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
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.