A hot stone massage is a kind of massage therapy. It’s used to help you relax and ease tense muscles and damaged soft tissues during your body.
During a hot stone massage, smooth, flat, heated stones are put on specific elements of your system. The stones are usually made of basalt, a type of volcanic rock that retains heat. Based on the University of New Hampshire Health Services, hot massage stones are heated to between 130 and 145 degrees.
The stones may be placed:
along your spine
on your stomach
on your chest
on your face
on your palms
on your feet and toes
Massage therapists may hold heated stones as they massage the body using Swedish massage techniques such as:
Sometimes, cold stones are also used throughout a hot stone massage. Cold stones may provide after hot stones to calm any engorged arteries and soothe skin.
Benefits associated with hot stone massage
All massages generally fall under the alternative medicine umbrella. They’re learning to be a popular complementary for lots of conditions. Here are some features of having a hot stone massage:
1. Helps relieve muscle tension and pain
Heat has long been used to ease muscle tension and pain. It can help increase the flow of blood to the damaged area. It could also reduce muscle spasms and increase overall flexibility and range of motion. Cold helps relieve inflammation. Based on your symptoms, alternating hot and cold stones throughout your massage may be helpful.
2. Reduces stress and anxiety
It’s the position of the American Therapeutic Massages Association that “massage can work for stress relief.” Research supports their opinion. A 2001 study showed a ten-minute massage improved cardiovascular responses such as stroke volume. A 1997 study discovered that 15-minute, onsite chair massages at work significantly reduced stress in comparison to a 15-minute break without massage.
3. Promotes sleep
A 2006 literature review found massage may be an alternative solution to sleeping pills in adults with insomnia. The research showed that back massage helped promote relaxation and sleep. A 2001 study showed that infants with sleep issues who were given a 15-minute massage by their parents went to sleep faster. These were also more alert, active, and positive awakening. Massage is considered to help you enjoy more restorative sleep, although it’s not completely understood why.
4. May help relieve symptoms of autoimmune diseases
Hot stone massage may relieve painful conditions such as fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a condition which induces widespread, chronic pain. According to a 2002 study, people who have fibromyalgia who received a 30-minute massage slept longer, had fewer trigger points, and had decreased levels of substance P (a substance involved with transmitting pain signals) than individuals with the problem who received relaxation therapy. More research is needed, however, before massage becomes a typical fibromyalgia treatment.
Trusted Source found that folks with arthritis rheumatoid may reap the benefits of a moderate-pressure massage, such as hot stone massage. Participants in the analysis experienced less pain, greater grip strength, and a larger range of flexibility after a month of massage therapy.
5. May help decrease cancer symptoms
A large, three-year study published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management examined how massage afflicted pain, fatigue, anxiety and stress, nausea, and depression in 1,290 people who have cancer. The study showed massage, especially Swedish massage, improved cancer symptoms, even in people that have substantial symptoms. Researchers believe the comforting use of human touch played a job.
6. May boost immunity
Massage may give your disease fighting capability a lift. According to a 2010 study Trusted Source, an individual session of Swedish massage had a positive and acute effect on immunity. Blood samples taken before and following the massage showed a reduction in arginine-vasopressin, a hormone that helps regulate blood circulation pressure and fluid retention.