This summer I’m offering a cold marble stone massage. This therapeutic treatment is a great way to relieve the body of discomfort associated with hot temperatures. Cold stone massage is not as common as the hot stone massage, but everyone enjoys it just the same.
Cryotherapy (cold therapy) has many physiological benefits to soft tissue, and most people don’t understand what they are. Cryotherapy is the application of cold for the first aid of trauma to the musculoskeletal system to promote healing.
What exactly happens to the tissue when ice is applied? Initially, the opposite of what happens when you apply heat. Vasoconstriction. The blood vessels and capillary beds constrict the passage way for blood to travel. Next is vasodilation or widening of the vessels. Followed again by constriction and finally numbness when the ice is then removed. The application of ice allows new blood from the heart that is nutrient and oxygen rich to rush back into the tissues to initiate the healing process.
There are four stages of the skin’s response to cold.
1. Cold sensation with vasoconstriction
0 to 3 minutes.
2. Mild burning, aching with vasodilation
2 to 7 minutes.
3. Stinging sensation with vasoconstriction
5 to 12 minutes.
4. Numbness 7 to 20 minutes.
Although the intention is not to achieve all four stages and numbness of the skin, the use of cold stones as a form of cryotherapy during massage can have many of the same benefits.
The benefits of cryotherapy include: decreases swelling, decreases pain, decreases bruising, decreases muscle spasm, reduces fever, increases resistance to disease, speed up recover time (sprains, strains, contusions, fractures) speeds healing of minor burns, increases removal of wastes, decreases secondary injury causes by inflammatory response.
Alex Stenger is a licensed Massage Therapist practicing inside BalanceDiet Billings.
Contact: Office (406) 652-9142 Cell (406) 780-0535