In the modern-day world, the availability of medicines and other techniques is enormous, however still, people are trying to stick to several traditional methods. Hot stone massage is one of such techniques that has been found highly effective in several cases.
This guide describes the basics, what to expect from this technique, and some of the health benefits from the hot stone massage. This massage technique is one of the oldest techniques that are prevalent in today’s age. Like several other massages, it was developed in India however it is now practiced in almost all the corners of the world.
What is hot stone massage?
Many people relate hot stone massage to Mayan culture however it originated in India about 5,000 years ago. This massage is a part of an ancient Indian medical technique called Ayurveda. Though the hot stone massage technique is very old, it has gained popularity in the last 10 years.
During the massage therapy session, the therapist places smooth and hot stones (that are usually some special stones) at specific points in your body. The stones play quite an important role in applying deep and effective pressure to specific muscles of the human body.
In ancient India, people believed in a form of energy called chakras and several other such things. There were several techniques and massages that were used to control and manipulate that energy. Hot stone massage also uses some techniques that focus on something at a deeper level. Herbs were an essential part of Ayurveda.
In the case of hot stone massage too, oils extracted from herbs are used in the hot stone massage technique. This perfect mixture of herb oils and hot stone is very effective in relieving soreness and tension in human muscles.
Basics of hot stone massage
Now that you are aware of the origin and techniques of this massage, it is time to know more about it. Most therapists use basalt rocks from river currents. Basalt rocks work quite well in retaining heat and they are extraordinarily smooth and these factors make the rocks quite suitable for this purpose.
The rocks are heated up to a certain temperature before using them. There is anatomy that you should follow in order to place the stones perfectly in place. Usually, the therapists put the stones at those points only that they think is an energy point and it may calm your muscles and mind.
How is it done?
Here, we are going to mention the way it is done. Though every therapist may not be exactly the same however we will mention the general procedure. The therapists would take some heated stones (generally having a temperature between 42 to 50 celsius). When the massage therapy begins, the therapist will place those stones at different spots on your body.
And those spots may vary based on the muscle that needs attention. Choosing the right muscle depends on the health history of the individual and some other relevant factors. In most cases, the stones are placed at the following spot:
- On both your legs and feet.
- Palms of the hands.
- On the stomach.
- A little bigger stones are placed along the spine and on both sides of the spine.
- In some cases, small stones are placed between the toes and even on the forehead.
After the stones have been put in place, it will take a bit of time for the heat to penetrate inside your muscles. The movements of the therapist’s hand will tell you that Swedish massage techniques are used here. Almost all the techniques like kneading, tapping, vibration, strokes (long strokes) are used here.
The therapist will start gliding her/his hands over your neck, shoulders, and other parts while the stones are placed on spots and even after removing the stones. This massage technique has evolved over time and it is done in different ways at different places in the world. If you are planning to have a hot stone massage, it may take up to 90 minutes.
Benefits of hot stone massage therapy
Hot stone massages have been found to be very effective in many cases. Depending on the benefits of hot stone massage, you will be able to decide whether this massage is right for you. Here is a list of massage benefits that you should have a look at.
Relieves Rheumatoid arthritis
There was a study on this topic about 7-8 years ago and it stated that the low/moderate pressure massages are very effective in a situation like this. The hot stone massage is one of the best massages in this category. Based on the feedback of clients who had this health condition and then got massage therapy, it has been found that hot stone massage works well in this condition.
Helps you get better sleep
Though the reasons are not clear yet, it has been found that hot stone massage promotes better sleep. Even a typical back massage works pretty well in giving in more sleep during the night. Apart from that, the people who get a massage are more active during the day time. No matter how long you lie in the bed, if you don’t get enough restorative sleep, it may deteriorate your health. And massage like the hot stone massage helps to increase the duration of restorative sleep.
Very effective in relieving anxiety and stress
There are several studies on this topic and they all support this assumption. Almost every massage technique if done right has the right potential to ease stress, anxiety, and other mental situations like this. Stress is something that can cause several other health conditions. However most people don’t even notice the effects of stress. However massage has the potential to relieve your stress.
The hot stone massage is quite unique and very effective in most cases. The point is finding the right massage therapist. The benefits that you may get here are enormous. One thing that you should keep in mind is that if you have some health issue, you should consult your doctor first. Never take a decision without the consent of your doctor.