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Hot Stone Massage Benefits – Newmarket Clinic

Studies have proven that regular massages are highly beneficial to our overall health and for treating specific ailments as well. What many people are not aware of is that hot stone massage therapy can be just as beneficial and has a long history of doing so.

Brief History

  • Hot stone massage may have originated in India 5,000 years ago from the ancient healing tradition of Ayurveda. Smooth river bed stones were warmed or cooled for use in healing and massage.
  • The Japanese used warm stones to help their abdomens improve digestion. This apparently dates back about 4,000 years ago.
  • More than 2,000 years ago, ancient Chinese used heated stones to improve the function of internal organs.
  • Native Americans used hot stones during rituals and in sweat lodges and many are still using them today.
  • For hundreds of years, Hawaiians have used hot stones for massage and healing for many years. Heated lava stones were used on the body to help increase blood circulation.
  • Ancient Greek and Roman cultures used many forms of massage for healing and for simple relaxation including hot stones.

What is a Hot Stone Massage?

Placing smooth, warmed up stones in order to achieve results needs to be done by a qualified therapist. Anyone can place hot stones on the body where there may be an ache, but in order to target specific ailments and to properly increase circulation having a trained professional is important.

Massage oils are used in the process in addition to smooth stones. Basalt stones are commonly used as well as various river stones. These stones are safe to use, sterilised and properly heated so that no discomfort will be experienced by the patient. The stones are heated in a sterile heating unit that either provides a temperature reading or has an adjustable thermostat control.  The massage therapist always holds the stones first before touching them to your body, which ensures that the temperature will not be too hot.

Stones are strategically placed at various points on the body and as the warmth penetrates the skin the client will experience a massage and effleurage. Stones are sometimes used to massage and glide over targeted areas to assist with healing.

The therapist might also leave heated stones in specific points along the sides of the spine, in the palms of the hands, on the stomach, or even between toes; this assists in improving the flow of energy throughout the body.  Heat warms and relaxes muscles allowing the therapist to apply deeper pressure, if required. Many people find the warmth of the hot stones to be quite comforting and deeply relaxing.

This form of therapy is often used for the same conditions as a regular massage:

  • Anxiety
  • Back pain
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Osteoarthritis

Hot Stone Massages Are Not For Everyone

While hot stone massage is generally considered safe when performed by a trained and licensed massage therapist, it’s not right for everyone. This is not recommended for those who have had recent surgery, or have certain medical conditions, or have wounded areas (including inflamed areas). Pregnant women and children should avoid hot stone massages as well.

Palliative Care and Hot Stone Massages

According to an article published in the Journal of Oncology, massage therapy is a popular adjunct to cancer palliation. There was a study conducted with favourable results. It was discovered that those in palliative care who received a hot stone massage saw a decrease in some very common symptoms they commonly experience.

Most individuals who were studied reported a decrease in:

  • Pain
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

However, there was no difference in lack of appetite.

If you feel you need a hot stone massage or are wondering if it is right for you then Chiro-Med can help.

For more information about hot stone massage or how chiropractic and physiotherapy can help you, please give Chiro-Med a call. Established in 2007 by Dr. Behfar Sanjari, Chiro-Med Rehab Centre has been committed to providing quality health care services to the Greater Toronto Area for a decade. We have clinics located in Richmond Hill and Newmarket; call 905-918-0419 or 905-235-2620 for more information.

 

Link to the study done on palliative care patients:

http://ascopubs.org/doi/abs/10.1200/jco.2015.33.29_suppl.179