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Hot Therapy Health Benefits

Hot Therapy Health Benefits

Hot Therapy Health Benefits – Use Thermotherapy To Improve Your Health

Hot therapy, also known as heat therapy or thermotherapy, has been used for centuries in various forms to treat a wide range of health conditions. From saunas and hot baths to heating pads and warm compresses, the application of heat has been shown to have numerous benefits for both physical and mental well-being.

Hot Therapy Health Benefits

Hot therapy has been used in various cultures throughout history for its healing properties. In ancient Greece, hot baths were often used to treat aches, pains, and other physical ailments. In traditional Chinese medicine, the use of heat through hot stones has been a common practice for thousands of years.

Hot Therapy Health Benefits – Reduce Muscle Tension

The application of heat increases blood flow and oxygen to stiff muscles and reduces tension. This makes it a popular choice among athletes for treating sports injuries as well as those who have muscle spasms or chronic muscle pain.1

Heat therapy is commonly used in physical therapy to treat various types of muscle pain and discomfort. The application of heat helps to increase blood flow and circulation, which can promote healing and reduce inflammation.2

One of the main benefits of heat therapy is its ability to relax stiff muscles. When muscles are tense or stiff, they can cause discomfort and limit mobility. The heat from therapy helps to soothe and loosen the muscles, providing relief from pain and tension. This can help improve flexibility and range of motion, making it an excellent choice for individuals with muscle tightness.3

Hot Therapy Health Benefits - Reduce Muscle Tension

Hot Therapy Health Benefits – Improve Circulation

Hot therapy is known to provide relief from different types of pain, including joint pain, arthritis, and menstrual cramps. The heat helps to block the transmission of pain signals to the brain, providing temporary relief. Heat therapy dilates blood vessels, allowing for increased blood flow to the affected area. This improved circulation can help reduce swelling and promote healing.4 Additionally, heat therapy can also stimulate the production of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers.5

Hot Therapy Health Benefits – Reduce Anxiety

In addition to its physical benefits, hot therapy can also have a calming effect on the mind and body. The warmth from the heat can help soothe tense muscles and promote relaxation, reducing stress and anxiety. This is why hot therapy is often recommended for people who suffer from chronic pain or conditions like fibromyalgia.6

Hot Therapy Health Benefits – Improve Skin Health

Hot therapy can also have positive effects on skin health. The increased circulation from the heat can improve skin tone and elasticity, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and blemishes. It can also help unclog pores and detoxify the skin, leading to a healthier and clearer complexion. In addition, the heat can stimulate the production of collagen, which is essential for maintaining youthful and healthy-looking skin.7

Hot therapy can also be beneficial for those with chronic skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis. The heat can soothe inflammation and provide relief from itching and discomfort. It can also help to increase absorption of topical treatments, making them more effective in managing symptoms.8

Hot Therapy Health Benefits - Improve Skin Health

Hot Therapy Health Benefits – Detoxify

Sweating is the body’s natural way of getting rid of toxins. Hot therapy induces sweating which can help flush out harmful substances from the body and improve overall health. Additionally, sweating helps regulate the body’s temperature and prevents overheating.9

Sweating is also an important part of our immune system. When we sweat, the skin releases a natural antibacterial agent called dermcidin that helps to fight off infections.10

Moreover, sweating can help improve skin health. It is a great way to purge your pores and remove dirt, oil, and dead skin cells that can cause acne, breakouts, and other skin issues. It also promotes blood circulation, delivering oxygen and nutrients to the skin for a healthy glow.11

Hot Therapy Health Benefits – Better Sleep

The relaxation and calming effects of hot therapy can also aid in improving sleep. The heat can help induce feelings of drowsiness and promote a more restful sleep. Additionally, the increased circulation from hot therapy can help alleviate any tension or discomfort in the body that may be keeping you awake. This can lead to a better night’s sleep and improved overall well-being.12

Hot Therapy Health Benefits – Mental Health Benefits

Apart from these physical benefits, hot therapy can also have a significant impact on mental health through the meditative aspect it provides. Taking time to sit in a sauna or steam room, or soaking in a hot bath, allows individuals to disconnect from the outside world and focus on their own thoughts and feelings. It can be a form of self-care that helps reduce stress and improve overall mental well-being.13

Hot Therapy For Rheumatoid Arthritis

Hot therapy helps to alleviate pain and stiffness in those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis by increasing blood flow to the affected area. It can also provide a soothing sensation that can ease discomfort and improve joint mobility.14

Read more about rheumatoid arthritis.

