by Pamela Israel
Peaceful Spirit Massage and Wellness Centers
Hot stone massage is sometimes seen as an indulgence. For many people, it’s something they do to treat themselves, but not a treatment to get often. But hot stone massage can have some surprising benefits that you may not get with a regular Swedish massage. Here are five benefits of hot stone massage that you might not know.
Using heated stones along with traditional Swedish massage techniques have been shown to increase circulation all over the body. Blood circulation is how the body delivers nutrients, eliminates waste, and heals itself. Increasing circulation helps to increase the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the extremities and helps with cell growth and organ function. In addition, increasing circulation is healthy for the skin, which makes the body better able to defend against bacteria and other harmful microbes.
A word of caution: Hot stone massage can be beneficial for people with circulation issues, so diabetic patients may want to try a hot stone session. It is important to remember, however, that with diabetes there may be loss of feeling, especially in the extremities. Caution should be used to ensure that the therapist does not hurt the patient, since the patient may not be able to sense discomfort, such as a stone that is too hot or when a therapist applies too much pressure. Proper communication is key in a situation like this. Be sure to let your therapist know if you have loss of feeling in any part of your body.
It may seem simple but using heat during a massage can have many beneficial effects. In addition to relieving muscle pain and tension, the heat allows the muscles to relax more quickly so that the therapist can get more work done in less time. When the muscles relax, the therapist can work more deeply and resolve problems that may not get addressed during a regular Swedish massage. Heat is also linked to increased feelings of relaxation, reduction of pain, and help with insomnia.
Speaking of insomnia, hot stone massages can help with sleep. Not only is regular Swedish massage recommended to help with insomnia, but the addition of heat allows the patient to feel more peaceful, better able to fall asleep, and able to fall asleep faster.
Hot stone massage has been shown to help relieve pain in patients with autoimmune disorders, such as Fibromyalgia. As we said earlier, heat is linked to pain reduction and in some cases can have equal or better results than chemical pain killers. With the reduction of pain, many patients find that they have an increased range of motion. This happens because many times, pain and decreased range of motion is caused by muscle tension. By relieving the muscle tension, pain is decreased and the range of motion increases.
Pain Relief and Improved Range of Motion
Finally, hot stone massage can help with stress relief. Many studies have shown that massage can reduce stress and anxiety. Part of the reason for stress reduction is that massage changes body chemistry. In particular, massage has the effect of decreasing cortisol (a stress hormone that produces the “fight or flight” response) and increasing dopamine and serotonin (neurotransmitters that help regulate mood). This combination helps reduce stress and anxiety, leaving the patient feeling calm and relaxed.
With all the benefits of hot stone massage, it’s clear that it can be helpful for a wide variety of people. Here at Peaceful Spirit, we offer The “Ultimate” Massage, which combines hot stones, aromatherapy oils, and hands-on massage to give a truly unique, and deeply relaxing experience. You can schedule The “Ultimate” Massage at most of our locations, and there is no additional cost for upgrading a regular Swedish massage to The “Ultimate” Massage. We hope you try The “Ultimate” Massage and see what benefits you discover.