Hydrotherapy: Why It’s Great for Athletes and Even Better for the 9-5er

April 25, 2014
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Hydrotherapy: Why it’s great for athletes and even better for the 9-5er.

Hydrotherapy is the use of water - heated or frozen - for therapeutic purposes. Hot and cold therapy (or a mixture of the two) can help relieve pain and rehabilitate muscle injuries.

Moist Heat, hot packs

Hydrotherapy - Zama Massage Therapeutic SpaAt Zama we use moist heat clay packs that soak in water that is around 115 degrees. They are placed on the affected area of the body between a towel to control the level of heat administered. They retain their heat for up to 45 minutes and these packs can be used on virtually any part of the body.

Heat therapy should be applied no longer than 10-15 minutes at a time unless otherwise directed by a doctor.

Moist Heat Packs:

  • Provide relief from tired, achy or chronically fatigued muscles
  • Soften tight or hypertonic muscles
  • Decrease stress and/or emotional fatigue
  • Increase blood flow
  • Help the body detox by forcing out toxins stored in the muscles
  • Are perfect for pre and post-event preparation and recovery

You can use hot packs at home for relief as well. If you don’t already have your own hot packs, we recommend our reusable Hotshotz brand hot packs.

Cold therapy, ice packs

The use of cold therapy, or ice, is very common. Ice is often used to help reduce swelling or inflammation associated with injuries.

Cold therapy should be limited to applications that last no longer than 5-10 minutes at a time and up to 30 minutes in any given hour, unless otherwise directed by a doctor.

Cold therapy:

  • Relieves acute or chronic muscle/joint pain and fatigue
  • Dissipates muscle spasms or cramps
  • Is ideal for recent injuries
  • Reduces inflammation and edema/swelling in extremities
  • Helps reduce time on post-event recovery

Cold therapy at home is an easy solution for acute pain relief and ideal after a good deep tissue massage to help reduce soreness. Freezing water in a paper cup is a great way to create your own ice wand that you can easily hold. As the ice melts, simply tear back the paper as the ice melts.

Contrast therapy, the best of both worlds.

Contrast hydrotherapy is when you use both hot and cold therapy on the same part of the body. The cold pushes the blood and lymph out and the heat brings the blood and lymph back, essentially helping to create a pumping action which increases the flow of blood. In some cases, contrast therapy can restore blood flow back to normal in a previously injured area.

Contrast therapy starts with cold for 5-10 minutes and than moves to heat for 5-10 minutes. This can be repeated 2-3 times per hour, or as otherwise directed by a doctor.

Contrast Therapy:

  • Can increase range of motion in certain areas
  • Can help to reduce muscle cramping
  • Helps to rehabilitate chronic injuries and relieve chronic pain
  • Ideal for pre-event preparation and post-event recovery

There is a form of hydrotherapy for everyone. Ask your therapist about their recommendation and how it could benefit you.

Zama Massage Therapeutic Spa

2149 NE Broadway Street
PortlandOregon 97232
Off street parking in back (compact cars only).

Phone: 503.281.0278


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