Hot Therapy For Rheumatoid Arthritis

Hot Therapy For Menstrual Cramps

Hot therapy can help ease the pain and discomfort associated with menstrual cramps. One of the benefits of hot therapy is that it is a natural method for managing menstrual cramps. Unlike medication, which may have side effects, hot therapy does not have any known negative effects. It is also a non-invasive method, making it easy to use and accessible for most women.

In addition to relieving pain, hot therapy can also help with other symptoms of menstruation such as bloating and fatigue. The heat from the therapy can improve blood flow and reduce water retention, which may contribute to bloating. It can also help relax tense muscles, which may alleviate feelings of fatigue.15

Hot Therapy Health Benefits – Sauna

Finland consistently ranks as one of the happiest countries in the world, in part due to their commitment to good health. With over 3 million saunas in Finland, it is estimated that there is one sauna for every two people in the country, making hot therapy an extremely popular practice.

A traditional Finnish sauna involves sitting in a room filled with dry heat, usually heated by burning wood or electric heaters. Temperatures can reach up to 80-100°C and sessions typically last between 10 to 20 minutes.16

Studies have shown that regular sauna sessions can decrease levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. This can greatly impact one’s mental health, as high levels of cortisol have been linked to anxiety and depression.17

Hot Therapy Health Benefits – Steam Rooms

Steam rooms work in a similar way to saunas, but use wet heat instead of dry heat. The hot steam helps open up pores and cleanse the skin. In addition, the high humidity in steam rooms can aid in breathing and reduce congestion, making it beneficial for individuals with respiratory conditions such as asthma.18

Hot Therapy Health Benefits – Hot Bath

Hot baths are another form of hot therapy that has been used for centuries to promote relaxation and improve mental health. Soaking in a hot bath has been shown to have relaxing and pain-relieving effects. Adding Epsom salts or essential oils can enhance the experience even further. The warm water helps soothe tense muscles and alleviate physical symptoms of stress, such as headaches and body aches. The calming effect of hot baths can also help reduce feelings of anxiety and promote better sleep.19

Hot Therapy Health Benefits - Hot Bath

Hot Therapy Health Benefits – Warm Compress

A warm compress can be made by soaking a cloth in hot water and applying it to the affected area. This can help reduce inflammation, promote blood flow, and provide relief for sore muscles.20

Hot Therapy Health Benefits

Hot therapy has been used for centuries as a natural way to improve health and well-being. Whether it’s in the form of saunas, hot baths, or heating pads, the benefits of heat therapy are numerous. With its ability to improve circulation, promote relaxation, and relieve pain, it’s no wonder that hot therapy has become such a popular practice in many cultures around the world.

The Best Of Both Worlds – Hot Therapy And Cold Exposure

Cold exposure, also known as cryotherapy, involves applying cold temperatures to the affected area. This can be done through ice packs, cold compresses, or even taking an ice bath. The goal of cold exposure is to reduce inflammation and swelling by constricting blood vessels in the area.

Read more about cold exposure.


1 Brunt VE, Minson CT. Heat therapy: mechanistic underpinnings and applications to cardiovascular health. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2021 Jun 1;130(6):1684-1704. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00141.2020. Epub 2021 Apr 1. PMID: 33792402; PMCID: PMC8285605.

2 Malanga GA, Yan N, Stark J. Mechanisms and efficacy of heat and cold therapies for musculoskeletal injury. Postgrad Med. 2015 Jan;127(1):57-65. doi: 10.1080/00325481.2015.992719. Epub 2014 Dec 15. PMID: 25526231.

3 Nakano J, Yamabayashi C, Scott A, Reid WD. The effect of heat applied with stretch to increase range of motion: a systematic review. Phys Ther Sport. 2012 Aug;13(3):180-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2011.11.003. Epub 2011 Dec 29. PMID: 22814453.

4 Pizzey FK, Smith EC, Ruediger SL, Keating SE, Askew CD, Coombes JS, Bailey TG. The effect of heat therapy on blood pressure and peripheral vascular function: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Exp Physiol. 2021 Jun;106(6):1317-1334. doi: 10.1113/EP089424. Epub 2021 May 10. PMID: 33866630.

5 Hussain J, Cohen M. Clinical Effects of Regular Dry Sauna Bathing: A Systematic Review. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2018 Apr 24;2018:1857413. doi: 10.1155/2018/1857413. PMID: 29849692; PMCID: PMC5941775.

6 Robiner WN. Psychological and physical reactions to whirlpool baths. J Behav Med. 1990 Apr;13(2):157-73. doi: 10.1007/BF00844996. PMID: 2348454.

