Hot stone massage is a type of massage in which smooth hot stones are used , which are placed by the massager on specific points on the individual’s body, and these stones may be caught during the massage process. The benefit of these hot stones is that they warm and relax the muscles, allowing the massager to exert deeper pressure on these muscles without causing any discomfort or pain to the individual.
Benefits of hot stone massage
In addition to the benefits of hot stone massage like other types of massage that it promotes a feeling of deep relaxation, there are many other benefits of hot stone massage such as:
- Pain relief
One of the benefits of hot stone massage in particular is that it helps relieve pain in people suffering from autoimmune disorders, including fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis .
- Relieve stress and anxiety
Massage is an effective way to relieve stress in an individual, as many studies have shown that massage reduces stress and anxiety and improves cardiovascular health.
- Increased joint flexibility
Muscle tension can cause difficulty and pain when moving joints. Thus, one of the benefits of hot stone massage is that it helps to relax the muscles, which contributes to making the person’s movement easier and more comfortable. It is worth noting that hot stone massage may be beneficial for people with specific joint disorders.
- Reducing muscle spasms and spasms
Muscle tension and spasms cause a lot of pain that affects the daily life of a person. As we mentioned, one of the benefits of hot stone massage is that it contributes to relaxing the muscles and joints of the body, so the hot stone massage has benefits in relieving the pain of muscle spasms .
- Improve sleep
Many people suffer from sleep disorders and not getting enough sleep, due to stress. Due to the benefits of hot stone massage in promoting relaxation and reducing stress, thus performing a hot stone massage for an individual may contribute to reducing insomnia and aiding sleep.
- Other benefits
Also among the benefits of hot stone massage:
- Improving immune system function.
- Reducing symptoms of pain and fatigue in cancer patients.
- Reducing blood pressure.
- Relieve depression.
How to work hot stone massage
First, the masseur prepares to heat the stones in a specialized stone heater until they reach a certain temperature, which is usually between 110 – 130 degrees Fahrenheit. To prevent burns, the use of microwaves or cooking ovens to heat the stones should be avoided.
During a hot stone massage, the masseur applies stones to specific points on the body, and these points differ depending on the areas of muscle tension and the patient’s health history. Generally these hot stones are placed in the following areas:
- The length of both sides of the spine.
- Inside the palm of the hand.
- On the legs and feet.
- On the abdomen or chest.
Small stones can also be placed between the toes or on the forehead.
After placing the hot stones on the individual’s body, wait for a few minutes for the heat to penetrate and reach the muscles, then the masseur applies the massage oil to the skin, and the massage process begins. The masseur may hold the stones in both hands and use them for massage, by making smooth, gentle movements to move the hot stones along the muscles. The therapist also uses Swedish massage techniques on the back, legs, neck and shoulders, while the stones are in place or after they are removed.
Also read: Natural massage oils for body massage
The duration of a hot stone massage is usually between 60 – 90 minutes. It is worth noting that the hot stone massage does not hurt, especially if the temperature of the stones is controlled and not caused by burning, and if the individual feels any pain, he must inform the therapist.
Warnings and contraindications for hot stone massage
Despite the many benefits of hot stone massage, hot stone massage is not a suitable treatment for everyone, as there are some people who should not get a massage in general, and hot stone massage in particular.
- The presence of cracks in the skin.
- Infection or illness.
- Suffering from heart disease.
- Incidence of diabetes .
- The incidence of osteoporosis or varicose veins.
- Addiction to alcohol or drugs.
- Pregnancy, although prenatal massage is very comfortable and beneficial for many women during pregnancy. However, the masseur may not feel comfortable while doing a pregnant stone massage. So, in case you are pregnant, you should not undergo any massage session without the approval of the doctor, and you should undergo it under the hands of a massage therapist trained in massage for pregnant women.
The individual must inform the therapist about all diseases and health problems that he suffers before undergoing a hot stone massage session.
Tips for making the most of a hot stone massage
In order to properly obtain the benefits of hot stone massage, it is recommended to:
- Avoid eating before the massage.
- Maintaining body moisture by drinking water and fluids before and after a hot stone massage session.
- Make sure to choose a licensed masseur trained in hot stone massage