Have you ever noticed a little box in a therapy room that looks very similar to a small microwave? You may have seen them at the nail salon or spa in addition to your massage therapist’s practice. These are hot towel cabinets that warm damp towels and maintain a heated environment so that warm towels can be accessed throughout a massage session without having to leave the room.
I recently announced that I have warm towels available during massage sessions. The most common question I get when asking clients if they would like them used in their session is: what are they and how are they used?
Warm towels are a great tool that can be utilized by therapists in treatment based approaches as well as being a relaxing and nurturing addition to a session. As I focus on health and wellness I often use them as a tool to help the body relax and receive tension reducing work with less discomfort.
Warm towels help to calm the nervous system, dilate the vascular system, and soften the tissue by reducing tension. This helps increase circulation to an area and warm up the tissue to make it more pliable and workable. This added heat can reduce tenderness and discomfort while working on very tense tissue and muscle that need a little extra attention to get into.
When working on areas that are prone to holding high amounts of tension and not used to being touched such as the hip flexors or back of the neck, warm towels can be a good introduction to the area to help reduce the discomfort when starting to work the tissue. Introducing heat first can give the muscle and tissue time to acclimate to movement and changes in tension before working deeper into the area. While heat doesn’t make every tender area completely comfortable to work in, it can make all the difference in areas that are very tender and sensitive to light touch.
If you have an interest in adding warm towels in your next session let your therapist Know!