7 Cacciapuoti S, Luciano MA, Megna M, Annunziata MC, Napolitano M, Patruno C, Scala E, Colicchio R, Pagliuca C, Salvatore P, Fabbrocini G. The Role of Thermal Water in Chronic Skin Diseases Management: A Review of the Literature. J Clin Med. 2020 Sep 22;9(9):3047. doi: 10.3390/jcm9093047. PMID: 32971735; PMCID: PMC7563194.

8 Beylot-Barry M, Mahé E, Rolland C, de la Bretèque MA, Eychenne C, Charles J, Payen C, Machet L, Vermorel C, Foote A, Roques C, Bosson JL. Evaluation of the benefit of thermal spa therapy in plaque psoriasis: the PSOTHERMES randomized clinical trial. Int J Biometeorol. 2022 Jun;66(6):1247-1256. doi: 10.1007/s00484-022-02273-7. Epub 2022 Mar 26. PMID: 35347400; PMCID: PMC9132808.

9 Sears ME, Kerr KJ, Bray RI. Arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury in sweat: a systematic review. J Environ Public Health. 2012;2012:184745. doi: 10.1155/2012/184745. Epub 2012 Feb 22. PMID: 22505948; PMCID: PMC3312275.

10 Schittek B, Hipfel R, Sauer B, Bauer J, Kalbacher H, Stevanovic S, Schirle M, Schroeder K, Blin N, Meier F, Rassner G, Garbe C. Dermcidin: a novel human antibiotic peptide secreted by sweat glands. Nat Immunol. 2001 Dec;2(12):1133-7. doi: 10.1038/ni732. PMID: 11694882.

11 Baker LB. Physiology of sweat gland function: The roles of sweating and sweat composition in human health. Temperature (Austin). 2019 Jul 17;6(3):211-259. doi: 10.1080/23328940.2019.1632145. PMID: 31608304; PMCID: PMC6773238.

12 Ghavami H, Shamsi SA, Abdollahpoor B, Radfar M, Khalkhali HR. Impact of hot stone massage therapy on sleep quality in patients on maintenance hemodialysis: A randomized controlled trial. J Res Med Sci. 2019 Aug 28;24:71. doi: 10.4103/jrms.JRMS_734_18. PMID: 31523257; PMCID: PMC6734672.

13 Laukkanen T, Laukkanen JA, Kunutsor SK. Sauna Bathing and Risk of Psychotic Disorders: A Prospective Cohort Study. Med Princ Pract. 2018;27(6):562-569. doi: 10.1159/000493392. Epub 2018 Sep 2. PMID: 30173212; PMCID: PMC6422146.

14 Welch V, Brosseau L, Casimiro L, Judd M, Shea B, Tugwell P, Wells GA. Thermotherapy for treating rheumatoid arthritis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2002 Apr 22;2002(2):CD002826. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD002826. PMCID: PMC6991938.

15 Jo J, Lee SH. Heat therapy for primary dysmenorrhea: A systematic review and meta-analysis of its effects on pain relief and quality of life. Sci Rep. 2018 Nov 2;8(1):16252. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-34303-z. PMID: 30389956; PMCID: PMC6214933.

16 Laukkanen JA, Laukkanen T, Kunutsor SK. Cardiovascular and Other Health Benefits of Sauna Bathing: A Review of the Evidence. Mayo Clin Proc. 2018 Aug;93(8):1111-1121. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2018.04.008. PMID: 30077204.

17 Leppäluoto J, Huttunen P, Hirvonen J, Väänänen A, Tuominen M, Vuori J. Endocrine effects of repeated sauna bathing. Acta Physiol Scand. 1986 Nov;128(3):467-70. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-1716.1986.tb08000.x. PMID: 3788622.

18 Chowdhury MNR, Alif YA, Alam S, Emon NU, Richi FT, Zihad SMNK, Taki MTI, Rashid MA. Theoretical effectiveness of steam inhalation against SARS-CoV-2 infection: updates on clinical trials, mechanism of actions, and traditional approaches. Heliyon. 2022 Jan;8(1):e08816. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2022.e08816. Epub 2022 Jan 23. PMID: 35097233; PMCID: PMC8783838.

19 Goto Y, Hayasaka S, Kurihara S, Nakamura Y. Physical and Mental Effects of Bathing: A Randomized Intervention Study. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2018 Jun 7;2018:9521086. doi: 10.1155/2018/9521086. PMID: 29977318; PMCID: PMC6011066.

20 Boonruab J, Nimpitakpong N, Damjuti W. The Distinction of Hot Herbal Compress, Hot Compress, and Topical Diclofenac as Myofascial Pain Syndrome Treatment. J Evid Based Integr Med. 2018 Jan-Dec;23:2156587217753451. doi: 10.1177/2156587217753451. PMID: 29405762; PMCID: PMC5871049.

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