Hot stone massage therapy is a healing method that has been around for thousands of years. It’s said to have originated in China over 2,000 years ago, but there is also evidence of it in ancient Egypt, Greece, and India.
Native Americans used the therapy to cleanse the spirit and start anew, and Native Hawaiian tribes used hot stone therapy for pain relief. Either way, hot stones have been used to treat a number of afflictions for thousands of years, including severe labor pain.
There are many ways in which a hot stone massage may be beneficial. But what are they? And what does it entail?
Keep reading to find out all about a hot stone massage and how you may be able to use it to heal you!
We mentioned how far it goes back and who were the first ones to use it. But what exactly is it? The keyword is “hot.”
Even in the first recorded hot stone massages, the idea was to infuse heat from the outside of the body to the inside.
There have been many different methods of using the rocks on the body. Some practitioners simply place the stones in specific spots along the outside of the body, whereas some scraped the hot rocks along sore muscles.
In 1993, a woman by the name of Mary Nelson reintroduced the hot stone technique and helped evolve it into tissue-specific and sometimes full-body work. There are also hot stone facials, manicures, and pedicures.
To this day, hot stone massages use hot, smooth stones to provide therapy for the body. They are placed along specific points of the body and are sometimes held or pushed down during the massage.
The weight of the stones combined with the localized heat is what relaxes the muscles. It allows the massage therapist to apply deeper pressure to those target areas without causing pain.
Typically, Basalt river stones are used because they retain heat well and are smooth, because of the river’s current.
A professional stone heater is typically used to heat up the stones to a temperature of 110 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Some therapists place their stones based on the body’s anatomy whereas others place the stones on points that are thought to balance the mind and body.
They are typically placed along both sides of the spine, in the palms of your hands, and on your legs, abdomen and feet. Smaller ones may also be placed in between toes or along your forehead.
There are many benefits to receiving a hot stone massage.
Hot stones can help with pain relief. It has been shown to help people with a variety of conditions to treat pain, like fibromyalgia and other autoimmune disorders.
This progressive physiotherapy has also been known to help with arthritis, range of motion, and to treat other bodily pains.
Stress relief is another big form of relief that may be acquired using hot stone therapy. Many studies have shown that it can relieve stress and anxiety. It can also help improve cardiovascular help.
Increased joint flexibility is another benefit of getting a hot stone massage treatment. It can help with certain joint disorders and help individuals relax so that muscles and joints can be worked on and healed. It can also greatly improve circulation.
Hot stone massages have shown to help individuals sleep. Today’s factors such as insomnia, stress, and hectic schedules make it harder for us to sleep at night. Studies show that it can help promote sleep and relaxation, especially for older individuals.
This form of massage therapy can also help reduce inflammation and muscle spasms. It promotes the relaxation of muscles and joints which leads to easing both pain and spasms.
Anyone who has cuts or breaks in the skin should not have a hot stone massage until those breaks have healed.
Anyone who has an infection or illness, even a simple cold or the flu, should not go to hot stone massage therapy until they are better. Not only can they infect others in the area of practice, but it can also make being sick more uncomfortable after leaving.
Heart disease can cause problems and swelling in the arteries or veins of the legs. Both of these areas can be negatively affected by massage.
People who are diabetic sometimes lose feeling in their hands and feet. This could deem them unable to tell a therapist if stones are too hot or if the pressure is too hard. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t go if you have diabetes, but it is to say that you should tell your massage therapist beforehand so that they can treat you accordingly.
A massage can sometimes leave someone a bit light-headed or wobbly so drugs and alcohol aren’t a good mix. That being said, the best time to get a hot stone massage is when you’re sober.
If you’re pregnant, you’ll have to discuss first with your massage therapist if they feel comfortable using hot stones.
All in all, there aren’t any significant risks to getting hot stone massage treatment. The most important thing is to tell your therapist of any ailments, conditions, or issues that you have so that they can better treat you.
A hot stone massage is not only a great way to relax but it can also help with many issues such as insomnia, stress, anxiety, and pain. And if your pain is major, you may also benefit from a deep tissue massage which is known for treating chronic pain.
Are you unsure what might be the best therapy for you? Give us a call so that we can discuss your options and book you for your first relaxing, rewarding, and healing therapy today.