Hot Stone Massage
In hot stone massage, warmed stones are placed on parts of the client’s body to maximize therapeutic benefit. Hot stone massage is particularly helpful for people who have cold feet or tend to feel chilly. It’s also suitable for people with muscle tension but prefer a lighter massage as the heat relaxes muscles, allowing the therapist to work the muscles without needing to use deep pressure. Alternatively, the heat can relax muscles so that deeper pressure can be applied. The benefits of hot stone massage are both physical and psychological.
Note: Before getting a hot stone massage, always check with your doctor. Pregnant women and people with high pressure, among other conditions, are advised not to get this type of therapy.
The following are some of the hot stone massage benefits:
Muscles that are extremely tight, stiff, or overly tense can hinder the massage process. By placing hot stones on the muscles before massaging, the heat can help to relax the muscles so that the therapist can apply deeper pressure, if desired. Heat from the stones can also facilitate the process of releasing tension and easing sore muscles.
Hot stone massage may provide greater pain relief than other types of massage for tense muscles, injuries, or stiff joints because the heat allows the massage therapist to apply deeper pressure.
In a hot stone massage session, the therapist usually rests heated stones on the body’s trigger points before beginning the massage. The heat encourages your blood vessels to open, which results in improved circulation. Poor circulation can lead to fatigue, which tenses the muscles and contributes to a buildup of fluid and lactic acid. As circulation is improved, more oxygen is delivered to the muscles, helping to ease aches and pains.
For many people, hot stone massage therapy can result in mental benefits as well as physical ones. The warmth of the hot stones calms the nervous system and helps ease mental stress and tension. A hot stone massage may also help combat some symptoms of anxiety disorders and depression.
Benefits of Hot Stone Massage
Should I get a hot stone massage, a Swedish massage, or a regular massage? This is a commonly asked question. For some people, the warmth of the hot stones is comforting so they get this type of massage for relaxation.
People get hot stone massages for a variety of health conditions, including:
- Poor circulation
- Back pain and aches
- Stress, anxiety and tension
Hot stone massage is not recommended for certain conditions, including:
- Open wounds, infectious skin disease, rash, or neuropathy
- Directly after chemotherapy or radiation, unless recommended by your doctor
- Directly after surgery
- If you are prone to blood clots. There is a risk of blood clots being dislodged. Check with your doctor before having a massage if you have heart disease, diabetes, or circulatory conditions
- Pregnancy. Check with your doctor first if you are pregnant and considering getting a hot stone massage.
- Rheumatoid arthritis. The heat of the stones may trigger a flare-up.