The Therapeutic Benefits of Heat, Delivered 3 Ways

The Therapeutic Benefits of Heat, Delivered 3 Ways


Photo courtesy of Britney Gill for GOODLAND Hot Tubs & Outdoors

When you step into a hot tub or lie down on a heated mat, you’re more likely thinking about how wonderful it feels than about the therapeutic value—which is also significant. Heat treatment has benefits for our skin, core, muscles, pelvic floor, and sexual health. And you can get them at home.

There’s a spiritual side to warmth as well. Saunas have long been a part of purification rituals for the body and soul, and sweat lodges are used for spiritual ceremonies by Indigenous people throughout North, South, and Central America.

Deep Heat

The increase in core body temperature from using a sauna or hot tub comes with physiological benefits. More than twenty years ago, The New England Journal of Medicine published an article on the benefits of hot tubs for metabolism. Since then, research studies have found that regular hot-tubbing supports healthy arteries and circulation, in addition to metabolism. And the use of a dry sauna has been shown to have similar benefits.

One theory about how heat therapy works is that heat causes the body to ramp up its production of protective molecules called heat-shock proteins. Heat-shock proteins help repair components of cells that are damaged. As we age, damaged components accumulate inside cells. By increasing heat-shock proteins, heat could help keep everything functioning smoothly, including the mitochondria, the little fireplaces in our cells where fuels are burned and energy is captured.

There’s a way to bring a sauna experience into the smallest apartment: the Infrared Sauna Blanket. Fold yourself into the blanket, turn up the heat, breathe a sigh of relief and pleasure, and sweat. If this intrigues you, there’s lots more info about the sauna blanket here.

To stay hydrated and replenish the sodium and potassium lost in sweat, we suggest sipping on a lemony electrolyte mix made with organic coconut water and pink Himalayan salt. Of course, this naturally pairs with water—filtered through coconut-shell carbon—from your SOMA pitcher.

  1. Soma 10-CUP WATER PITCHER

    SOMA
    10-CUP WATER PITCHER
    goop, $39

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  2. Cure Hydration MAIN SQUEEZE LEMON DAILY ELECTROLYTE MIX

    Cure Hydration
    MAIN SQUEEZE LEMON DAILY ELECTROLYTE MIX
    goop, $25

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  3. HigherDOSE INFRARED SAUNA BLANKET V3

    HigherDOSE
    INFRARED SAUNA BLANKET V3
    goop, $500

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Muscle Therapy

The heat from heating pads and hot-water bottles permeates about a half an inch (one centimeter) into the body, which is deep enough to relax muscles and increase the flow of blood, bringing nutrients and oxygen and carrying away waste.

As many people who’ve experienced cramps with their period know, applying heat locally can offer relief. (A review of six randomized controlled trials came to the same conclusion.) It’s thought to work by relaxing painful spasmed muscles and increasing blood flow to the pelvic region. Circulating blood can help carry away fluid and reduce swelling and painful nerve compression.

There’s no cord for the Heated Neck Wrap from Ostrichpillow. Pop it in the microwave, then enjoy the oh-so-comforting heat on your shoulders—or wherever. Alternatively, lie on the Gemstone Heat Therapy Mat and let red light, infrared light, pulsed electromagnetic fields, and thirteen pounds of jade, tourmaline, and amethyst warm you, promote circulation, and ease muscle tension.

And we don’t want to forget about the healing powers of warm hands. Because cold oil does not promote muscle relaxation, Pulse has designed a dispenser that automatically senses your hand and dispenses a dollop of warm massage oil.

  1. Pulse SPOIL ME UNSCENTED MASSAGE OIL

    Pulse
    SPOIL ME UNSCENTED MASSAGE OIL
    goop, $30

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  2. Pulse PULSE WARMER

    Pulse
    PULSE WARMER
    goop, $199

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  3. HigherDOSE INFRARED PEMF GO MAT

    HigherDOSE
    INFRARED PEMF GO MAT
    goop, $499

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  4. goop Wellness DOUBLE-SIDED WAND VIBRATOR

    goop Wellness
    DOUBLE-SIDED
    WAND VIBRATOR

    goop, $95

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  5. Ostrichpillow HEATED NECK WRAP

    Ostrichpillow
    HEATED NECK WRAP
    goop, $45

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  6. HealthyLine GEMSTONE HEAT THERAPY MAT

    HealthyLine
    GEMSTONE HEAT THERAPY MAT
    goop, $1,049

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Pelvic Floor and Sexual Health

Physiological changes to the vulva, vagina, and pelvic floor happen with childbirth and menopause. One way to care for these tissues is to stimulate blood flow to the pelvic region. Increasing blood circulation supports healthy vaginal and pelvic floor tissues, and the vFit Gold is a brilliant way to promote this. vFit uses heat, vibration, and red and infrared light to boost circulation and cellular health.

Also designed for internal use, the Ultraplush Self-Heating G-Spot Vibrator skillfully incorporates gentle heat for comfort and to increase circulation, which contributes to tissue engorgement, arousal, and pleasure.

Regular vulval and vaginal stimulation can help maintain sexual wellness. The Kit from Tabu includes a slim, smooth, heating vibrator designed for internal and external play, plus a luxurious water-based lubricant containing nurturing hyaluronic acid and organic plant extracts.

  1. vFit VFIT GOLD

    vFit
    VFIT GOLD
    goop, $395

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  2. Tabu THE KIT

    Tabu
    THE KIT
    goop, $135

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  3. Personal Fav WHET PLANT-BASED SEX SERUM

    Personal Fav
    WHET PLANT-
    BASED SEX SERUM

    goop, $24

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  4. goop Wellness ULTRAPLUSH SELF-HEATING G-SPOT VIBRATOR

    goop Wellness
    ULTRAPLUSH SELF-HEATING
    G-SPOT VIBRATOR

    goop, $89

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This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. To the extent that this article features the advice of physicians or medical practitioners, the views expressed are the views of the cited expert and do not necessarily represent the views of goop.



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Rachel Meadows

Rachel Meadows

Trending topics news writer who enjoys cooking, walking her dog and travel.