By Nature's Plus
For thousands of years, people have been experiencing the benefits of exposing their bodies to extreme hot and cold temperatures through the use of saunas and cold plunges. Today, extremists are seeing benefits ranging from relief of various ailments to boosting their sports performance by pushing themselves beyond their body temperature of 98.6 degrees with hot and cold spa treatments.
Whether they choose to go above or beyond their core temperature, modern technology has caught up with this ancient practice as more people are flocking to spas and whole-body cryotherapy centers.
Sweating it out
The popularity of dry heat saunas and steam rooms has heated up over recent years. Both men and women are turning to the hot side to get relief from some of today’s common ailments. Here is a breakdown for each:
Dry Heat Sauna
- Soothes and relaxes tired muscles
- Eases cold and allergy symptoms by relieving congestion
- Lessens anxiety
- Cleanses the skin
- Promotes more restful sleep by relaxing the body
- Improves cardiovascular and circulatory health (research in men)
- Relieves discomfort from inflammation
- Relieves upper respiratory congestion
- Relieves irritated throat and dry mucous membranes
- Relieves sore muscles
The Big chill
Whole-body cryotherapy is like an ice bath on steroids. Cryotherapy spa treatments are popping up across the country as athletes, health enthusiasts and even some patients are taking the artic plunge and getting healing results.
Some studies have shown runners recovered more quickly from three cryotherapy sessions 48 hours after an injury than from heat applied to the skin; while other studies have shown some pain relief in rheumatoid arthritis patients and health benefits in multiple sclerosis patients.
Here are some reported benefits of cryotherapy spa treatment:
- Reduces inflammation
- Reduces pain
- Reduces swelling
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Reduces insomnia
- Helps with weight loss
Switching it up
Today’s spa treatments are encouraging its guests to alternate between hot and cold. Experts believe the shift in extreme temperatures may help to improve circulation. One theory is when your body is exposed to the extreme cold it decreases swelling and inflammation and pulls blood flow away from the area. Then, when you transfer to heat it brings the blood back to that area creating a pumping motion.