Everything to Know About Hot Stone Massage and its Benefits
If you’re 1 of the reported 4 million Australians suffering from back pain, you’ll know how relieving it is to enjoy even an hour of respite. What if you were told that there was a way to relieve your back pain for a whole hour and then some? It’s possible. Simply heat up some rocks, place them on your back and enjoy a rejuvenated and refreshed body. Sounds like gibberish and a load of bull but this is exactly what hot stone massage is all about!
There’s a reason why many massage parlours and spas offer this type of massage. It’s benefits are numerous for both your body and your mind. Are you curious about hot stone massages and what they can do for you? Read on, and find out all about this sizzlingly refreshing massage!
What is hot stone massage?
Hot stone massage is a type of massage therapy involving the placement of warm basalt stones on different points of your body. The stones can also be used by massage therapists to actually massage the body itself. The warmth provides both relaxing and soothing benefits for body and mind.
The practice of hot stone therapy began approximately 5000 years ago and was performed by Hindus. From there, the practice spread to China, Hawaii and North America – eventually becoming the popular massage performed by many therapists today.
What to expect in a hot stone massage session
As we touched on before, many places offer hot stone massages and your session may differ depending on the establishment. However, you can expect an hour of relaxation, rest and rejuvenation.
In your session, you’ll be asked to undress and lie on a massage table. Your therapist will use a stone heater to heat the basalt stones to a temperature of roughly 50 degrees and place them on different places on your body. These can include your shoulder blades and at points along your spine.
Your therapist may also choose to use the stones to massage your body. In this case, the stones will be covered in massage oil or will be used on a sheet placed on your back.
Like most massages, you can always alert your therapist if you feel uncomfortable at any point during the session. Are the stones too hot for your liking? Are they being too rough with their massage techniques? Be sure to always let your therapist know!
The benefits of hot stone massage
So why get a hot stone massage in the first place? There are a litany of benefits that hot stone therapy can give you – we’ll focus on four big ones.
Benefit 1: Reduce aches and pain
The heat and warmth from the hot stones are a great way to treat muscle aches, strains and other non-inflammatory body pains. Hot stone therapy is able to reduce pain by improving blood flow and circulation in the area, which ensures oxygen and nutrients are delivered to painful, sore areas.
Benefit 2: Improve flexibility and mobility
If you’ve had a stiff back or neck, you know how much it hurts to simply move around. The heat from hot stones relaxes the muscles and reduces muscle tension and stiffness. This improves the elasticity of your muscles, which in turn improves flexibility and gives your muscles and joints a greater range of motion.
Benefit 3: Promote relaxation
Busy lives often lead to fatigue, restlessness and exhaustion. A hot stone massage can give you the kind of relaxation you’ve dreamt of. The soothing warmth, the dim room, the fragrant aromas – it all combines to give you an hour of peace and quiet, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Benefit 4: Reduce stress and anxiety
To continue the last point, hot stone massage is able to significantly reduce stress. Excessive stress can often lead to illness and mental health issues such as anxiety. By indulging in a relaxing hot stone massage, you can wave your stresses and worries away.
Things to remember before a hot stone massage
You’re most likely itching to call up your nearest massage establishment to get a hot stone massage. However, it’s crucial to be aware of some precautions!
Hire a professional
Don’t cut corners and costs in the search to find a therapist who does hot stone therapy. Do your research and find one that is experienced and qualified. After all, they are using hot stones to manipulate the muscles in your body. You don’t just want anybody doing that!
Don’t try this at home
You’re working with hot stones, so it’s generally not a good idea to do so at home. The stones used in hot stone massages are specifically selected because they distribute and retain heat and are smooth enough to be placed on the body. Attempting to heat your own stones can lead to burns, sears and other unpleasant outcomes!
How hot can you handle it?
If you are overly sensitive to heat, you might be better off looking at another form of massage therapy such as deep tissue or an electric massager. The heat can also aggravate those who have high blood pressure or have diabetes.
Talk to your doctor
When in doubt, ask your doctor. They’ll be able to tell you if a hot stone massage is suitable for you, and if not, they’ll be able to recommend you another form of treatment.
Indulge in the soothing warmth of a hot stone massage now!
Whether you’re looking to rid yourself of some of your aches and pains or are simply looking for an hour of rest and relaxation, hot stone massages can bring you the relief you’re looking for.
Keen to find more ways to relieve pain or reduce stress? Head on over to the OSIM Wellness blog where you can find articles which improve your health and wellbeing. Start living a life of wellbeing now!