Benefits of Paraffin Wax Therapy

paraffin-moist-heat-therapyYou may already be familiar with paraffin wax treatments at spas and nail salons — it’s a luxurious addition to a manicure or pedicure. But you may be surprised at what else paraffin wax is used to treat.

Paraffin wax is a common option in heat therapy treatments for people with arthritis or other rheumatic diseases – the heat helps increase blood flow and relax the muscles, which can help relieve caused by arthritis, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia. Paraffin wax can even soften hardened skin caused by scleroderma, a disease in which collagen accumulates on the body – it increases the skin’s elasticity, allowing for increased movement and mobility, especially on the skin covering the hands.

If you look down at your hands and see knotted bunch of crooked joints that can no longer button your shirt, then you might want to read this. Hand arthritis affects millions of people every day. Even the mundane daily tasks become impossible when the hands are stiff, painful and deformed. If it’s cold outside, then forget trying to tie your shoes. Cold just makes matters much worse.

Which brings us to the issue of warmth; arthritic hands work better when they are warm. Knowing that, many practitioners recommend some source of warmth for arthritic hands like gloves, hot packs, ultrasound treatment and hot wax.

The hope is that the warmth will stimulate circulation, relax muscles, improve nerve conduction, and improve joint fluidity. No one knows for sure why hot wax treatments are so therapeutic, but the results cannot be denied: it feels good, improves strength, and improves function.

Paraffin wax has a very high heat capacity, meaning it is able to absorb and retain a great amount of heat. A paraffin wax spa takes advantage of paraffin’s heat-retaining capacity in a simple process called heat transfer. In technical terms, heat is transferred to the core of the affected area as paraffin goes through a phase change. As it melts, the paraffin becomes a liquid and is able to retain more heat. Then, when a hand, foot, or other area is dipped into the heated bath, the paraffin that surrounds the dipped area quickly changes into solid wax. The heat that is given off is called the heat of fusion.TB6_foot1

More simply, the heat that goes into melting the paraffin comes out when it solidifies into a comforting paraffin coating, thus transferring the heat into the affected limb. Another way to look at it is the paraffin is the medium that transfers heat from the Therabath to the painful area.

At the same time, the heat from the paraffin opens pores and increases circulation in the skin. This is why paraffin is so beneficial to skin, leaving skin softened and more radiant.

Paraffin therapy is one of the most effective methods of applying deep heat to relieve pain and stiffness and can help the following conditions:

  • Arthritis
  • Bursitis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Inflammation
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Overworked/Fatigued Muscles
  • Stiff Joints
  • Tendonitis
  • Tennis Elbow

Wax therapy should not be used if you have cuts, open sores or inflammatory skin conditions.

4 Responses to “Benefits of Paraffin Wax Therapy”

    • Hi Eva,
      I would suggest a deep tissue massage for sciatic pain as this is coming from your lower back. The warm wax therapy would feel nice but wouldn’t help your sciatic pain I’m afraid.


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