Hot Stone Massage
The stones used for this massage technique are smooth and flat and are commonly made from a volcanic rock called basalt. These stones are used
because they retain heat extremely well. The hot stones are placed onto the patient's body for the purpose of pain relief and relaxation. The hot stone therapy helps to remove tension, ease muscle stiffness and to increase blood circulation throughout the patient's body
The stones used for a hot stone massage are placed in hot water to warm up before being applied. They are then placed onto specific areas of the body, such as:
- the back
- the stomach
- the face
- the hands
- the feet
Some massage therapists hold the stones in their hands and use them to massage with. This allows the Therapist to get deeper into the muscles without applying more pressure, thus helping their client to relax. Occasionally, cold stones can be used on delicate areas such as the face or to areas that a hot stone treatment has just been completed. The cold temperatures from the cold stones will help to calm swollen blood vessels and soothe warm skin. Furthermore, the hot stone treatment is thought to have originated in China almost 2,000 years ago. Since then, the technique of using stones for healing has been used in many different cultures, including the Americas, Africa, Egypt, and India.
Benefits of hot stone massage
- Pain relief Hot stone massage has specifically been associated with symptom relief in people with a variety of conditions, such as fibromyalgia and other autoimmune disorders. Several studies on fibromyalgia, and rheumatoid arthritis, have linked moderate massage techniques with lessening pain and improving range of motion.
- Stress relief
- Massage is an effective method of stress relief. Several studies have shown that a massage can reduce stress and anxiety and improves cardiovascular health.
- Increased joint flexibility
- Muscle tension can make it difficult and more painful to move the joints. A massage can help to relax muscles, which makes it easier and more comfortable for someone to move.
- People with certain joint disorders may benefit, particularly from hot stone massage.
- Decreased muscle spasms and tension
- Muscles that are tense and in spasm can cause a lot of pain and interfere with daily life. Reducing the inflammation and tension in the skeletal muscle’s eases both muscle spasms and pain.
- As previously said, a massage and the use of hot stones can promote relaxation of the muscles and joints in the body to ease both pain and spasms.
- Better sleep
- Many people do not sleep well. Factors such as stress, insomnia, and busy schedules mean they get much less than the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
- A review of some of the literature on the effectiveness of massage shows that it helps promote relaxation and sleep in older people.