Hot stone massage is one type of massage therapy that has been trending in recent years. The stone used is not just any stone, you know! A professional hot stone massage place usually uses basalt stone, a type of volcanic stone that can maintain heat for a long time.
Apparently, this massage technique is not only good for getting rid of rheumatic aches, but it is also beneficial to reduce your risk of cancer. How come it can?
What is it like to be massaged with a hot stone?
During massage, some mashed hot stones will be placed at certain points of the body, such as along the spine, above the abdomen, on the chest, face, palms, feet and toes. A massage therapist who handles you can use a variety of massage techniques using these stones, starting to elongate movements like when scraping, circular, vibrated through special tools, tapping on the body, or movements like kneading the dough.
Sometimes cold stones are also used in this therapy. Cold stones are usually placed after a hot stone is removed, the goal is to soothe the skin and blood vessels that are dilated due to heat.
Various benefits of hot stone massage
1. Reduces muscle aches
Heat has long been known to reduce various complaints of muscle stiffness and pain. Heat can increase blood flow in the tense area.
2. Reduces stress and anxiety
A study in 2001 showed that pjiat for 10 minutes can improve cardiac response. While other studies show that a 15-minute massage on a massage bench at work can significantly reduce stress compared to a 15-minute break without massage. The American Massage Therapy Association also states that massage therapy is an effective method for relieving stress.
3. Make you sleep well
Massage is known to help you enjoy a better quality sleep, even though it's not fully known why. A literature study shows that massage can be an effective choice besides sleeping pills for people with insomnia. The study shows that massage on the back can help improve relaxation and help sleep. Other studies also show that babies who have difficulty sleeping when given a 15-minute massage by their parents will be able to sleep faster. In addition, they will also be more active and refreshed when they wake up.
4. Relieves symptoms of autoimmune diseases
Hot stone massage can relieve pain due to medical conditions such as fibromyalgia. A study shows that fibromyalgia sufferers who get a massage for 30 minutes will sleep late and experience a decrease in substance that can trigger pain. Other studies also show that hot stone massage can provide benefits for rheumatoid sufferers. The participants of this study experienced a decrease in pain intensity, better grip strength, and were able to move more freely after undergoing massage therapy for 1 month.
5. Reducing the risk of cancer symptoms
A large three-year study showed that massage can reduce stress, anxiety, depression, nausea, and fatigue in cancer patients. The study shows that the massage technique commonly used in hot stone massage can help sufferers in dealing with the symptoms of cancer. Researchers believe that soothing touches from humans play a role in this.
6. Increase endurance
A study in 2010 showed that massage can increase endurance immediately. Blood samples taken from study participants before and after massage showed a decrease in levels of arginine-vasopressin, a hormone that helps regulate blood pressure and water retention.
Risks that you need to know before massaging with hot stones
Hot stone massage is generally safe if done by a trained therapist. However, there are a number of medical conditions that need special attention. Consult your doctor before doing hot stone massage if you have:
- Blood disorders or taking blood thinners
- Skin burns
- Open wound
- History of blood clots
- Surgical history in the last 6 weeks
- Broken bones or severe osteoporosis
- Low platelet levels (thrombocytopenia)
To avoid burns on the skin, usually your skin will be covered by a towel or a thin cloth before the hot stone is placed. Also ask the therapist how they heat the stone. The stone should be heated with a special tool for massage. Never use heated stones with:
- Slow cooker
- Hot plate
To get optimal results, make sure you are only massaged by a trained therapist. If you experience pain for one day after a massage, tell your therapist immediately. This may occur due to overpressure that impacts the deeper layers of the body's tissue.
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