What is a hot stone massage?
Before, I jump into the benefits of hot stone massages it is best to clarify what is a hot stone massage. As the name states it is a massage using heated stones. The stones are usually smooth stones that can retain heat well.
The stones are heated using a specific method up to around 45-50°C. The professional therapist will ensure that the temperature is easy acceptable.
The techniques used by the therapist to administer and utilise the stones depending on the individual therapist. Often the stones are guided anatomically on various muscles to help with the relaxation of the tense muscle. Similar to a Swedish massage the therapist will perform a combination of techniques such as kneading, long smooth strokes, and rolling. This causes blood flow to increase to the muscles, after the therapist is done working on that specific area, they will place the stones strategically to prolong the relaxing sensation.
Is hot stone massage beneficial for me?
Lots of people report back that they experience a reduction in anxiety and tension and that their muscles feel very relaxed after a hot stone massage. One client mentioned that “it is like being deeply embraced, right into your soul. It just feels like you’re ‘home’.”
Top 7 benefits of a hot stone massage.
The benefits of hot stone massages are wide-raging, but I am now only going to look at the top 7:
1. It’s comforting and relaxing
That cosy feeling you get when you are snuggled up under a warm blanket by a fireside on a winter’s day. That is the feeling you get when the heat of the hot stones touches your body, it is so comforting and relaxing, that you just melt away.
2. The heat aids depth
One of the major benefits of hot stones is that the heat penetrates your body. The heat allows deep tissue and muscles to relax so that the therapist can work deeper to stimulate that tensed-up muscle to relax quicker.
3. Relief from tension and pain
We all know that heat is a natural pain reliever especially if the pain or ache is caused by tensed muscles. This is because when the heat is applied to an area, the blood flow increases and this helps to alleviate spasms and enable a joint or a muscle to be gently flexed and regain movement and flexibility.
4. Relief from stress and anxiety
Massages, including hot stone massages, have been scientifically proven to reduce stress and anxiety. The reason for this is that during a massage endorphins and other feel-good hormones are released which reduces stress and anxiety. At the same time, the hormones causing the stressed feeling, such as norepinephrine and cortisol are lowered.
5. Aids Sleep
A study showed that massages can be beneficial in easing insomnia and postmenopausal women. The massage will help you into a deeper restful and restorative sleep.
6. Immune Boosting
Many techniques used in Swedish massages are used in the Hot stone massage. Swedish massages have been shown to positively affect your health even after just one session. What a nice way to give your body an immune boost while you are being pampered!
7. Draw out toxins
When getting the massage your lymph nodes are stimulated and this causes toxins to be drawn to the surface of your skin and this will then be discarded through your body’s own excretion process through your urine or sweat glands.
This will give your skin a radiant glow.
It is for this reason that your therapist will always encourage you to drink plenty of water after your massage. This will help flush the toxins through your system.
There you have it. It is not like we needed more motivation as to why you need a pamper session, but now you can be extra motivated because you know that it holds great benefits for your health and your whole being.