Suffering from muscular or joint pain? Really, who doesn’t. I know I sure do, and the more active I am, the more I seem to hurt.
As a Registered Massage Therapist, I have always made hydrotherapy part of my clients homecare plans. Sometimes I forget how important it is to me in my own self care. Kinda like how the carpenters house is always broke, or the plumbers house always leaks, even massage therapists forget to use all our tools we have to fix ourselves. 😂
It can be so easy to do, cheap to boot, and you might be already implementing some of these practices already, and not realizing it! Just the addition of a few new elements to your regular hydrotherapy routine, could really make a world of difference.
Just what is this hydrotherapy all about?
Hydrotherapy uses the application of water for pain relief and treatment of conditions. This can be treating anything from muscle strain to arthritis. Different temperatures and different exercises or stretches can be used to guide therapeutically beneficial outcomes.
Now, lets learn to use it!
Or likely you will find you are already using some applications, and if so, we can kick it up a notch!
What’s better than a bath?
Of course a bath can be totally lovely, but therapeutic? You bet!
The warm water will be increasing your circulation, warming up all your tissues with issues. Then to add better bang for your buck, add in some light stretching, do a bit of massage to the areas you can comfortably reach. Want more??? Of course we do…
Let’s add some extra goodness. ❤️
Epsom salts – adding 2-4 cups into a full bath is optimal for getting the most out of them. The added magnesium is beneficial for after activity or a massage, by clearing out excess lactic acid. It also is a super effective way for your body to use this magnesium for muscles, nerves and enzyme function. Resulting in less muscle soreness, reduction in stiff joints and less pain.
Did you know??? That magnesium is great for inducing sleep and reducing stress. Yay! So many benefits from one small additive!
Magnesium Flakes – Also magnesium, yes, but different in chemical composition. Magnesium flakes are the far more potent magnesium chloride, more readily absorbed, and offers a bit more bang for your buck with super sore muscles and joints. It also hosts a whole other level of benefits, its a super detoxifier, a skin softener and also promotes cell regeneration! Perfect for soothing skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis. You’ll benefit from having both eased sore muscles and having the softest, most velvety skin around!
Bentonite Clay – originally volcanic ash, thats settled on seabeds and compressed over time, this super detoxifier can make a world of difference therapeutically in your bath by helping to remove toxins that are stagnated in your lymphatic system. A stagnated lymphatic system can cause stiff and sore muscles and also tissue ‘bloating’.
Sounds so good? Yes!
The science is even more amazing. It has its detoxifying effect because it produces an strong negative electrical charge when hydrated, which in turn bonds to the positively charged toxins. Less toxins in our skin, means a better functioning system all around. It is best not to use metal utensils with bentonite clay, since it can diminish the electrical charge of it.
Hot tub? Yes pls.
I love my hot tub! Yes I do!! Great for hydrotherapy in my humble opinion for so many reasons!
I find its the best place for me to do long stretches that I can’t effectively do otherwise. The hot water not only makes tissues more mailable, but also helps to alleviate any pain I am having while doing the stretches. Double bonus!!
Do be aware, that really hot water temperatures can make you dizzy, and you want to be cautious not to overstretch muscles and ligaments, so do stop if you feel any amount of real discomfort in that area. Also make sure that you are drinking a lot of clean water, to rehydrate and flush out any extra toxin buildup.
Shower your body with love!
No hot tub, and baths aren’t your thing? No problem! The shower can be a very effective source of water for hydrotherapy! Both warm and cold!!
Warm shower can be the perfect place to do some light stretching and muscular massage. The steam is a huge help with opening pores, and eliminating toxins, plus the heat is helping with the easing of muscle tension.
Cold showers can be hugely beneficial with increasing circulation, removing excess lactic acid and stimulating your nervous system. I started cold showers after following Wim Hof, a renowned cold water expert, and I can say this has totally taken my body wellness health to a whole other level!
💥 Kick your shower up a notch with aromatherapy! Add a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil blend to your shower floor and inhale the benefits. Do be sure that you are up to date on the safety of essential oils, as they are very much a therapeutic tool, and some can be quite dangerous when not used properly.
Go jump in the lake! Or the pool!
Swimming, can be an effective way to treat a variety different conditions.
Ultimately doing light exercises and stretches in a warm pool, will be fabulous for your muscles and ligaments. When they are warmed up a bit, they will be more pliable and the water acts to soften the movement of joints, making it less strenuous. Lots of rec centres will offer warm water exercise classes, these may be your answer to your continued stiffness and soreness.
But cold water activities has its place as well. Cold water can improve your circulation, reduce inflammation and spike your energy levels. During your chilly encounter, you may notice a significant reduction in pain, due to the fact that the blood vessels are constricting, and the reduction of blood flow to the area will reduce swelling and inflammation. There are studies that indicate that cold water hydrotherapy also has a significant reduction in post activity muscle soreness as well. Thus, all the ice baths being used by your favourite sports stars! But use caution of course, cold can be good, but steer clear of anything hypothermic!
💜 All of these techniques can be hugely beneficial when dealing with sore muscles and pain.
Sometimes for me it can be as small as soaking my achey, inflamed hands in a sink full of cold water after continued over use activities like giving a massage, or kneading bread.
I hope some of these tips may help you to have a easier time dealing with muscle and joint pain, and if you have anything that you’ve been using for yourself that has been working amazing, feel free to drop a post below and share it with us all!
Peace & love,