Hot stone massage: 6 ways this therapy can boost your health

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Hot stone massage therapy can help in relieving stress, anxiety and chronic pain. © Shutterstock

Are your muscles stressed? Are you looking for something relaxing? Why don’t you go for a hot stone massage? Well, this is a type of massage therapy that is characterised by placement of hot stone on specific parts of the body. These stones are flat, smooth and made up of basalt. The main reason behind the use of these stone is that it has heat absorbing properties. Usually, they are dipped in hot water before being placed on body areas like the back, hands, feet, face, stomach, etc.

Cold stones are also used after the massage therapy with the hot ones. Notably, cold stones are usually used on the face. It is used to calm down the swollen blood vessels and sooth hot skin. This massage therapy basically focuses on points that are considered to energetically balance the mind and body. This technique of providing relaxation is associated with an array of health benefits. Here we tell you all about them.

Provides relief from pain and muscle tension

Heat actually helps in increasing blood flow to any area. It is also linked to reduced muscle spasms and increased flexibility. This massage therapy helps in increasing range of motion. Cold therapy following the hot one helps in relieving inflammation if any. A massage therapy actually stimulates your brain. This leads to the production of endorphins and other hormones that are known to be natural pain relievers.

Acts as stress and anxiety reliever

Due to its sedative effects, hot stone massage therapy can help in relieving stress, anxiety and chronic pain. Massage actually helps in lowering the secretion of the stress hormone cortisol. As mentioned above, the use of hot stones can potentially expand your blood vessels and promote blood flow throughout the body. The increased blood flow can help oxygen to reach each part of the body and this helps in promoting deep relaxation.

Induces sleep

According to various studies in the field, massage therapies like hot stone massage can be an alternative to sleeping pills. Placing these stones on the back can promote relaxation that can induce sleep. According a research published in the journal Early Child Development and Care, 15-minutes of hot stone massage can help children sleep faster and better. In fact, the study found that after getting up, children were more active, alert and positive. In insomnia patients, hot stone massage can promote sound sleep.

Helps relieve symptoms of autoimmune diseases

This helps if you are suffering from fibromyalgia, a health condition that is characterised by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, mood issues and memory problem, says a study published in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology. According to this research, even 30-minutes of hot stone massage can help these patients sleep longer, have fewer trigger points and decreased levels of a substance that is responsible for transmitting pain signals, than those who receive relaxation therapy. Also, people with rheumatoid arthritis can be benefited from this massage therapy.

Reduces symptoms of cancer

Certain problems like fatigue, stress, pain, nausea and depression are symptoms of cancer. And, hot stone massage can help you get relief from these signs, says a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The study stated that massage cannot directly help in inhibiting the growth of cancer, but it can help you feel much better by treating some of the symptoms.

Boosts immunity

According to a study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, a single session of hot stone massage therapy can show a positive and acute impact on immunity. During the study, the scientists tested the blood of participants. They found a significant decrease in the hormone called arginine-vasopressin. This hormone is known to be anti-diuretic.