What happens during a hot stone massage?
A hot stone massage is a type of massage therapy that is perfect for all sorts of reasons. It’s used to help you relax and ease tense muscles and damaged soft tissues throughout your body. There are many benefits, please read on to discover these and why a hot stone massage is amazing!!
1. Helps relieve muscle tension and pain
Heat has long been used to ease muscle tension and pain. It helps increase blood flow to the affected area. It may also reduce muscle spasms and increase flexibility and range of motion. Cold therapy helps relieve inflammation. Depending on your symptoms, alternating hot and cold stones during your massage may be helpful.
2. Reduces stress and anxiety
It’s the position of the American Massage Therapy Association that “massage therapy can be effective for stress relief.”
3. Promotes sleep
4. May help relieve symptoms of autoimmune diseases
Hot stone massage may relieve painful conditions such as fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes widespread, chronic pain of which there is no cure.
5. May help decrease cancer symptoms
A large, three-year study published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management examined how massage affected pain, fatigue, stress and anxiety, nausea, and depression in 1,290 people with cancer.
6. May boost immunity
Massage may give your immune system a boost. According to a 2010 Source, a single session of Swedish massage therapy had a positive and acute impact on immunity. Blood samples taken before and after the massage showed a decrease in arginine-vasopressin, a hormone that helps regulate blood pressure and water retention.
What to expect from having a hot stone massage for the first time?
People often describe hot stone massage as comforting and deeply relaxing. The warmth is soothing for people who tend to feel chilly.
The heat of the stones relaxes muscles, allowing the therapist to work deeper while using lighter pressure.The hot stones are smooth and typically several inches long. The stones should be warmed using a professional electric massage stone heater so that the temperature can be controlled.
The heat of the stones allows the massage therapist to work on deep tissue if needed. As with any massage, however, massage therapy shouldn’t hurt and you should tell your massage therapist if you feel any pain.
What to Expect
During the massage, the therapist places stones on specific points on the body. While the points may vary depending on the areas of muscle tension and the client’s health history, the stones are generally placed in the following areas:
– Along both sides of the spine
– In the palms of your hand
– On your legs, abdomen, feet
Small stones may be placed between the toes or on the forehead.
After the stones are placed on your body, it may take a few minutes for the heat to penetrate the sheet or towel so you can discern whether the stones are too hot.
The therapist applies massage oil to the skin. Holding stones in both hands, the therapist uses gliding movements to move the stones along the muscles.