How Can Hot Stone Massage Therapy Benefit You?
Hot Stone Massage therapy involves warming smooth stones and then placing them on different parts of the body. The hot stone massage therapist can place these stones on specific “stress” points on your body and keep them like so while giving you a massage.
The stones' localised heat and weight warm and calm muscles, helping the massage therapist to apply deeper pressure without adding pain to certain regions.
The first use of the hot stone massage can be traced back to India where it happened almost 5000 years ago to increase fitness & relaxation. This process required placing stones on the body to loosen stressed muscles and alleviate the discomfort on them.
About 3,000 years ago, the Chinese used circular stones called “Bian” to cure illnesses while burning mugwort, an aromatic flowering plant. In order to increase digestion, they often put stones on the belly.
In later years hot stone massage therapy found its way into the medical world of the Hawaiians and Native Americans who, too, were immensely benefited by the relaxation properties imparted by hot stones. Today hot stone massage is used in a variety of ways to meet multiple needs.
The Fundamentals of Hot Stone Massage
The use of heated stones is a trademark in hot stone massage therapy. Basalt river rocks are the ones that are commonly used because they are flat and hold heat well (due to the river's current).
Some massage therapists put stones on points using the knowledge of human anatomy, but most therapists will place the stones on points that are considered to energetically balance the mind and body.
The massage would usually follow the principles of Swedish massage therapy that involves long strokes, kneading, and rolling.
Five Advantages Of A Hot Stone Therapy
All massage therapies fall under the alternative medicine classification and they have been growing popular as a complementary treatment to attend to a variety of physical & mental problems. The below are some of the benefits of having a hot stone massage.
1. Assists with the relief of stress & discomfort in our joints.
Heat has been used to relieve joint stress and discomfort for a long time. It aids in the improvement of blood supply to the infected region. Muscle spasms may also be reduced, thus improving range of motion and stability. However, inflammation may be relieved with cold treatment. Alternating hot and cold stones during your massage can be beneficial depending on your symptoms.
2. Assists with the reduction of tension and anxiety.
Tons of research has backed the claim that massage therapy is useful to relieve stress, improving cardiovascular response (such as stroke volume) and decreasing tension.
3. People who underwent abdominal colorectal surgery had experienced reduced discomfort and stress, after having a post-operative massage, according to a 2015 report.
A study done in 2006 concluded that massage therapy can be an alternative to sleeping pills in adults with insomnia. Infants with sleep disorders who received a 15-minute massage from their parents fell asleep quicker, according to a 2001 report. Upon waking, they were often more conscious, engaged, and active.
4. May aid in the relief of autoimmune disorder symptoms.
Fibromyalgia and other painful conditions can benefit from hot stone massage. Fibromyalgia is a debilitating pain disease that affects the whole body. People with fibromyalgia who got a 30-minute hot stone massage slept better, had fewer pressure points and also lower levels of substance P (a substance involved in processing pain signals) than those who got relaxation therapy, as per research. Although more data is required before this becomes a normal procedure for Fibromyalgia.
People with rheumatoid arthritis can gain from a moderate-pressure massage, such as hot stone massage, according to a 2013 report. After one month of massage therapy, research participants reported less discomfort, improved grip power, and increased range of motion.
5. It has the potential to improve immunity.
Massages can help to improve your immune system. A single session of Swedish massage therapy had a positive and acute effect on immunity, according to a 2010 report. Arginine-vasopressin, a hormone that helps control blood pressure and water retention, was shown to be lower in blood tests obtained before and during the massage.
What to Expect
The practitioner puts stones on various points on the body during the massage. The stones are usually positioned in the following locations, but the points can differ based on the areas of muscle strain and the client's health history:
In the neck on all sides
In the palms of your hands, in the palms of your hands, in the palms of
Legs, belly, and heels
Between the toes or on the forehead, small stones may be put.
It can take a few minutes for the heat from the stones to reach the sheet or towel, allowing you to determine if they are too heavy.
The doctor massages the skin with massage oil. The trainer moves the stones through the muscles with gliding motions while holding the stones with both hands. When the stones are in operation or after they have been replaced, the practitioner utilises Swedish massage methods on the back, knees, hands, and shoulders. A traditional hot stone massage lasts anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes. Hot stone therapy has evolved over time, and many massage practitioners and spas also sell their own variations.
Painful Or Not?
The hot stones are usually many inches long and smooth. A skilled electric massage stone heater can be used to steam the stones such that the temperature can be regulated.
If the stones get too hot or painful, notify the massage therapist right away. Burns may occur when stones are too hot.
Since the stones are heated, the massage therapist may operate on deep tissue if necessary. Massage therapy, like any other kind of massage, does no harm, and you should alert your massage therapist if you have any discomfort.
You Shouldn’t Have Hot Stone Massage if:
Massages are normally harmless, but the National Institutes of Health states that severe side effects such as a blood clot, nerve damage, or bone fracture have occurred in extreme cases.
While hot stone massage is usually considered healthy when done by a qualified and certified massage therapist, it is not right for everyone. Hot stone massage can be avoided by children and pregnant women.
If you have a medical disorder including elevated blood pressure, asthma, coronary failure, varicose veins, migraines, autoimmune disease, reduced pain perception, cancer, inflammatory disease, arthritis, tumours, even metal implants, or if you're on blood-thinning medicine, talk to the doctor.
A hot stone massage may be beneficial to a variety of people.
A hot stone massage may help people who are suffering from muscle stiffness and discomfort, insomnia, or stress. If you have a persistent pain problem, speak to your doctor on whether a hot stone massage is right for you.
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