Benefits of Hot Stone Massage
Hot stone massage is a great way to ease tension, improve circulation and promote a sense of overall well-being. A staple of luxury services because of its proven track record of delivering a range of physical and mental benefits, hot stone therapy is a natural and safe way to melt away stress.
Every day has its own unique stresses and the body has a habit of storing these tensions. Hot stone massage can help you feel more relaxed and ready to take on new challenges.
History of Hot Stone Massage
The modern-day use of hot stone massage derives from an ancient Native American practice. For centuries Native Americans heated smooth stones and strategically placed those stones along the body to help lend a sense of pain relief and ease muscle stiffness.
The more contemporary adaption of hot stone massage was developed by a massage therapist named Mary Nelson. Nelson called her modern adaptation of the ancient practice of hot stone massage LaStone Therapy. In its basics, though, hot stone massage has been around for millennia. Massages using thermotherapy, or the use of heat to deliver therapeutic benefits, in conjunction with the human touch and carefully placed stones go back thousands of years.
Hot stone therapy in many ways has its roots in China’s traditional chinese medicine system as well as India’s ancient Ayurvedic system of holistic health. Even the pre-modern Egyptian culture used stones and massage to bring about therapeutic benefits.
Hot Stone Massage
How does hot stone massage work and what are some benefits of hot stone massage? Hot stone messages start with basalt stones getting heated in a slow cooker to around 150 degrees. The stones are selected from natural sources and sought after for their smoothness. The basalt stones used in hot stone therapy are high in iron, which helps the stones retain heat and deliver the maximum therapeutic benefit.
Heating the stones prior to their placement on the client’s body ensures that the stones are sanitized and safe to use. The good news is that once these stones are heated and sanitized, a therapist can help you realize the many physical and psychological benefits that go along with hot stone therapy. That said, you should consult your doctor prior to signing up for a hot stone therapy session. Although generally safe, hot stone therapy may come with some cautions for pregnant women or those with high blood pressure.
Modern Application of Hot Stone Massage
Hot stone massage is sometimes referred to as hot rocks massage. Hot rocks massage typically entails the massage therapist placing heated basalt stones on the client’s back and neck region. Depending on the particular health system underlying the massage, these basalt stones are placed on different points or meridians in the body.
The ayurvedic system, for instance, placed the hot stones along the lines of the body’s seven main chakras to help deliver a better energy flow and allow the client to access more everyday energy. Ancient wisdom actually suggests that a single stroke with a heated stone is the equivalent of ten strokes delivered by a massage therapist during a regular massage.
It’s also comforting to know that many modern forms of hot stone therapy, or hot rocks massage, protect your skin by having a towel buffer the heated stones. You get the same benefits with fewer safety issues. A massage therapist using hot stones would still place the stones along your spine and massage parts of your body and relieve muscle tension while the stones were in place.
Benefits of Hot Stone Massage
Massage therapists normally employ hot stone therapy after giving clients a Swedish massage. Your massage therapist will then use stones of different contours and sizes to ease the tension away. Small stones are typically used on smaller muscles and larger stones are used on larger muscles, which tend to store even more tension.
If hot stones prove too uncomfortable, you can ask your massage therapist to place the stones in a different location. Typically, though, stones are placed along the spine, abdominal region and sometimes the feet to help promote different energy flows in the body. When done properly, hot stone therapy can provide pain relief, muscle relaxation, improved circulation and an overall sense of psychological well-being.
Less Anxiety, Depression and Insomnia
Hot stone therapy has additional benefits like helping clients achieve relief from anxiety, depression and even insomnia. It’s thought that many of these benefits stem from hot stone massage’s ability to relieve tension while releasing feel-good brain chemicals like GABA and serotonin. Hot stone therapy can additionally help to calm and center the mind and even release pent-up toxins and improve circulation throughout the body’s periphery.
Added Muscle Relaxation
The most obvious benefit from hot stone therapy is muscle relaxation. This relaxation is brought about by the warm stones placed on the body and stones of various shapes and sizes used in the massage itself. Using oils as well as hot stones to deliver the massage enables deeper tissue to be manipulated more effectively. Hot stones help to ease tense muscles and enhance the benefits of the preceding Swedish massage.
Pain Relief from Hot Stone Massage
Hot stone therapy can surpass the therapeutic potential of Swedish massage or a deep tissue massage used by itself. Although most types of massage can provide some relief from joint stiffness and muscle tension, a hot stone massage can help you relieve tension in a deeper way thanks to the therapist’s ability to heat, relax and ultimately manipulate deep tissue.
Some individuals with arthritis reap huge benefits from a hot stone massage because of hot stone massage’s ability to work on muscles that weren’t getting manipulated from other forms of massage.
Heat generally helps to dilate blood vessels and improve circulation through the body’s veins, arteries and capillaries. In other words, the thermotherapy used in hot stone massage helps to reduce inflammation, chronic tension and even muscle tension resulting from too little blood flow in particular body regions.
By improving circulation, hot stone therapy may even help to improve mobility and give clients some relief from conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome and Raynaud’s disease. The heat used in hot stone therapy opens up the body’s blood vessels and allows deeper manipulation of your body’s deeper tissue.
When your body is allowed to freely circulate blood, you have more energy. Conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome are believed to be partly attributable to a lack of blood flow.
Hot stone massage’s ability to improve blood flow has shown benefits for treating fatigue and some circulatory disorders. Poor circulation can cause a host of problems, including muscle tension and the buildup of lactic acid in muscles. Both tension and the buildup of lactic acid cause unnecessary stress and tension.
By improving your circulation and getting a hot stone massage, more oxygen is ultimately delivered to your muscles, muscle tension decreases, and daily aches and pains are significantly decreased.
Mental Benefits of Hot Stone Therapy
Hot stone massage can provide a sense of calmness and clarity of thought. Hot stone massage can also help clients find a sense of peace in their otherwise stressful lives. In addition, hot stone massage can help relieve some symptoms of depression, anxiety and insomnia in certain individuals.
Summing up the Benefits
Life in the 21st century is tremendously stressful – sometimes more so than many of us realize. Stresses are stored in the body and stick around as muscle tension and occasional aches and pains.
Hot stone massage can help by delivering an overall sense of psychology well-being in addition to improved circulation, pain relief, muscle relaxation and relief from anxiety and depression. Hot stone massage has been around in one guise or another for centuries because of its proven ability to relieve tension and provide psychological well-being.
Hot stone massage following on the heels of a Swedish massage is a luxurious experience that everyone should have. You definitely deserve the best. Treat yourself to a hot stone massage and make an appointment online or by phone.