Hot stone massage, sometimes referred to as hot rock massage, dates back thousands of years. Hot stone massage history shows evidence of the ancient Roman and Chinese using this method to practice medicine. There are many massage methods used today. Hot stone therapy is one of the most popular and sought-out forms of muscle relaxation by massage therapists. The use of heat massage stones dates back to Egyptian, Indian, African, and American cultures over the centuries. This ancient method of massage also used in 1993 by Mary Nelson, a renowned massage stone therapist, and entrepreneur. Since then, people with ailments of all kinds like fibromyalgia, blood clots, bleeding disorder, and muscle spasms have sought relief through this form of alternative medicine. Proponents of hot stone massage therapy can attest to its potency. They usually claim it has healed symptoms of chronic diseases, given them more vital energy and overall improved health. Lauded for its healing and muscle-relaxing capabilities, hot stone massage combines ancient methods of healing with modern massage techniques.
What is a Hot Stone Body Massage?
A hot stone massage is a method of massage therapy that employs heated basalt stones. By placing these flat, heat-retaining volcanic rock stones along with certain parts of the body, sore muscles and damaged tissues can be healed with ease. The relaxed, warm muscles are more natural for the massage therapists to manipulate. It means massage therapists can dig deeper into the problem areas and tissue. Smooth, flat stones are heated to approximately 145 degrees Fahrenheit in sanitizing water. This is done before the therapist starts to conduct pressure massage therapy on a person’s body. The hot stone massage can be arranged in patterns, a line or other configuration to properly heat and loosen stiff muscles and improve blood flow which would otherwise prove challenging to work with.
Depending on the body part getting a hot stone massage, the massage therapist may elect to leave the stones for a long or short duration. Throughout the treatment, the massage therapist uses moderate pressure and utilizes light and heavy pressure on body points as needed.
How Can a Hot Stone Body Massage Help You?
There are many hot stone massage benefits to experience. They depend on your particular ailment and the duration of the hot stone body massage session. The frequency at which you partake in the therapy also plays a role in your experience. Each body is unique, with a different set of ailments and requirements. As such, hot stone therapy impacts each person in different ways, with varying degrees of positive impact.
Among the most prevalent benefits of hot stone massage are the following health information you need to know::
Stress Relief – Receiving a hot rock massage can ease tension, anxiety, and stress. Also, it promotes relaxation and general comfort in the body.
Enhanced sleep – Massage therapy enthusiasts report that getting a hot stone massage improves sleep, and in some cases, it cures insomnia because relying heavily on sleeping pills may cause some side effects to your health.
Ease muscle soreness and tightness – As one of the benefits, hand and stone massage technique can reduce the pain felt in muscles after exercise, overuse, or fatigue. The masseuse puts in more work on tight muscles, making them more malleable with the massage.
Contribute to the immune system – A 2010 study reported that Swedish massage therapy using hot stones improved immunity.
Ease symptoms of chronic conditions – People with chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia can also benefit from hot stone massage sessions conducted regularly over time. Studies have shown that sufferers of chronic conditions report less pain and better sleep under a massage therapy regimen, under the supervision of a medical professional.
How is a Hot Stone Body Massage Performed?
A hot stone body massage can be conducted in several different manners. Regardless of the techniques used by the massage therapist, the common trait of hot stone therapy lies with the heated rocks. If you have never experienced a hot stone massage, what to expect is a warm to hot sensation in the areas where the stones are placed. The following is a general outline of how a hot stone massage is conducted.
- Apply oil. The masseuse applies oil to the area. Meanwhile, the stones will be placed first in a massage stone heater with a sanitizing water solution. The masseuse will begin to warm and prep the skin by rubbing and massaging the pain points by hand.
- Cover in a towel. The hot massage stones are then covered in a small hand towel to keep the client from burning when placed on the skin.
- Skin warming movements. Alternatively, the masseuse can opt first to turn the hot stones in his or her hands after they would touch your body to introduce heat to the skin without shocking the client with the temperature.
- Placement. The hot massage rocks are then placed directly onto the skin for heating.
- Massage. The therapist will conduct the hot stone massage according to his or her understanding of your body and its needs. Sometimes, Swedish massage techniques are employed to aid stress reduction and muscle loosening, with or without the stones in hand.
- Cool stones. Sometimes, cold stones are used in conjunction with hot stones, counteracting inflamed muscle areas, and offering a soothing effect.
The Swedish massage techniques often used include stroking, kneading, tapping, circles, and vibration. After the hot stone body massage is complete, the masseuse or the spa may allow you to lie down still for a few minutes or use cool stones. The masseuse will then instruct you to put on your clothes or provide you with water while giving you further recommendations for therapy.
If you are looking for a comfortable, safe, and professional environment to explore the benefits of a hot stone massage, you can begin your search here.