The benefits of hot stone massages have been widely recognized for centuries. It’s a technique that is actually thousands of years old, first used by the ancient Chinese to improve the function of internal organs. Hot stone massages have since been reborn and resurged with modern applications. Massage therapists use hot stones for healing ailments, relieving muscle tension, reduce stress, and promoting rest. Hot stone massages also yield ultimate serenity and relaxation. Like many kinds of massages, they provide a mental break from anxieties and the daily hassles of life to take care of yourself.
A proper hot stone massage involves the use of smooth, flat stones on specific parts of your body. The most common are the spine, stomach, chest, face, palms, feet, and toes. Your therapist may also use Swedish massage techniques, such as long strokes, kneading, vibration, tapping, and circular movements. The hot stones apply targeted relief with direct heat.
Hot stone massages are often recommended for individuals who are in recovery from surgery, in physical therapy, in a stationary position at work for long periods of time, or who have open wounds, blood clots, or diabetes. The massages are not only used to treat pain, but prevent the worsening of it in the future.
If you haven’t booked your appointment yet, here are some more detailed benefits of hot stone massages that should make the decision easy.
Relives Muscle Tension And Pain
Heat is nature’s pain reliever. The heated stones are rested on trigger points before the actual massage begins. As heat permeates your deep tissues, your blood vessels open and increase overall circulation. Poor circulation can lead to muscle tension and fatigue. The effect is similar to having frozen pipes: water freezes when exposed to the dramatic temperature drop, decreasing the rate at which it flows into your home. It’s the same with blood flow: fatigue from increased activity causes a buildup of lactic acid in your muscles that limits the flow of oxygen to your blood.
This boosted circulation from a hot stone massage will not only relieve tension but accelerate pain relief. As muscle temperatures rise, their elasticity and flexibility improve, greatly reducing resulting pain and tightness. The intense nature of a hot stone massage also helps cleanse and remove bodily toxins, leaving you feeling physically better than before the massage.
Occasional time away (however long) from work, school, and other stresses of daily life is healthy for body and mind. It “helps you go into a state of deep meditation” that promotes a rejuvenated and refreshed outlook. Periods of short, yet dedicated, rest that relax your heart rate are important to giving your body the energy it needs to think and act clearly. This can provide a sense of calm when making decisions regarding family, friends, and career. The hot stones help worries evaporate and get you ready for your next challenge.
The mental benefits of hot stone massages have understandably been used to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. Escaping triggers of depressing or nervous thoughts to effectively relieve stress is a healthy way to cope. Improved circulation from massages keeps your mind occupied in an environment that is free of negativity.
As you drift into meditation, it’s easy to begin falling asleep – which is okay! Meditation mimics sleep: lowered heart rate, relaxed muscles, hushed surroundings and closed eyes. It’s not uncommon to fall asleep during a massage for these reasons. Our bodies need sleep to function properly, so encouraging quality sleep is a definitely positive attribute to a hot stone massage (and massage therapies in general). Inconsistent sleep can lead to increased blood pressure, mood swings, somatic pain, memory and concentration problems, disorientation, and more. Prolonged sleep deprivation can even lead to risk of diabetes, heart disease, weight gain and weakened immunity.
Ready for a hot stone massage? Schedule your appointment here!