Archive for the ‘Wellness Programs’ Category

Part 2 – Heat in Contrast Therapies

Now that you have an understanding of the affects of ice and ice packs as a therapy for controlling and mitigating pain and inflammation (please reference the author’s previous article “Ice and Heat Part 1”) it is appropriate to introduce heat therapy in greater detail.

Cold Contracts / Heat Expands:

We have established cold’s influence in the tissue is that cold causes it to contract and shrink and that heat causes materials (in this case the tissues in the injured area) to expand.

Therefore, buy causing a temporary expansion (or dilation) of the local blood vessels (I.e. veins and arteries ) in a given area with heat, we can increase to volume of blood to the area and the rate of metabolic activity of the cells. By increasing the level of metabolic activity of the cells we increase the rate of exchange of waste products to and from the cells.

This enhances to cells ability to repair and Accelerates the healing response.

Duration , Duration, Duration :

Very much like ice, the use of heat has to be timed appropriately.

Do not lay on heat pad. Rather , apply the heat pad or heat source on top of the affected area to allow normal circulation to continue to the area.

A good general rule of thumb is to use moderate heat on the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes maximum. Following application of heat (for approximately 15 minutes) then remove the heat and let the area rest (with no further stimulation ) for 45 minutes to 60minutes.

As you may remember from the “Part One” article on the use of ice, the 45 minute to 60 minute Rest Phase allows your body to return to homeostasis.

The Use of Ice and Heat in Contrast:

If you can follow the guidelines for the proper use of ice and heat independently , it is possible to use the two therapies in contrast to further accelerate the healing response in your body.

A typical time schedule for using ice and heat appropriately and carefully in Contrast could include the following:

Begin Application-

*Ice applied for 10 to 15 minutes.
* 45 minute to 60 minute Rest Phase.
* Heat applied for 10 to 15 minutes.
* 45 minute to 60 minute Rest Phase.

And so on….(up to three contrast repetitions in a given setting).

Rest for 4-6 hours to allow for returning the body to homeostasis .

Assess and possibly repeat as necessary.


As always , each condition and each person’s body is special. It is important that the use of ice and heat be monitored closely by yourself to see how your body responds to treatment. Any negative reactions such as : excessive swelling, increased pain, discoloration, all should alert you to discontinue home therapies and consult your primary health professional.

– Roberto A. Paredes, B.A., L.M.T

Roberto Paredes, B.A., L.M.T., Rolf Method Practitioner has a healing practice in Phoenix, AZ. He provides patient empowerment, therapeutic treatments and education with nutrition, exercise and body manipulations. To schedule an appointment for a consultation you may call (480) 225-2313 or email him at

Roberto Paredes, B.A., L.M.T.

(480) 225-2313

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