A hot stone massage is a type of massage therapy. It’s used to help you relax and ease tense muscles and damaged soft tissues throughout your body.
During a hot stone massage, smooth, flat, heated stones are placed on specific parts of your body.
Thus the stones are usually made of basalt, a type of volcanic rock that retains heat.
The stones may be placed:
- along your spine
- on your palms
- on your feet and toes
Massage therapists may hold heated stones as they massage your body using Swedish massage techniques such as:
- long strokes
- circular movements
1. Helps relieve muscle tension and pain
Heat has long been used to ease muscle tension and pain. It helps increase blood flow to the affected area.
It may also reduce muscle spasms and increase flexibility and range of motion. Cold therapy helps relieve inflammation.
2. Reduces stress and anxiety
It’s the position of the American Massage Therapy Association that “massage therapy can be effective for stress relief.”
Therefore, Research supports their opinion. A 2001 study showed that a ten-minute massage improved cardiovascular responses such as stroke volume.
A 1997 study found that 15-minute, onsite chair massages in the workplace significantly reduced stress compared to a 15-minute break without massage.
Hence, a 2015 studyTrusted Source found that people who underwent abdominal colorectal surgery had less pain, tension, and anxiety after receiving post-operative massage.
3. Promotes sleep
A 2006 literature review found massage may be an alternative to sleeping pills in adults with insomnia.
The research showed that back massage helped promote relaxation and sleep.
However, a 2001 study showed that infants with sleep problems who were given a 15-minute massage by their parents went to sleep faster.
They were also more alert, active, and positive upon awakening.
Massage is thought to help you enjoy more restorative sleep, although it’s not completely understood why.
4. May help decrease cancer symptoms
large, three-year study published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management examined how massage affected pain, fatigue, stress and anxiety, nausea, and also depression.
Studies show massage, especially Swedish massage, improved cancer symptoms, even in those with substantial symptoms.
Thus, Researchers believe the comforting use of human touch played a role .
5. May boost immunity
Massage may give your immune system a boost. According to a 2010 study
Hence, a single session of Swedish massage therapy had a positive and acute impact on immunity.
Blood samples taken before and after the massage showed a decrease in arginine-vasopressin, a hormone that helps regulate blood pressure and water retention.