Hot stone massage

hot stones wolkenstein

…is a traditional massaging method that is practised in Asia as well Hawaii and the Polynesian region. Hot basalt stones (igneous rock can store heat for a longer period of time) are used to activate energy tracks (Meridians) along the body or to complement manual, relaxing massaging techniques.

The warmth that enters the body combines with the stimulating effect of the massage to improve blood circulation into the deepest layers of the body. This results in improved cellular metabolism, faster decomposition of pain messenger substances in the bloodstream as well as the relaxation of muscle tension (which is usually caused by exposure to cold).

Scientific studies have repeatedly shown that hot stone massage therapy:

  1. Reduces pain – through its positive effect on stress hormones
  2. Has a relaxing and antidepressant effect
  3. Improves immune system activity

Relevant studies:

Int J Neurosci. 2001;106(3-4):131-45
Lower back pain is reduced and range on motion increased after massage therapy Hernandez-Reif M, Field T, Krasnegor J, Theakston H. 
Touch Research Institute, School of Medicine and Iris Burman, Educating Hands, Florida 33101, CONCLUSIONS: Massage therapy is effective in reducing pain, stress hormones and symptoms associated with chronic low back pain. Some studies have also shown a verifiable improvement of the immune activity of cells:
Int J Neurosci. 2005 Apr;115(4):495-510.
Natural killer cells and lymphocytes in women with breast cancer following massage therapy Hernandez-Reif M et al.
« By the end of the study, however, only the massage therapy group reported being less depressed and less angry and having more vigor. Dopamine levels, Natural Killer cells, and lymphocytes also increased from the first to the last day of the study for the massage therapy group”