A hot stone massage is truly a very healing and effective experience. Nearly everyone can benefit from the comforting feeling of massage therapy to relieve tension in the muscles, but not everyone is comfortable with a applying a strong amount of pressure
A hot stone massage can provide a deeply relaxing and comforting feeling for anyone, especially those who are seeking relief from muscle tension however, prefer a massage with lighter pressure. The heated stone will provide the muscles greater relaxation which will allow your registered massage therapist to work the muscles as effectively as a swedish massage, but with light and soothing pressure. The hot stones are also said to expand blood vessels, which promotes increased blood flow throughout the entire body. The hot stones have a sedative effect that can relieve chronic pain, reduce stress and promote deep relaxation. During a hot stone massage, your registered massage therapist will apply a variety of strokes and techniques while alternating between the stones and hands. The intention is to work over your muscles, identify any adhesions also called “knots”, and relieve the tension in these areas. Since your muscles will be relaxed by the heat of the stones, the intensity of the massage should feel lighter.
Here’s what to expect during hot stone massage therapy:
The stones used during a hot stone massage are a volcanic rock called basalt, also known to retain heat very well. The stones are heated anywhere from 105 to 110 degrees which is comfortable for most patients and for the registered massage therapists to handle with care. Your registered massage therapists will place the stones anywhere in the following areas depending on where you need to be treated:
- Along the spine
- The stomach
- Feet or toes
A registered massage therapists will then practice massage technique while using either their hands or while holding stones in their hands in the following motions: Kneading, stroking, tapping, vibrations, and circular motions. Before the session is finished, the therapists may use cold stones to cool the skin and calm any engorged blood vessels.
Like all other forms of massage therapy, a hot stone massage is focused on relieving muscle tension and and acute or chronic pain. Heat is a longstanding natural method for reducing pain because it increases blood flow to the area where the heat is applied. Directly after a hot stone massage, patients have felt noticeable improvement with muscle spasms, increased range of motion, and flexibility. Another added benefit is the ability for a hot stone massage to reduce stress and anxiety. Massage therapy itself is one of the most effective and natural methods for stress relief. It triggers oxytocin and serotonin in the body, the hormones that produce feelings of happiness and relaxation, an overall mood booster. Lastly, for patients experiencing stress-related insomnia. Massage therapy is thought to help people fall into better sleeping habits, although it’s not completely understood why, research does show that back massage helped promote relaxation and sleep.
If you’re seeking a lighter, more soothing form of massage therapy to treat your condition(s), speak to a registered massage therapist at Studio Athletica and find out if hot stone massage therapy will benefit you.