What do you do when stressed up or feel that your muscles are tight?
Today, people are busier, and their schedules are suffocating with activity. This brings along a host of problems that include stress and muscle tension. For many people, a massage is the best way of restoring the spark to their life.
In actual sense, a therapist utilizes various movements such as tapping, circular motions and kneading to relax your muscles. However, a hot stone massage is a little different. Particular kinds of stones are used. In this article, we explore the benefits of hot stone massage, the associated risks and some of the FAQs.
What is hot stone massage therapy?
During a hot stone massage, a therapist employs the usual massage techniques. However, they also place several special stones on particular parts of your body.
The stones are typically made of basalt and are smooth and flat. Basalt stones are good at retaining heat.
The volcanic stones are first immersed in hot water to heat them up before application on the body. At the correct temperatures, they are then placed on a particular area of the body such as the hands, feet, stomach, back, and face. The therapist may focus on specific problematic areas of the body.
For some of the therapists, the stone is held in their hands and used to massage. The therapist gets deeper into the muscles helping you achieve further relaxation. The pressure applied is gentle, but the effects are immediate.
Cold stones are also applicable on the face. They may also follow after the application of hot stones. The benefit of the cold stone is that they have a soothing feeling on the hot skin. For the swollen blood vessels, the cold stones have a calming effect.
This 2000-year-old technique is believed to originate from China. Since then, the technique has spread to various cultures around the world.
How a hot stone massage is done
Who may benefit from hot stone massage?
If you or anyone else is experiencing stress, insomnia or muscle tension, then you will benefit from hot stone massage. However, it is always best to consult before undertaking the therapy. That is if you have a chronic condition.
7 benefits of hot stone massage
- Stress relief
A hot stone massage has been proved to effectively deal with stress. A host of studies shows that this massage variant enhances cardiovascular health and reduces anxiety, as well as, stress.
- Pain relief
The technique is effective in symptom relief for those suffering from various conditions such as fibromyalgia. Studies show that a hot stone massage has a positive effect on muscles and pain relief especially for those living with rheumatoid arthritis.
- Better sleep
In the age of busy schedules, more and more people are not getting enough sleep. Factors such as insomnia and stress mean that reaching the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep is becoming an uphill task. Hot stone massage promotes relaxation leading to improved sleep among those that undergo it.
- Better joint flexibility
The tension in the muscles can make the movement of the joints challenging and painful. The hot stone massage helps relax your muscles thereby making joint movement comfortable and easy. If suffering from certain joint disorders, you will find the hot stone massage quite beneficial.
- Reduce muscle tension
Heat is effective in muscle pain and tension relief. Applying heat to the affected area enhances blood circulation. It also minimizes spasms and improves the range of motion. If you have inflammation, then the cold stone massage is appropriate.
- Boost immunity
One session of hot stone massage has a significant positive effect on immunity. Studies were done before, and after the session indicates a reduction in the hormone that regulates blood pressure. Therefore, if you want to be healthy, then it is best you consider having regular massage sessions.
- Helps reduce cancer symptoms
If you or somebody close has cancer, then the hot stone massage therapy will do a lot of good for them. A number of studies show improved cancer symptoms when regularly done. Some of the symptoms associated with cancer include fatigue, depression, nausea, stress, and anxiety.
What are the risks?
Despite the associated benefits, the massage technique is not for everyone. Some people should avoid the hot stone massage under all circumstances.
Individuals with bruises or any other breaks in the skin should avoid this therapy until fully healed. Scrapes, cuts, and bruises increase chances of further tissue damage if the massage goes ahead. The hot stones or massage oils may introduce bacteria to the broken skin. And obviously, they are uncomfortable.
If you are suffering from illnesses or infections such as flu, cold or fever, it is better you avoid the hot stone massage. This is until that time you feel better. Illnesses will make you feel uncomfortable when the hot stones are placed on your body. The goal of the massage is to relax you, and illnesses get in the way.
If you have diabetes, you might want to reconsider using the therapy. Diabetes sometimes affects blood flow to the hands and feet. This means that you may lose a sense of feeling in these parts. Therefore, you may not realize it when the stone is burning the skin or when the pressure is excessive.
Complications associated with heart disease such as the swelling of arteries in legs make massage unsuitable. If it is done, the massage can have adverse effects.
Giving feedback on the massage process is necessary for success. However, being under the influence of drugs or alcohol affects this ability. Sometimes, massage can leave you feeling wobbly and being under the influence of alcohol can worsen the situation.
It is always best to inform the therapist of any health condition that you have so that they can determine whether the hot stone massage is best for you.
Is hot stone massage good?
Yes. The therapy is useful for most people. However, if you have an underlying condition, it is best to first ask your physician.
What stones are used in a hot stone massage?
Smooth volcanic stones such as basalt. They are good at retaining heat.
What is the feeling after the massage?
Generally, you should feel relaxed and sleep better. It is best to take at least two liters of water after the session. This is to wash off the toxins released from the muscles during the massage.
How often should you get the message?
You can go for a massage as often as you like. However, monthly is appropriate to help your body stay in shape. In case you have a chronic condition, the frequency of the therapy should be high.
Is the hot stone massage good for pregnant mothers?
Hot/ cold stone massage is appropriate after the first trimester of the pregnancy. The therapy will help relieve sciatica, hip pain, back pain, stress, as well as, tension. A hot stone massage will help you go to sleep easily and feel more relaxed.
Is hot massage good in summer?
This type of massage is appropriate all year round. The therapist can place the warm stone on problem areas for relief. The cold stones will provide comfort from the heat filling the air.
Can children receive a hot stone massage?
Yes. Children suffering from stress, pain or tissue issues will significantly benefit from the massage. The massage therapy should be customized according to the child’s needs. It should be as comfortable as possible for them. All in all, the children will accrue the same benefits as adults from the therapy.
What is a hot stone massage pedicure?
It is a kind of massage that employs heat therapy, aromatherapy and massage to provide relief to sore leg and feet muscles. The therapist uses heated rocks to promote relaxation.
Is the massage painful?
No. you should never feel any pain during a hot stone massage therapy. In most cases, the session is according to your comfort level and needs. It should not be a painful experience.
Where can I buy hot stones for a massage?
You can get hot stones for a massage from various online stores such as Amazon. However, take extra care when making your purchases. Check the type of stones you are getting and confirm they are the right one.
Without any doubt, a hot stone massage has a host of benefits that include anxiety and stress reduction, enhanced relaxation and muscle and pain relief. In short, the therapy is suitable for a variety of circumstances and conditions. Therefore, it is best you slot some time for massage in your busy schedule.
However, always go to a pro, a person with adequate training and experience in the use of stones. This will save you from the hassle of running around in search of skin burn treatment. During the session, make sure you provide adequate feedback to the therapist. The session should be comfortable and without any pain.