Melt your muscle knots away, become more flexible, have less pain. Heat therapy works wonders and is one of the fastest ways to experience relief from muscle pain, fibromyalgia, stress, and tension.
Your body works on repairing itself when treated with high temperature (1). A hot bath or sauna can make you sweat profusely, help get the blood pumping, stimulate your immune system, increase your calorie burn rate, and activate anti-aging processes (2).
If you suffer from chronic pain, musculoskeletal pain, anxiety, stress, or any muscle tension, then therapeutic heat can benefit you. Heat therapy is one of the most effective modalities to treat fibromyalgia (3). Something as simple as a hot shower/cold shower combination can be effective at relieving flu pain and muscle tension pain for hours at a time.
If you spend time in a hot spring or therapeutic hot tub long enough, you will have a rejuvenating experience, as long as you stay adequately hydrated the entire time. Expect to sweat through at least a liter of water or more per hour.
It’s astonishing how much therapeutic value you can squeeze out of any experience with therapeutic heat. Consider it as one long 60- to 90-minute self-care session with an effort to relax your body down to the cells, stretching and breathing between heat treatments.
Heat Therapy together with Floatation Therapy and Deep Tissue Massage are a powerful combination to treat chronic pain symptoms of many types. Heat Therapy and Cold Therapy can be combined together as part of a contrast hydro-therapy routine.
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Hot Water Immersion or Hot Air Immersion
HOT WATER IMMERSION
Full body immersion into the hot water of at least 104’F will provide the kind of benefits you’re hoping to get from heat therapy.
Heat therapy by submerging yourself into a hot tub, spa, jacuzzi, or hot springs can help with arthritis, diabetes, stress, pain, insomnia, weight loss, and self-healing(5). It also works wonders on your body if you’re stiff. Chronic muscle pain, fibromyalgia, and even flu pain can be all helped with a hot bath or hot shower.
Not all hot tubs qualify as therapeutic heat. Most recreation centers which place their hot tubs near leisure pools will run their water a bit too cool for any therapeutic benefit. It’s often not easy finding a hot tub that’s 104 degrees or warmer. Dry saunas and steam rooms might be easier to find. Make sure when you discover a place with therapeutic heat, then pay a visit at least once per week for four weeks straight to get a feel for how it benefits you.
HOT AIR IMMERSION
Steam rooms, dry saunas, and infrared saunas offer heat therapy in the form of air that’s 170’F or hotter. Infrared saunas will eventually replace hot rock saunas because they are more efficient at getting the heat to penetrate your skin. Quite often, you’ll see people doing their stretching in the steam room or sauna because the heat loosens up muscles considerably.
Benefiting from Therapeutic Heat
If you’re out to gain maximum benefit from therapeutic heat, then you should think about combining it with essential deep breathing/conscious breathing, alternating heat with cold (go jump in the cold pool), and some stretching either while you’re in the heat or immediately afterward.
ou should especially stretch your shoulders and hamstrings. Use a corner of a pool in the 3-foot end to pull into deeper stretches while cooling off, and pay attention to where your tension is at and try to get at it with gentle stretching or self-massage.
Stretching does not need to be painful. Stop thinking of stretching as “tearing or ripping” the muscles apart. The secret to stretching is in willing your muscles to relax into new positions.
By the way, stretching in general is a whole world easier and less painful after a session of heat; even more so with a dose of Medical Marijuana edibles.
Full-body therapeutic heat is a great way to prepare for other therapies, such as tissue massage, trigger point massage, and all forms of meditation, yoga, or even tai chi. If it’s winter time and you’ve got snow on the ground, you can combine heat and cold therapy as one of the most aggressive methods for reducing chronic pain by going outside to lay in the snow for ten minutes, followed by a hot bath or shower.
Full-body therapeutic heat feels great!
Hot springs are better than hot tubs because they usually don’t have toxic chemicals like chlorine, and they have beneficial minerals which are healing in nature. People travel from all over the world to heal themselves at Colorado’s Glenwood Hot Springs Pool, built in 1888 by the Army Corps of Engineers.
Hot springs are also usually much less available. Alternatives include saunas and steam rooms. A hot sauna can give you nearly the same benefits without immersion into water. Steam rooms are a completely different experience than dry saunas, but both make you sweat. It’s up to you and what’s available in your area for heat treatments.
For many folks, full-body therapeutic heat will be having you feeling great! The $7-10 spent for each visit to a nearby recreation center is the best bang for your therapy buck. In 60-90 minutes, you’ll feel 1000% betterget and will be able to get all the kinks and knots out of your muscles. Your body will get revved up with maximum blood flow and oxygen as heat provides a cardiovascular workout.
If you’re feeling stiff, you might try sitting in a hot tub for a while. Stay long enough to melt away all your tension and pain, but be sure to cool off regularly so you don’t overdo it. You need to remain in there long enough for the heat to melt your knots, release your tension and allow you to relax. This can’t happen in just 5 or 10 minutes, so plan to give it an hour or more as part of a self-care therapy session.
Adding a trip to the hot tub, assuming it’s therapeutic heat, is something you could rotate into your chronic pain management practice at least once per week or every other week.
Heat Therapy Is Body Awareness
To experience benefits from immersing yourself in heat, you better prepare yourself mentally. The whole point of spending time in therapeutic heat is for self-healing purposes. If you’re there just to relax and socialize, then don’t expect to experience any healing benefits other than general relaxation. You need to stay in the heat long enough to maximize self-healing potential, and use the time to kill three birds by practicing deep breathing and mental focus techniques.
You want to bring your full awareness into your body so that you can focus on healing yourself, and you can’t do that if you’re spending time with idle chit-chat. So if you plan to make some serious progress, you’ll need to wear earplugs and consider humming to yourself to keep out the noise of other folk’s conversations.
When you’re in a public place expecting to focus on healing yourself, it’s hard to focus on your healing if you’re forced to listen to all the conversation around you, so just get comfortable taking steps to minimize distractions. You get more benefit by concentrating your conscious awareness on your body so that you can work on getting all those knotted muscles relaxed.
IN other words, don’t do a lot of talking and listening when you should be doing deep breathing, focusing on your mindbody, and willing yourself to feel better.
Where to find some Heat Therapy in Denver, Colorado
We’ll be looking for recreation centers with hot tubs, saunas, and steam rooms. Or if you’re up in the mountains, you’ll want to check out all the natural hot springs which Colorado has to offer.
To find a recreation center with a sauna or hot tub near Denver, follow this Google Map link:
To find hot springs in Colorado, follow this Google Map link:
- How Hot Bath, Sauna, Hot Jacuzzi Can Make You Healthy
- Can a Hot Bath Cut Blood Sugar and Burn Calories? Health Benefits of a Hot Bath or Sauna https://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2016/07/29/hot-bath-blood-sugar.aspx
- 4 Ways to Turn Up the Heat on Fibromyalgia
- 11 Benefits of Soaking in Hot Springs/Mineral Baths
- How Hot Tub Hydrotherapy Can Improve Your Life