Hot stone massage is a massage technique applied using smooth, hot stones. The massage therapist places these hot stones on various parts of your body and can hold these stones during the massage. These stones, which have a temperature and weight in a certain range, warm and relax the muscles. In this way, the massage therapist can apply much harder applications to these areas without causing discomfort.
The most characteristic feature of hot stone massage is the stones used in the massage. Basalt is generally used in this technique because of its ability to retain heat and its smoothness.
Before starting the therapy, the massage therapist brings the stones to be used to a certain temperature -usually between 44-55 degrees – in a professional stone heater.
Although massage therapists generally use their knowledge of anatomy for the placement of these stones, some therapists may use different points to maintain the body’s energy balance.
Swedish massage (classical massage) techniques, which include techniques such as long strokes, kneading and rolling, are generally used in hot stone massage.
Benefits of Hot Stone Massage
All massages on the forehead are very beneficial for human health. Each technique offers alternative solutions for different health problems. Here are 6 benefits of hot stone massage:
1. Helps Relieve Muscle Tension and Pain
Warmth has long been used as a treatment for muscle tension and muscle pain. Warmth increases blood flow in the applied area. It also helps reduce muscle cramps and increase flexibility. Cold therapies can help reduce inflammation. Depending on your symptoms, your therapist may use hot or cold stones.
2. Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Many studies prove that massage therapies can help you cope with stress. A 10-minute massage can strengthen cardiovascular responses, according to a 2001 study. According to a study conducted in 1997, a 15-minute massage performed on a chair in your work area is much more successful in reducing stress than a 15-minute break.
In a study in 2015, it was observed that people who had abdominal colorectal surgery felt less pain after massage.
3. Regulates Sleep
There are studies that show that massage relieves sleep problems in adults. According to research, back massage helps to relax and regulate sleep. In another study, it was proven that a 15-minute massage helps people with sleep problems to sleep more comfortably. Apart from regulating sleep, it has been observed that these people are more attentive, active and positive in their daily lives. Thanks to the massage, it is possible to sleep in a much more pleasant way.
4. Reduces Symptoms of Immune System Disorders
Hot stone massage can help reduce the painful symptoms of disorders such as fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes you to suffer from widespread chronic pain. According to a 2002 study, people with fibromyalgia can sleep much longer with a 30-minute massage and feel a reduction in painful areas. Of course, experts say more research is needed before massage can be used as a fibromyalgia treatment.
5. Helps Relieve Cancer Symptoms
In a 3-year study, 1290 cancer patients examined the effects of massage on pain, fatigue, stress, anxiety and depression. In the study, it was observed that Swedish massage, in particular, reduced the symptoms of cancer.
6. Boosts Immunity
Massage can improve your immunity. According to a study conducted in 2010, it was observed that even a single session of Swedish massage has very positive effects on immunity. Blood samples taken before and after the massage showed a decrease in a hormone that regulates blood pressure and water retention.
Is Hot Stone Massage Painful?
Hot stones used during massage are smooth and usually several inches long. In order to control the temperature, the stones should be heated in an electric massage stone heating device. If the stones used are too hot or uncomfortable, your massage therapist should know. Stones that are too hot can cause burns.
The heat of the stones helps the massage therapist to work with deep tissues, if necessary. As with any massage technique, the massage therapist should not hurt you. That’s why you should tell your massage therapist if you feel any discomfort.