5 Little Known Health Benefits Of Hot Stone Therapy
Are you sleep-deprived or exhausted all the time? Hot stone therapy could be the solution. This therapy uses hot volcanic stones during massage to help ease stress and give relief from pain.
By Monali Bordoloi
Of late, marketing professional Shilpa Mulmani feels stressed all the time due to increasing pressures at work and home. Soon, she began to develop regular pain in her neck and shoulders. One day, while browsing online, she came across an advertisement of a hot stone massage in an upscale spa in her neighbourhood. Out of curiosity, she stepped into the spa one day after work. Two hours later, she is completely relaxed, and her body pain is gone.
Also Read: Self-Care Tips For Working Moms
Welcome to the world of hot stone therapy! Shilpa is not alone, many people are opting for this massage style to reduce muscle pain and relaxation. If you are fatigued most of the time and experience chronic body pain and feel lethargic, hot stone therapy could provide you with some much-needed relief.
We got in touch with Ayurvedic doctor Pramod Kumar, who is the manager of the spa in Leela Palace, ESPA, to know more about this emerging trend, hot stone therapy and its relevance in wellness.
What are the benefits of Hot Stone Therapy?
As the stones used in this therapy can retain heat for a longer time, it helps the person to relax and re-energise. It is one of the best treatments to release muscle tension and soreness, as the heat from the stones enhances the effect of massage. This therapy is also known to be beneficial in relieving pain and inflammation of Joints and muscular spasms.
The heated stones are kept on marma points/chakras which stimulate the organs and nervous system while improving the physiological functions. It helps in blood circulation and the heat opens up the skin pores.
So, if you are going for only Deep Tissue or Swedish Massage, its ideal to have a Hot stone therapy along with it when you are lethargic, have aches and need to enhance your energy levels.
In which positions the stones should be placed?
Ideally, there are 36 stones which are used in the traditional Hot stone massages but could differ in different salons. It is customised as per the need and comfort of the customer.
- Eight large flat ovular basalt stones are used for back and thighs.
- 14 medium flat ovular basalt stones for arms, palms, calf, feet & and neck
- Six small flat ovular basalt stones are used for forehead, crown, back of the scalp
- Eight for toes
Some stones are also placed at the chakra points for healing purpose.
How much does it cost?
The Hot stone therapy may cost from Rs 2500 in a standalone spa to Rs 6000 per treatment in luxury spas.
Does this therapy help in sleeplessness?
Yes, definitely. As it helps calms the mind and heal the stiff sore muscles, this therapy enhances the sleep quality and good for people who have insomnia.
Do you have trained staff to give this therapy?
Yes, we only employ trained therapist to perform the Hot stone therapy.
How is hot stone therapy done?
In hot stone massage, the therapist places smooth warm stones against the specific points on the body. As the warm stones loosen up the tight muscles of the body, the therapist massages the body for deep tissue relaxation. Stones are placed after the massage also. The flat stones used in this therapy can retain heat for a long time. These are usually made of basalt. Usually, the stones are heated in the range of 130 to 145 degrees. However, it depends on the tolerance level of each client. The placement of the stones also depends on each therapist. In general, the stones are placed, along with the spine, on the stomach, the chest, feet and toes and on the face and palms too.
Pallavi Jain, a new mother says, "After the baby and resuming my job, my days are choc-a-block with tasks. As I am reading a lot about self-care for mommies, I am planning to try out this hot stone therapy this weekend for relaxation."
Founder of Meraki Spa and Wellness centre in Bangalore, Debanjan Kund says more and more people are trying out hot stone therapies as they are quite satisfied with the end result. We make sure that only trained staff handles this massage style.
Use of cold stones
Apart from warm stones, sometimes, cold stones are used during the massage. Placing cold stones help in relieving inflammation. It is also used to soothe the skin.
Health benefits of hot stone massage
Apart from relaxation, hot stone therapy comes with several health benefits. Here are five of them:
- Relieving body pain
The hot stones used in the therapy help in expanding the blood vessels which results in better blood flow throughout the body. If you are suffering from lower back pain or pain in the joints, a session of hot stone therapy could be the answer. Many people report better flexibility after a hot stone massage.
- Relaxing muscles
If you have difficulty in movements due to tense muscles, a session of hot stone massage could cure it. As the hot stones coupled with massage release the tension in the muscles, you feel more comfortable to move. A good session of hot stone massage also said to boost your immunity.
- Relieving stress
If you are one of those persons who feel secure and comfortable with touch, hot stone massage could act as a stress-buster. The soothing hands of the therapist could alleviate all accumulated stress and thereby give you a calm experience. As stress is the root cause of many diseases, removing stress from our lives leads to overall good health.
- Reducing muscle spasms
If you suffer from painful spasms, then this relaxing hot stone treatment could come to your rescue. When the hot stones are placed in the specific areas of the body, the heat from the stones loosen the muscle knots that cause spasms. It reduces the pain from spasms too.
- Improving sleep
If you have difficulty in falling asleep, an invigorating hot stone massage carried out by an expert will help you in getting a good night’s sleep.
Who should avoid hot stone massage?
Already planning a trip to the spa to have a hot stone therapy? However, keep in mind that it is not recommended for everyone.
- If you are pregnant, then give it a miss.
- Also, those of you with heart conditions, high blood pressure and diabetes are advised to stay away from hot stone massage.
- It is also not recommended if you have burns and open wounds.
- People suffering from deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) should also refrain from it.
- If you are suffering from skin disorders like eczema, rashes or psoriasis, hot stone massage could aggravate it. It is better to avoid.
It is important to note that you should always trust a certified, trained professional to give you a hot stone massage. Also, make sure that stones are heated properly and never use stones that have been heated in a microwave, hot plate or a cooker. Go on and indulge!
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