HOT and COLD Compress
It’s beautiful to acknowledge how some of the remedies our grandmas, and great grandmas, recommended hold up and actually are now proven to work. Have an injury? Put some frozen peas on it. Cramps? A hot pack will ease the tension. Headache? How about a cool cloth over the eyes.
Now, we’ve elevated our healing game a wee bit (not to throw a bag of frozen peas under the bus, since they do work) and can invest in versatile hot/cold rice packs.
So let’s talk about how hot/cold compresses aid in recovery/health. Heat therapy has been around for thousands of years and is most commonly used as a way to effectively relieve both chronic and occasional aches and pains. It is one of most common types of passive, non-invasive, and non-addictive therapies. But how does it work? Applying heat to your tissues increases the blood circulation. Blood drawn into the target tissues delivers needed oxygen and nutrients and removes cell wastes. The warmth decreases muscle spasm, relaxes tense muscles, relieves pain, and can increase range of motion. B-E-A-UTIFUL.
Heat therapy is commonly used to treat discomforts such as stiff neck, muscle tension and muscle spasms, muscle strains, cramping, and sprains (about 48 hours after the injury) and more.
A cold compress can help to lower the temperature in a certain part of the body while reducing pain and swelling. It works by reducing blood flow to a particular area, which can significantly reduce inflammation and swelling that causes pain, especially around a joint or a tendon. Use cold therapy for short periods of time, several times a day (if trying to heal an injury). It is recommended to use cold therapy for 15-20 minutes at a time, though with a rice pack, the cold temperatures are generally less intense and therefore you may keep the application for slightly longer, around 25 minutes. You can elevate the affected area for best results.
So here are a few ways we use hot/cold compresses on a daily basis:
+morning - place cool compress over eyes and face to tighten and reduce puffiness
+post workout- place warm compress over area that was targeted during the workout and use as an end of evening relaxation and recovery tool.
+during *that time* of the month - place warm compress on cramping area and sink into the easing of pain
+PRO TIP: put some of your favorite essential oil on top of your rice back! We suggest lavender or eucalyptus!