Hot stone massage: This is what you should know


The use of this type of massage spread in the early nineties of the last century, and it is based on the principles of traditional Swedish massage but with the addition of hot stones.

The prevailing belief that hot stones contribute to the opening of energy pathways in the body, in this article we offer you the most important information about hot stone massage:

What is a hot stone massage?

It is a form of thermothérapie, in which stones are placed on specific areas on the patient’s body and allow the massage oils to  penetrate deep into the muscle tissue, and the absorption of massage oils helps the massage therapist work with the muscles easily. 

Sometimes hot stones are replaced by cold stones or by room-temperature stones, depending on the patient’s complaints and the type of treatment he or she needs.

How is a hot stone massage performed?

The stones used in hot stone massage are usually basalt stones, gray in color and plump, and once you pour oil on them, they become black, and for cold stone treatment, marble stones are used.

The stones are heated to 54 ° C and then placed deliberately along the spine or between the ribs, and then the massage therapist rubs the stones gently into the muscles and tissues on both sides of the body. 

Thus, the patient has the best soothing massage, as the heat and energy released from the hot stone to the patient’s body penetrates deep into his tissues, and this gives him a feeling of calm and tranquility. 

Using special studied techniques, hot stones allow the massager to help relax tense muscles more effectively and with less discomfort for the patient during hot stone massage sessions.

The stone’s hardness combined with the heat released from it also helps increase the therapeutic benefits of a hot stone massage.

The health benefits of a hot stone massage

A hot stone massage performed by a qualified massage therapist can provide the following health benefits:

  • Relax the body muscles and tissues, which helps reduce pain.
  • Improve blood circulation and help the body get rid of toxins. 
  • Reducing stress and tension, promoting relaxation and serenity.
  • Promote a sense of inner calm and mental alertness after the treatment.
  • Help get rid of sleep disturbances .
  • Relief of symptoms associated with autoimmune diseases, such as: rheumatoid arthritis .
  • Boost immune system functions.

The positive effects of hot stone massage have been shown on the heart, blood vessels, lymphatic system, facial skin, musculoskeletal system, endocrine system, nervous system, and digestive system.

The combination of hot basalt stones and cold marble stones also improves blood circulation and speeds up recovery from injuries.

Does hot stone massage help relieve pain?

It is recommended especially hot stone massage for people who suffer from fibro pain syndrome (Fibromialgia), due to the penetration of hot stones to the deep muscle tissue, allowing the massager to give the patient a massage without undue stress.

Also, hot stone massage helps relax tense muscles after orthopedic surgery, and the combination of hot and cold stones is particularly effective against sports injuries, and for relieving menstrual pain.

Precautions for hot stone massage

Hot stone massage is often generally safe if it is performed by a well-trained therapist, but you should consult your doctor before getting a hot stone massage if you have one of the following conditions:

  • Bleeding disorders or eating blood clots.
  • Burns to the skin.
  • Open wounds.
  • Previous blood clots.
  • Undergo surgery in the previous six weeks.
  • Fracture or severe osteoporosis.

To avoid the burns caused by the heat of the hot stone, there must be a barrier like towels between the hot massage stones and the skin, and the heater should be used to heat the stones and avoid heating by microwave or oven.

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