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A Guide To Using Hot Stones For Massage

By Lubna Sheikh on 7th March 2020

baby massage guide

What is Hot Stone Massage?

A hot stone massage is a type of therapy that involves the use of warm stones. During this process, a therapist will place smooth, heated stones on some body parts to help you alleviate severe pain or discomfort.

It can be relaxing since the warmth can be effective in loosening tight muscles and tissues. While you can enjoy many benefits, there are still some side effects and risks. Read on to learn more about hot stone massage.

How Does Hot Stone Massage Work?

During a hot stone massage, a therapy typically uses the techniques of regular massages. As said above, he or she will place several warm or hot stones on particular body parts, such as feet, hands, face, stomach, or back.

The stones are often made of basalt and tend to be flat and smooth, which helps them retain heat better.

In general, the therapy will hold the stones in the hands and move them around the areas. This allows the heat to go deeper into the tissues and muscles without too much pressure. Thus, you can feel relieved and relaxed immediately.

What To Expect During a Hot Stone Massage?

Hot stone massage involves many techniques and strokes from other forms. In most cases, you will not feel the tension as the muscles can be relaxed immediately by the heat.

While the temperature can be hot at first, you will not notice this once the body goes into the state of comfort. This therapy should bring you a meditative and blissed-out state.[1]

Benefits of Hot Stone Massage

Hot stone massage can be an effective option to alleviate pain caused by many health issues, such as autoimmune disorders, arthritis, or fibromyalgia.[2]

The combination of massage techniques and heat can improve the range of motion and relieve discomfort in these patients. Some studies have also proved the effectiveness of this therapy on mental issues like anxiety or stress.[3]

Those people who experience sleep issues, especially insomnia, can benefit from hot stone massage.[4]

This effect can be attributed to the relaxation in both physical and mental states. Some other benefits of this therapy include improved joint flexibility, reduced muscle tension, better immunity[5], and reduced risk of cancer.

Is a Hot Stone Massage Right For Me?

hot stone massageWith the benefits mentioned above, hot stone massage can be a good option for those people who are experiencing stress, insomnia, or muscle pain and tension.

In addition, consider this therapy when you are dealing with a chronic condition that triggers discomfort and pain.[6]

While hot stone massage is basically safe, there are some possible side effects and risks, such as bone fracture, nerve injury, or blood clot.

Thus, make sure to discuss it with your doctor before deciding. This is especially important when you have some medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure. Children and pregnant women should not have a hot stone massage.

Risks and Warnings of Hot Stone Massage

When performed by a professional expert, a hot stone massage can be basically safe. However, there are still some risk factors that you should be aware of. The possible list includes nerve injuries, blood clots, and bone fractures.

To prevent burns during the massage, it is necessary to have a layer between the skin and the stone, such as a sheet or a towel. Avoid using stones that are heated with an oven, hot plate, slow cooker, or microwave.

Use of Cold Stones in a Massage

In some cases, a cold stone can be used alternately with a hot stone. Cold temperature is effective in soothing hot skin and calming swollen or tense blood vessels.

In addition, it is a helpful decongestant that can push wastes and fluid around inflamed areas. This option is suitable for alleviating nerve sedation, tendonitis, lymphatic drainage, friction work, and inflammation.

Hot stone massage FAQs

Below we have listed some of the most common questions regarding hot stone massage. If you have any other queries, do not hesitate to contact us.

1. Is a hot stone massage painful?

A stone used for this therapy is often flat and smooth. Since the process only applies the usual massaging techniques, there will be no pain or hurt. However, some people can feel a bit uncomfortable with the heat.

2. How long do the stones stay hot?

In general, a stone often stays hot for at least 30 to 60 minutes. However, your therapy will put it into the oven or warm water every 5 minutes to get more heat.

3. How often should you get a hot stone massage?

Ideally, you should have a hot stone massage one to two times per week. People with chronic pain or intense physical activities should consider more sessions to alleviate their pain.

References

[1] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1744388116300214?via%3Dihub

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26256133

[3] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/264758174_Cady_S_H_Jones_G_E_1997_Massage_therapy_as_a_workplace_intervention_for_reduction_of_stress_Perceptual_and_Motor_Skills_84_157-158

[4]https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0300443011680106

[5] https://econtent.hogrefe.com/doi/abs/10.1024/1012-5302.19.3.163?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori%3Arid%3Acrossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub%3Dpubmed&

[6] https://nccih.nih.gov/research/results/spotlight/090110.htm

 

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