This article is written by Erik Neil.
Hot stone massage therapy is a kind of massage therapy that uses smoothen hot stones to apply the treatment. The stones for hot stone massage are made by basalt, which is a kind of volcanic rock that can bear the heat for a long time. The stones are heated to between 130 to 145 degrees for applying hot stone massage therapy. Sometimes cold stones may be used after the therapy to calm engorged blood vessels and to relax your skin.
Therapists use long strokes, circular movements, vibration, tapping and kneading during the treatments of hot stone therapy. And the therapist may place the stones along your spine, on your stomach, chest, face, palms or your foot and toes.
In this article, I will discuss the key benefits of hot stone massage therapy, including the risks and warnings.
The Key Benefits of Hot Stone Massage Therapy
1. Relieves muscle tension and pain
Hot stone massage therapy eases muscle tension and relieves pain. The heat from the stone and actions from the therapist increase blood flow to the affected area tissues. This treatment reduces muscle tension and increases muscle flexibility by tearing tight tissues and releasing harmful toxins from the muscle. After the close tissues get flexible and toxins get released from affected tissues, the muscle pains get eased.
2. Reduces stress and anxiety
Lots of patients who suffered from stress and anxiety claimed that they got surprising benefits from hot stone therapy. A study in 2001 proved that a 10 minutes hot stone massage improves cardiovascular responses that relieve stress and anxiety. Another study in 2015 showed that patients who underwent abdominal colorectal operation got relief from stress and anxiety.
3. Lessens chronic pain
Any type of quality massage therapy helps to relieve chronic pain, but many patients claimed that they got practical benefits after receiving hot stone massage therapy. The heat from hot stones allows the therapist to apply their actions to the deeper layers of muscle tissues, which helps to get better benefits and increased ranges of motion. Regular massage therapies for around a month help to get the long-lasting benefits.
4. Blood circulation
The heat from hot stones helps therapists to manipulate the deeper layers of muscle tissues. Hence the tight tissues of deep layers of muscle tissues can be torn, and the harmful toxins can be released easily. The blood flow then increases to these deep layers of muscle tissues, and the blood pressure also gets normal.
5. Fast recovery
The recovery processes of any injury get interrupted because of producing harmful toxins and tightness to the injured areas. But hot stone massage therapy helps to reach the actions to the deep layers of the injured tissues that tear tight tissues and release toxins from the injured muscle tissues. Hence, the blood flow increases to these wounded tissues, and the injured tissues get more foods and nutrients. So, the recovery process gets faster.
6. Promote sleep
Since hot stone massage therapy reduces muscle tension, (chronic) pain, stress and anxiety, the body and mind feel relaxed. So, the body cells need to take rest, and you will have better quality of sleep. You may even fall asleep during the massage session. Better sleep will help you to get more benefits from the massage therapy that just been applied to you.
Risks and Warnings of Hot Stone Massage Therapy
Hot stone massage therapy indeed has lots of advanced benefits. But sometimes, it may cause some adverse effects on the patients and it’s not appropriate for everyone. Some possible side effects of hot stone massage therapy are given below:
- Breaks in the skin: Anyone with serious injuries or breaks in the skin shouldn’t apply this therapy until they get healed from these problems. Because of such type of situation, hot stone massage therapy, even any massage therapy, can lead the problem to deeper.
- Infection or illness: Anyone with a fever, cold, or flu shouldn’t apply this therapy until they get healed.
- Heart disease: The hot stone massage therapy, deep tissue massage therapy, or such kind of massage therapies are not applicable to anyone who is suffering from serious heart disease.
- After taking drugs or alcohol: After taking drugs or alcohol, human bodies lose their normal situation and in such situations, the hot stone massage therapy doesn’t work well.
- Pregnancy: The heat from hot stone massage therapy can be harmful to pregnant women.
Best Ways to Get Quality Hot Stone Massage Therapy
Having hot stone massage therapy from certified professional therapists will give you proper benefits. To get a professional therapist, you can go through some processes given below.
- Ask any of your family members or friends who already received hot stone massage therapy for a recommendation.
- You can take a reference from a physio.
- You can search on the internet to get a professional therapist near your home.
- You can find it from the database of massage therapy associations in your country.
Unfortunately it’s not possible to have a hot stone massage at your home without any therapist. Most massage therapies have massager machines that allow having quality massage therapy at home. For example, you can use the best deep tissue massager machine for having deep tissue massage or a foot massager for foot massage therapy at your home. But there are no hot stone massagers yet that can help you have that massage at home. So to have quality hot stone massage therapy, you have to take help from a massage therapist.
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