therapy may boost blood flow. The University of Rochester Medical Center explained heat therapy dilates the vessels, allowing blood to more easily stream through the veins. This makes heat therapy ideal for treating chronic conditions like arthritis or long-term injuries, so more oxygen can get to healing tissue. Massage therapy boosts circulation in a similar way. Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago found that massage therapy actually changes the way blood vessels work on a systematic level – not just at the site of the muscle injury – improving blood flow overall.
Everyone who has had a massage or used a Moji personal massager knows that this therapy is great for unwinding and putting an anxiety-ridden mind to rest. Heat provides the same advantages. In fact, the Outreach Services of Indiana cited heat therapy as a recommended comfort measure for palliative care programs. So the next time you have a long day at the office or are stressed from your busy lifestyle, use your massager and unwind with a warm bath.