Hot Shower Benefits
If you are a firm believer of all-natural products, you most likely understand the benefits of hot and cold therapy. Of course, there are a few skeptics out there, as well. It is never easy to get someone to alter their opinion on their beliefs, but this article will hopefully open up your mind to the many benefits of heat therapy.
Benefits of Hot Showers
First of all, it is best to start out with how heat impacts the body. Heat and cold therapy is utilized, by many medical experts, if you have ever been injured and sought out advise from your physician, you were most likely told to ice the area or soak it in hot water. The main reason for this is because heat therapy will dilate (open up) the blood vessels.
When the blood vessels are dilated, more blood will circulate throughout your body at a much quicker pace. Blood carries nutrients and oxygen, which will aid your injury or closed wound, but it will also help those that suffer from peripheral and cerebral artery disease, and arteriosclerosis. Truly enough cannot be said about heat therapy, but you must be willing to commit, in order to receive its many rewards.
Benefits of Hot Water
When hot water is applied to a local body area such as the knee or back, the blood vessels will become dilated, which again will increase blood flow and nutrients to that specific area. This will boost the healing process, decrease muscle spasms and pain, while reducing pain. Think of hot water, as an all-natural analgesic that is extremely safe and effective in treating all sorts of medical conditions.
- Improve range of motion
- Decrease joint pain
- Decrease inflammation
- Improves wound healing (bed sores)
- Opens up skin pores (aids in combating blackheads and oil buildup)
- Calms and relaxes nerve stimulation, so pain signals will not be sent back to the brain
- Increases white blood cells, which will boost the immune system and fight off pathogens, bacterium, and viruses
Warm compresses can also be placed over the eyes to decrease dryness and to loosen dried eye discharge or crust.
Benefits of Ice Therapy
Now ice therapy works a tad bit different, but it also very beneficial for sprains, fractures, and other impact injuries. When ice is applied to a specific body area, it will cause the blood vessels to constrict (close up), which in turn will decrease blood flow to that area, which will help decrease inflammation and edema. Many individuals have more difficulty tolerating ice therapy than others, because it can cause an increase in pain and sensitivity.
When using cold therapy, be sure to never apply the ice directly to the skin, because it can potentially harm, especially frostbite. Since ice can decrease pain, by numbing the area, you may not even realize the damage that it is doing, until it is too late. Wrap the ice pack inside of a towel, before placing it on your skin.
Ice can also decrease external blood flow through an open or puncture, by constricting the blood vessels.
Dry and Moist Therapy
Avoid using extremely hot water, because you do not want to increase risk of scalds or burns. Never leave intact for more than 20 minutes at a time. Alternate between cold and hot therapy, but be sure to use ice first, because it will decrease the edema.
Moist warm compresses will penetrate the skin better than dry heat. While dry heat is less effective, it does offer you more mobility, since it comes in the form of heating pads and patches. Moist compresses can be made from placing a towel under extremely hot water and then wrapping it with a large dry towel. Of course, you can purchase a hot water bottle or moist heating pad, as well.
Avoid using heat therapy, if you have been diagnosed with diabetes and poor circulation, large open wounds, and never fall to sleep with a heating pad intact.
Benefits of Drinking Hot Water
Drinking hot water may sound a little disgusting, but you can always add a bit of lemon or honey to make a concoction that is more appealing to the taste buds. Drinking hot water benefits are innumerable and way too many to mention them all.
- Increases body temperature, which will increase the metabolic rate (weight loss benefits)
- Stimulates the renal system, which will rid the body of harmful toxins, in a much quicker manner
- Soothing to the throat (hot water will dilate the blood vessels in the throat, which will decrease inflammation and pain)
- Increases gastrointestinal circulation (boost immunity to fight off bacterium and viruses)
- Loosens mucus in the nasal passageways
- Relaxes abdominal muscles, which can potentially decrease abdominal cramping, during menstrual cycle
Drinking cold or hot water will hydrate your body, which will decrease constipation and improve your overall health. These drinking hot water benefits can definitely help you, in more ways than one.