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Hot Stone Massage Side Effects

author image Andrea Cespedes
Andrea Cespedes is a professionally trained chef who has focused studies in nutrition. With more than 20 years of experience in the fitness industry, she coaches cycling and running and teaches Pilates and yoga. She is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer, RYT-200 and has degrees from Princeton and Columbia University.
Hot Stone Massage Side Effects
A woman begins a stone massage Photo Credit: Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images

During a hot stone massage, a therapist applies heated stones to specific energetic zones on your body. Basalt lava stones are typically used as they contain numerous minerals, including calcium, magnesium and iron, which are said to offer healing benefits. While a hot stone massage can be relaxing, boost your energy levels and ease discomfort from several chronic conditions, it may also be harmful if not done with care.

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Hot, Hot, Hot

Stones that are too hot can burn your skin. A skilled stone massage therapist knows to cool the stones to an appropriate temperature before applying them. Heated stones should not be used on the face, but cold stones may be used instead to promote relaxation. Communication during the massage is essential and you must voice any discomfort immediately if the stones feel too hot.

Positive Side Effects

Hot stone massage is said to improve circulation and enhance metabolism, though no scientific evidence supports these claims. Hot stone treatments, like other forms of massage, can also reduce stress and anxiety.

Who Should Steer Clear

People with certain medical conditions could have their situation exacerbated by a hot stone massage. People with cancerous tumors, open wounds, internal bleeding, bruises, broken skin, blood clots, phlebitis, varicose veins, cellulitis, low platelet counts, pregnancy, diabetes and heart conditions are usually discouraged from undergoing this type of treatment. If you have any questions as to whether the therapy is acceptable for you, consult your doctor first.

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