6 Lesser Known Health Benefits of Hot Stone Massage Therapy
At first glance, the idea of taking hot stones that have been submerged in water that has been heated to over 115 degrees Fahrenheit and then massaging it into your skin seems rather odd. After all, won’t that burn the skin?
On the contrary, a hot stone massage not only will not harm your body in any way, it may be one of the best types of massages that you can get.
And while almost everyone is familiar with the benefits of getting a massage – relaxation, anxiety-melting, stress-reduction, etc – not all are familiar with what exactly a hot stone massage can give you. Below are a few of the ideas that you may not have heard of before.
- Better Mental Health
Your body is connected to your mind in so many fascinating ways. Acting as the central operating system of the entire human body, it makes sense that what impacts one will impact the other.
When a massage therapist kneads out pressure points in your body and works to release muscle tension that may have built up over time, your mind will inherently begin to feel less anxious and depressed. A relaxing massage is more than just about the candles and oils that are used during a massage session, it’s about ridding the body of toxins that are contaminating your body and your soul, producing an all-around better you.
- Reduced Cancer Symptoms
No, massage therapy will not necessarily decrease your risk of getting cancer, but it can help reduce the symptoms associated with treatment. During chemotherapy, the body is blasted with radiation that can make the patient feel sick, as blood cells and everything on the inside is affected by the treatment.
Hot stone massages promote better blood flow and circulation, resulting in a body that is better able to deliver white blood cells and oxygen to various parts of the body. This creates a healthier and better-feeling person overall, better able to tackle the massive health struggle that cancer represents.
- Deliver Better Sleep
Since massage helps the body relax, one of the best things you can do to get a good night’s sleep is to have regular massage appointments with a therapist. Even if you can’t get in every month or so,investing in a massage chair, foot massager, or massage cushion can go a long way in creating healthier sleep.
However, massage does more than just help you fall asleep faster, it also creates a better quality of sleep. One study, in particular, demonstrated that even a fifteen-minute massage helped infants fall asleep faster and helped them be more awake and alert the next day. The same effects can been to apply to adults as well.
- Fight Against Autoimmune Symptoms
Two type of autoimmune diseases specifically – rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia – have seen their symptoms greatly reduced by hot stone massage. A 2002 study showed that just a 30-minute hot stone massage minimized trigger points, slept deeper, and had lower levels of Substance P, which helps transmit pain signals. This is in contrast to people who simply received relaxation therapy, which did little by comparison.
Even those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis reported feeling greater grip strength and better range of motion after just one month of hot stone therapy. The heat combined with the intense and focused pressure of hot stone massage resulted in looser muscles that didn’t hurt as much.
- Boosted Immune System
Would you believe that hot stone massage therapy will also help keep you free from diseases as well? Swedish massage has been linked to a more active immune system, primarily through a reduction in arginine-vasopressin, which helps with water retention and regulate blood pressure. Since hot stone massage mimics the intensity of a Swedish massage (in some ways), the benefits carry over to a hot stone massage as well.
- Healthier-Looking Skin
As we age, most of us begin looking for the proverbial fountain of youth by which we can restore our body back to the way it was years earlier. Though none of us can turn back time, we can create better-looking skin by implementing a massage therapy routine into our lives.
Since massage promotes better blood flow, the surface of the skin looks healthier as oxygen is carried close to the surface. In turn, the skin begins to glow and shine, possibly even taking some of those unwanted wrinkles away with it.