Hot stone massage, as the name suggests, is a form of massage therapy that uses heated stones as part of the process. The earliest evidence of the practice is over 5000 years old. Quite a number of ancient civilizations and cultures practice it, but the most common form we are familiar with is the Ayurvedic practice called Shila Abhyanga.
Hot stone massages were developed around the same time humans started recording history. It was also around this period that many developed the early foundations of math. But how did it come to be and why do we continue to use the same principles today? Keep reading to find out.
How Hot Stone Massage Works
When you go in for a massage, your therapist will heat hot stones to a therapeutic temperature—somewhere between 54 and 63 degrees Celsius. Spas generally choose river stones for this purpose, which have a tendency to be round and smooth.
These stones will be placed on specific spots on your body and in the hands of your massage therapists. The process itself is designed to loosen tight muscles, improve circulation by relaxing the blood vessels, and ease the mind. The rocks also help with deep tissue massage, as the added can help transmit force from the therapist’s hands to your body.
The therapist will massage your body in plenty of circular, kneading movements. Soothing massage oils will also be used during this process. Essential oils like lavender can also heighten the experience, as different oils have different effects.
The Benefits of Hot Stone Massage
Hot stone massages have quite a number of benefits for both physical and mental health, such as:
1 – Pain relief
This is a benefit in nearly all types of massage, but this kind has been known to help alleviate the symptoms of fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. People suffering from these conditions claim that moderate massage techniques such as these lessened their pain and allowed them to move more comfortably.
2 – Improved range of motion
Knots are an inevitable part of moving around as a human being, which is why it is essential to regularly visit a massage therapist. The heat from the stones can break down these knots. Combined with pressure, it can restore your range of motion. People with joint disorders have also been known to benefit greatly from hot stone massages.
3 – Stress relief
When the body suffers from a knot or some kind of muscular imbalance, the rest of the muscles tend to compensate. This puts the body in a state of constant tension. The constant tension can manifest in your emotional state as stress, especially since the demands on your body end up heightened.
Everyone who’s ever visited a spa knows that a good massage can relax and soothe their mind as well as their body. These massages are no exception; they are perfect for mitigating stress in both the muscles and the mind.
We’re not saying hot stone massages can fix everything, but they can help with what you’re dealing with. Not only can you end up feeling more relaxed state, but you might also just regain some of your motion and experience a lot less pain. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
If your curiosity surrounding hot stone massages has been piqued, schedule your appointment with Soul 2 Sole now. We are an Edmonton-based studio that can help you feel better in more ways than one.