Hot stone massage is a massage therapy that utilizes flat, smooth and hot rocks to stimulate key points on the body, and this technique is now available at your local Wesley Chapel chiropractor office. The rocks are usually heated to provide additional relaxing benefits.
The heated stones are usually placed on key points, but massage therapists may also use the stones to stroke the body during massage. The stones are usually heated in a stone heater that is filled by warm water. The stones are heated to at most 53 degrees Celsius only to prevent burns.
History of Hot Stone Massage
Conventional massage therapy started by using the hands in employing strokes on the body. However, during the ancient times, stone massage was already being used. The use of hot stone massage only caught attention when Mary Nelson introduced the use of heated stones for massage.
With the rising popularity of hot stone massage, various spas already have designed their own hot stone massage therapy using various techniques. A new form of hot stone massage is Spa Rock that uses special heated rock for added therapeutic purposes.
Mechanisms of Hot Stone Massage
The stones or rocks used in hot stone massage are rich in iron for heat retention. Stones from rivers are usually used because they are smoother due to the action of the water current that has smoothen the stones over time.
The stones are heated by immersing them in water in a heating device or stone heater in order for them to reach the maximum temperature of up to 53 degrees Celsius. Once the stones are heated, they are placed on key points on the body such as along the sides of the spine, the palms, on the soles of feet and in between the toes.
While the stones are placed on specific points of the body, another heated stone is used to massage the body by stroking the surface of the skin with the hot rock. The heat usually helps the muscles relax and relieve tension nodes. The relaxation of the muscles also allows the massage therapist to apply pressure deeper for a more relaxing and beneficial massage therapy.
Benefits of Hot Stone Massage
Aside from the muscle relaxation that helps relieve pain from arthritis, hot stone massage also provides more benefits such as:
• Improves the circulation
As the heated stones are placed on the body, the warm temperature stimulates the blood vessels to dilate; thereby, improving the circulation. Hot stone massage is beneficial for people with circulation problems and those who work in a sitting or standing position for prolonged periods of time to reduce blood stasis.
• Calms the nervous system
The heat and the massage strokes also stimulate the production of inhibitory neurotransmitters such as GABA, serotonin and endorphins to promote calmness of the nervous system. This is especially advantageous for people who suffer from anxiety and mental fatigue. Those who suffer from insomnia and depression may also benefit from hot stone massage.
• Balances the energy
The hot stones placed on the key points also balance the energy that flows in and out of the body for a more balanced mind and body.
The next time you go for a massage, you may try hot stone massage for added relaxation and therapeutic benefits. There are also no contraindications for hot stone massage so all people may benefit from it.