MASSAGE + HYDROTHERAPY

Hydrotherapy is using water applications in a variety of methods or forms to relieve discomfort, pain, stimulate the flow of blood and lymph and improve soft tissue mobility. Hydrotherapy applications improve vascular, lymphatic and interstitial circulation, and affects cellular activity and is one of my favorite additions to my massage therapy services.


FORMS OF HYDROTHERAPY THAT I UTILIZE IN MY MASSAGE PRACTICE:

  • Hot/steamed aromatherapy towels (depending on the treatment) to either the face, chest, hands, feet, back, or extremities

  • Hot packs

  • Contrast therapy: foot soaks, hand soaks, facial poultice massage with alternating cool stone use and alternating hot and cool towel applications.

  • Thai herbal poultice massage

  • Education for at home foot soaks and baths

  • Castor oil packs

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

  • Heat is soothing and induces the relaxation response

  • Heat improves soft tissue mobility and eases tension

  • Heat induces vasodialiation (A widening of blood vessels, usually near the surface of skin, leading to increased blood flow with flushing or warmth.) which as a result, may deliver more oxygen and nutrients to the cells and connective tissue

  • Cold applications have a more stimulating effect

  • Cold applications induce vasoconstriction (Vasoconstriction is the narrowing (constriction) of blood vessels)

“Inflammation is our friend. Anything that inhibits it is going to prolong healing,” says Susan Salvo, EdD, BCTMB, LMT, author of Mosby’s Pathology for Massage Professionals.


“Ice is great for pain control, but you shouldn’t use it for more than 10 minutes at a time or else it might interrupt the inflammatory cascade.” SUSAN SALVO EdD, BCTMB, LMT


CONTRAINDICATIONS + CONSIDERATIONS

Existing edema or lymphedema, multiple sclerosis, vascular diseases, diabetes, eczema, open wounds or abrasions, as well as any condition where sensing temperature is impaired.


MORE INFORMATION ON POULTICE + HEAT APPLICATIONS


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