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Health Benefits of the Modern Day Hot Stone Massage

Updated on March 17, 2013

It is believed that hot stone massage has been used by Native Americans, the Japanese and Europeans dating as far back as 1500 BC. The modernized hot stone massage is popularized by and attributed to Mary Nelson of LaStone Therapy. Nowadays, several day spas have adopted their own versions of this massage as part of their treatment offers.

The stones used for this massage are the iron-rich basalt rocks which have the ability to retain heat. Rocks found in the rivers are ideal since they are more even, flat and have smooth surfaces. Before the rocks are used for a massage, the therapist heats them in an electric roaster to around 50 degree celsius. These are then placed on the key areas of the body such as the spine, hands and toes of the massage recipient.

The heat generated from the stone induces muscle relaxation allowing the therapist to apply more pressure. Alternately, the stones may be used to knead or massage the muscles. The effects of the stones are highly therapeutic and can help melt away stress and anxiety.

Hot Stone Massage Health Benefits

Hot stone massage offers several health benefits to its recipients. As previously indicated, it can help relax the muscles. Relieving muscle tension and soreness allows the therapist to effectively perform deep tissue massage.

Another great benefit of this massage is its ability to relieve pain. The natural wear and tear of the muscles and joints can be disabling when it becomes too painful. Since hot stone massage allows deeper penetration of the muscles, the pain is also likely to be alleviated. It is also important to let the therapist know if the stones are too hot or his or her pressure is too intense to avoid feeling sore after the massage.

Hot stones placed on the key areas of the body also open up the blood vessels which allow better blood circulation. Better blood circulation reduces the amount of lactic acid from the body and enhances oxygen delivery to the muscles.

Hot Stone Massage Relieves Stress, Anxiety and Depression

Aside from the physical benefits, recipients of this massage also notice considerable improvement with their mental health. It relieves stress, anxiety and depression. The recipient will feel lighter not just with the body, but also in thought.

While hot stone massage offers a number of health benefits, there are people who are advised not to undergo this therapy such as pregnant women and people who recently had surgery and radiation treatment.

As a whole, hot stone massage is a very good way to unwind and relax from a long, tiring day. It may address several health issues, but it should not be used as alternative for medical treatment. It is also important to consult your health care provider if you are doubtful how this massage affects your health condition.

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