Warm Up This Winter: Try a Hot Stone Massage
Colder winter weather often makes us want to stay indoors with a hot cup of tea and a warm blanket. It can also affect our muscles, making it difficult for them to contract, which causes a feeling of stiffness and discomfort in the body. When looking for ways to warm up, why not consider a hot stone massage?
The Benefits of a Hot Stone Massage
It is believed that hot stones were once used by Native Americans to relieve aching muscles or joints in the body. Stones were warmed by the fire and then placed upon specific points of the body. Today, the heated rocks used for hot stone massage act as an extension of the massage therapist’s hands. Using stones of varying sizes and with varying amounts of pressure, the massage therapist moves the stones over the body in a very specific pattern to achieve ideal results. Usually, hot stone massage begins with the individual lying face down as stones are placed along the spine. This can help to relieve particularly tense muscles so that they can be more easily massaged. The warming heat from the stones penetrates deeply into the muscles, bringing about relaxation and normal contraction.
Hot stone massage can provide many of the same benefits as Swedish massage, with the additional benefits provided by heat. It can provide deep relaxation, relief for tired and tight muscles and a better elimination of built-up toxins. It has even been said that hot stone massage can help provide relief to individuals who suffer arthritis, bursitis, depression, and insomnia. That being said, hot stone massage is not recommended for individuals who suffer from diabetes or high blood pressure, who take blood-thinning medication or who are pregnant or menopausal.
There is another massage therapy that is very similar to a hot stone massage and can often achieve many of the same desirable results, which is the warm bamboo massage. Instead of heated stones, the warm bamboo massage technique involves warmed bamboo that helps to massage and relax tense muscles. As is the case with a hot stone massage, a warm bamboo massage provides the heat that is necessary to allow the massage therapist to work the muscles on a deep level, which leads to greater and longer-lasting results.
During the cold winter months, few things may be more effective at warming your body, or more relaxing, than a hot stone massage. Try it for yourself and see!