Volume 6, Issue 3, September 2020, Page: 87-92
A Review of Heat Therapy in African Traditional Medicine
Nwokeke Chinyere Celine, Nigeria Natural Medicine Development Agency, Lagos, Nigeria
Igwillo Ugochukwu Clifford, Nigeria Natural Medicine Development Agency, Lagos, Nigeria
Received: Jul. 22, 2020;       Accepted: Aug. 3, 2020;       Published: Aug. 20, 2020
DOI: 10.11648/j.jher.20200603.16      View  72      Downloads  60
Heat therapy – also known as thermotherapy or thermal therapy – is the transfer of heat or thermal energy in and out of the human body especially at the joints, using towels, ice packs, wax, hot/warm water, steam, etc within a given temperature range. The objective is the expansion of blood capillaries and increased blood flow to the affected area for healing. The principle is the application of the heat or cold to change the cutaneous, intraarticular or core temperature of soft tissues to improve symptoms of certain conditions. Categories of heat therapy include: diathermia (<41°C), hyperthermia (41°C - 45°C), and thermal ablation (>45°C). Heat therapy is classified on the bases of contact of heat, mode of transfer, type of heat, penetration of heat, and use of heat. Examples include: steam inhalation, hot fomentations, hot foot bath, Seitz bath (hip bath and half-bath), hot and cold contrast bath, and sun therapy. Heat therapy has several benefits in African traditional medicine and has also been used extensively for treating various diseases including: sickle cell disease, primary dysmenorrhea, skeletomuscular pain, trauma, inflammatory and degenerative rheumatic diseases, osteoarthritis, acute and non-specific chronic low back pain, fibromyalgia, cutaneous leishmaniasis, tumours, musculoskeletal injuries, diabetic kidney disease, etc.
Heat Therapy, Thermotherapy, Diathermia, Hyperthermia, Thermal Ablation, African Traditional Medicine
To cite this article
Nwokeke Chinyere Celine, Igwillo Ugochukwu Clifford, A Review of Heat Therapy in African Traditional Medicine, Journal of Health and Environmental Research. Vol. 6, No. 3, 2020, pp. 87-92. doi: 10.11648/j.jher.20200603.16
Copyright © 2020 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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