Nothing sounds better on a cold winter day than a warm, stone fireplace. However, sitting in front of a fireplace will not give you the same benefits as a therapeutic massage. During the colder months combine the benefits of your regular massage with the healing heat of hot stones to get the best of both worlds.
What Is a Hot Stone Massage?
Just as it sounds, a hot stone massage uses perfectly heated stones with a therapeutic massage. These smooth stones are heated and retain the heat due to their high mineral content. The massage therapist strategically uses the heat and structure of the stones to massage trigger points and sore muscle areas to warm the soft tissue for a more potent effect on the outcome of your massage. Not only does this heat feel wonderful on a cold winter’s day, it has some amazing advantages.
- Pain Relief.We all know heat is used for muscle soreness. The heat helps relax muscles and tendons, allowing them to become less stiff and more pliable. This is a perfect strategy before beginning a deep tissue massage that can be painful if the muscles are too tight and strained. With relaxed muscles, your therapist can penetrate more deeply in your massage to help relieve sore muscles.
- Poor circulation in your extremities can lead to stiff muscles and lactic acid build up. Hot stones help improve circulation by opening up the blood vessels and allowing more oxygen and nutrients to reach your muscles. Improved circulation releases toxins, assisting in improved self-healing. The therapist places the stones strategically to help improve the circulatory system to your problem areas. Additionally, improved circulation helps with lymphatic drainage and cell renewal.
- Reduced stress. Although there are many physical benefits of massage, relieving stress is one of the most beneficial both for the mind and body. Considering that the majority of the American population experiences the physical symptoms of stress – this is incredibly powerful. With the addition of hot stones, you are combining the relaxing effects of heat with the generally relaxing effects of massage. This improved relaxation washes away stress symptoms, lowers blood pressure, reduces fatigue symptoms and re-energizes the mind and spirit.
Hot stones can be combined with Swedish or deep-tissue massage for accelerated benefits. Although anyone can enjoy the warmth and healing factors that hot stone massages offer, those with sore muscles or deep tissue pain will especially appreciate the added benefits of heat.