A hot stone massage involves the use of heated smooth stones. Typically, basalt river rocks are the go-to stones for their smoothness and ability to retain heat. The therapist mostly places the stones along the spine on specific spots.
The heat and weight of the stones (which your therapist might hold down with one hand) warm your muscles and cause them to relax. The stones may also be placed on your stomach, chest, face, palms, or feet and toes.
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Helps relieve pain: Studies involving individuals with various conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia have associated massage with decreased pain and increased range of motion.
Decreased Stress and anxiety: A hot stone therapy, much like most types, is an effective stress reliever. The massage decreases stress and anxiety as well as improves cardiovascular health.
Promotes sleep: Stress, busy schedules, and insomnia are some of the factors that may contribute to poor sleeping patterns. Luckily, massage has been linked to better sleep and relaxation, especially in older people who are most prone to insomnia.
Reduces muscle spasms and tension: It decreases both inflammation and tension that build up in the skeletal muscles. This combats muscle spasms as well as pain. Besides, a hot stone foot massage can help reduce foot pains.
More flexibility: Range of motion may be affected by muscle tension, making it more difficult and painful to move the joints. A hot stone massage may relax your muscles and make it more comfortable for your joints to move.
Relaxing: Hot stone massages have often been described as comforting or relaxing and for a good reason. The warmth provides a soothing sensation that’s especially great for individuals who often feel chilly. The heat also causes your muscles to relax, allowing the effect of the massage to travel deeper with less pressure.
The techniques used during a hot stone massage are as many as they come:
Edging: A therapist uses the edge of a stone to push or gently scrape the muscle fibers, pushing them into submission.
Elephant walking: Done with alternating hands, this technique involves moving up and down your body slowly, reminiscent of an elephant’s feet walking.
Energetic vibration: The therapist uses tapping, rubbing, or clanking to generate vibrations that transmit energy into the depths of your body.
Friction: Stones are rubbed back and forth against the skin to generate friction at safe levels.
Gliding: Sliding a hot and oiled stone aligns the muscles through a long, sweeping motion.
Heeling: Uses the heel of the hand to increase the depth of massage or precision.
Paw digging: Used to soften tissues with stones by making motions similar to that of a dog using its front paws to dig in the sand.
Snaking the spine: Using the pointed edge of a stone to trace an S-curve down the spine.
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