Hot Stone Massage is a technique where a hot stone is used on the body to enhance the effects of the massage. The stone can either be placed on certain specific areas of the body or the massage therapist may hold the stone in their hand as they massage the body. The hot stones may be used in conjunction with many other types of massage therapy techniques such as effleurage and deep tissue massage.
Hot Stone Massage Benefits
The therapeutic thermal effects of the hot stone massage are numerous. The superficial heat helps to improve blood flow and caused vasodilation which is an increase in size of blood vessels. With the improved blood flow there is improved oxygenation in the body and potentially more healing cells into the region.
The superficial heat from the hot stones can also decrease pain. The heat has an overall analgesic effect and sedative effect on the nerves that cause pain. This can help to decrease muscle spasm and relax the muscles. It can also prepare the muscles to relax for the rest of the massage.
The hot stones also may affect joints and connective tissue in the body. The heat acts to decrease the stiffness in the joints and connective tissue. Heat also improves the elasticity in the connective tissues and soft tissues such as muscles and tendons, which can improve flexibility. This can prepare the body for movement, stretching and exercise as well. This type of massage provides an overall positive and beneficial effect on the body.