As human beings, we naturally turn to heat for relaxation and comfort.
We welcome the sun’s warmth on our faces; we reach for a cozy blanket or sip hot tea when we’re sick; and when a body part is sore, warmth is a classic natural remedy, whether it’s a heating pad to ease chronic low-back pain or a soak in a whirlpool tub to combat post-exercise muscle discomfort.
In addition to its ability to relax the body and mind, heat has long been a go-to treatment for easing pain and stiffness; and many studies, including 2016 research published in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine (“The Efficacy of Sustained Heat Treatment on Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness”) support its effectiveness.
As a massage therapist who already provides pain relief and relaxation through touch therapy, you can enhance the effects of your work by adding heat-therapy products to your sessions—as well as utilizing them for self-care.
This topical warming gel, formulated with aloe and eucalyptus, helps relax muscle tissue, reduce stiffness, support circulation and relieve post-exercise pain. It is available in a 4-ounce size and also in a 32-ounce pump container.
Perform Atomic Heat Cream
This warming cream, featuring methyl salicylate and capsaicin as active ingredients, warms the skin to help ease muscle soreness and joint or arthritis pain. Its skin-friendly formula applies smoothly and absorbs easily.
Wrap your clients in relaxing warmth with these massage table accessories; the package includes Oakworks’ Essential Table Warmer and washable table fleece, plus a complete flannel sheet set (fitted, flat and face rest cover), flannel face rest cozy and face rest fleece. Available in 21 colors.
Travel Massage Stone Package
Nature’s Stones Inc.
If you make outcalls, this hot stone set is ideal for traveling. The 27 stones can be wrapped in a small towel and packed into the included 6-quart Spa-Pro Massage Stone Heater; the package also includes a heater mat, temperature indicator, Pure Pro Ultra Massage Oil and Pure Green 24 Disinfectant for cleaning.
Tan Therabath Professional Paraffin Bath–Model TB6
Therabath Professional Paraffin Products
A paraffin treatment for hands or feet can make a simple, luxurious spa add-on, perfect for winter weather. This paraffin bath, made in the U.S. to Class II medical device standards, is designed to always stay in a safe temperature range and includes a limited lifetime guarantee. It ships with six pounds of Therabath Professional Refill Paraffin, or add holiday cheer with a Therabath scented refill in Pumpkin Cupcake or Cranberry Zest.
Earthlite/Living Earth Crafts
Treat clients to the luxury of hot towels as a session add-on. These cabinets, available in three sizes, feature a stainless steel, rustproof interior; a dual towel tray; and a discreet drip pan. They heat and UV-sanitize cloth or disposable towels for continuous use throughout the day. Each comes with a one-year limited warranty.
AspiRub Enterprises LLC
The tingly, warm sensation of AspiRub, a topical liquid spray, offers sore muscles relaxation and pain relief. It is useful during massage therapy sessions as well as for self-care; you can also purchase it in wholesale quantities and offer to clients as a retail product.
RockSauce, designed to work with RockTape kinesiology tape without interfering with its adhesive, instantly delivers strong, long-lasting hot and cold sensations to soothe clients’ minor muscle and joint discomfort for hours. Its active ingredients are methyl salicylate, menthol and capsaicin. Use for self-care, during sessions or offer as a retail product.
Sombra Professional Therapy Products
Sombra’s warm therapy pain-relieving gel can help ease the discomfort of chronic conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia and bursitis; aid in restoring range of motion; and loosen up tight muscles before exercise. Naturally orange-scented, this formula is alcohol-free, nongreasy and nonstaining to clothes.
Healing Heart Pac
Heated in the microwave, this 9-inch-diameter plush aromatic pack is designed to deliver soothing warmth to help ease chest congestion, stomachaches, abdominal cramps and sore muscles. It is also available in an unscented version.
This lightweight, durable, portable wrap can be used to ease muscle tension, headaches, arthritis, backache and general aches and pains. Measuring 4.5 inches by 21 inches and stuffed with all-natural cherry pits, it creates extremely moist heat when warmed. (Cherapy wraps can also be chilled.)
About the Author
Allison Payne is MASSAGE Magazine’s online & associate editor. She has written many articles for MASSAGE, including “Specialize in Sports Massage: Advanced Certification Can Change Your Practice” (August) and “Cool It! Cold Therapy Tools Offer Pain Relief” (June).