Ok, I know what you may be thinking. Isn’t the difference between the two pretty self-explanatory? The answer may surprise you though. Lets start with the how’s and why’s of applying the two.
Hot therapy, is typically used to loosen sore and painful muscles .It can be used in the form of hot towels, heating pads, lava shell massage, hot stone massage, or even bamboo massage. Applying heat for a period of time to an area not only is soothing and relaxing to loosen the muscles, but also aids in helping the therapist to better access the client’s muscles resulting in a successful massage session. Hot therapy can be used in the beginning of a session to promote circulation and prepare the body for an invigorating bodywork session or at the end to further loosen and relax the muscles.
Cold Therapy, can be used in the form of ice packs or cold stone therapy. It can be used for reducing inflammation, aid in repairing damaged tissue in the instance of an injury, and in some cases to alleviate headaches. Icing with cold therapy should never last any longer than 10 minutes, unless recommended otherwise.
In variation, both work well for the same beneficial results and they make for a unique and fast approach to recovery, depending upon the circumstances. The varied use of hot and cold therapy is called a “contrast treatment”. Contrast treatment combines any form of ice and heat for a period of 30 minutes (sometimes more) alternating between the two for 10 minutes each.
To maximize better results a topical analgesic can also be applied to the area prior to treatment and post treatment. In any instance hot and cold therapy is a way to doctor up your massage session in addition to helping you relax and rejuvenate to the best you possible!