The Ultimate Guide to Hot Stone Massage Guideline: For relief or relaxation, try a massage. Hot stone massage, which uses hot stones in traditional massage techniques, is becoming more popular.
The Ultimate Guide to Hot Stone Massage Guideline
What’s a Hot Stone Massage?
A hot stone massage involves the masseuse placing smooth, hot stones on your back. Heat therapy from these stones reduces muscle tension and pain. Hot stone massage uses basalt, a volcanic rock high in iron, which absorbs heat.
Hot-stone massage placement. A hot stone massage’s stone placement depends on the muscles and tissues being worked on. For lower back pain, the masseuse may place hot stones along your spine. The abdomen, chest, face, feet, forehead, and palms are also used for hot stone placement.
Massage with hot stones. Like stone placement, your masseuse’s hot stone techniques depend on your needs. Therapists use circular motions, kneading, long strokes, and vibrations. Hot stones can be used alone or with Swedish massage.
Hot stone massage heat. Too-hot stones can burn, while too-cold ones may not work. The American Massage Therapy Association advises heating hot stones in water only. The stones should be completely covered in 110°F–130°F water.
Professional massage stone heaters work well for this. This slow cooker-like device controls water temperature. Despite this, test the water temperature with a calibrated thermometer.
The stones should fit comfortably in your hands. Can’t use them? They’re too hot. Never fry or heat them with heating pads. Water heats the stone inside, but these only heat the surface.
History of Hot Stone Massage
Hot stone therapy dates back centuries. Ayurveda, an ancient Indian medical system that emphasises natural and holistic health, may have inspired it thousands of years ago. Healing and massage used heated river stones.
Hot stones were popular in ancient Asia. Hot stones were used to warm the abdomen and improve digestion by the Japanese 4,000 years ago and by Chinese medicine 2,000 years ago to improve organ function.
Native Americans in North America used hot stones in sweat lodges to heal and relieve cramps. Hawaiians boost circulation with hot stones. La Stone Therapy introduced hot stones to modern massage in 1993. From there, hot stone massages became mainstream.
Hot stone massage works how?
Basalt, a volcanic rock, is the main stone used because it retains heat well. No hot stones are rough. All are flat and smooth. Flat hot stones on the back are about the size of a large egg.
A heater designed for this purpose heats these stones to 100–130 degrees Fahrenheit. The heater’s water regulates stone temperature, which is checked with a thermometer before and after massage. The massage therapist holds the stones before touching you to avoid overheating.
Each person has their own comfort level. If the stones are too hot, say so. The stones are placed on the body in the guest’s requested areas of concern. It can be the back, stomach, hands, feet, or face. To avoid burns and discomfort, a sheet or towel is used to protect the guest’s skin before applying the stones.
Along with this technique, massage therapists hold the stones and massage them into the muscles as an extension of their hands, applying oil or lotion to the body to help the hot stones glide smoothly.
Hot Stone Massage Benefits
Hot stones add heat to massage, which has many benefits.
Reduces muscle tension: Due to heat and massage, hot stone massage can relieve muscle pain and tension. Heat is often recommended for aching muscles. Heating a body part increases blood flow, which speeds healing. Heating muscle knots before massaging can help soothe them.
Decreases inflammation: Your immune system activates to fight bacteria or heal damaged tissue, causing inflammation. Chronic inflammation and autoimmune conditions can result from your body sending out these cells when it doesn’t need to. Heat and massage reduce inflammation.
Increases flexibility: Stiff joints and muscles restrict movement. Heat and massage relax these muscles, reducing pain and making movement easier.
Improves circulation: Heat and massage boost circulation. This eases pain and inflammation and speeds recovery.
Stress and anxiety decrease: Temperature and massage help you relax, but massage goes further. Pressure from a massage or hug releases endorphins, which relax muscles, manage pain, and improve mood.
Immune system booster: Stress reduces disease resistance. Massage and heat can reduce stress and boost the immune system.
Improves sleep: Hot stone massage has been shown to improve sleep quality due to stress relief, pain relief, and endorphins.
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