When people typically think of massage, they are usually referring to Swedish massage – the most popular type of massage in the United States. It involves the therapeutic manipulation of muscles with a variety of hand movements. The long, gliding strokes called effleurage; kneading movements, called petrissage; and percussive techniques, called tapotement, relieve muscular tension, stimulate circulation, and engage your parasympathetic nervous system to induce feelings of deep relaxation and tranquility.
Many therapeutic massage sessions will begin with Swedish massage strokes to warm up the tissues before using more specific techniques. Light or strong pressure can be used during the treatment. Pure Swedish massage combines well with a customized aromatherapy blend, if desired.
A study in the May 2013 issue of the International Journal of Preventative Medicine found that blood pressure was lowered in fifty pre-hypertensive women who had Swedish massage sessions on a weekly basis. Their readings continued to be lower than the control group for 72 hours following the massage sessions. The findings of the study indicated that massage therapy was a safe, effective, applicable and cost-effective intervention in controlling BP of the pre-hypertension women.
At SMART Integrative Massage Group, we use hot stones in a therapeutic manner to loosen your connective tissues and muscles. Once relaxed from the warmth of the stones, your therapist will use their hands to bring relief to stiff and sore muscles helping to relieve chronic and acute pain that many of us deal with on a daily basis. Hot Stone massage provides relief from pain associated with fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome and other chronic conditions. The treatment can decrease pain and muscle spasms which increase flexibility and movement throughout the body.
If you are experiencing mental or physical stress, the deep penetrating heat of a Hot Stone massage can bring about immediate relaxation of both the mind and body. Incorporating the traditional strokes of Swedish and Deep Tissue massage with basalt stones heated in a water bath to approximately 130 degrees allows the therapist access to the deeper layer of the muscles as the heat of the stones relaxes the tissue and fascia. The hot stones have a sedative effect that can relieve chronic pain, reduce stress and promote deep relaxation. Heat from the hot stones help muscles release more quickly than in traditional massage.
Any condition requiring caution with heat therapies such as saunas also calls for caution with heated stones. If you are pregnant, have high pressure, heart disease, diabetes, M.S. or are under the care of a physician for any other reason, please consult with your physician and massage therapist before receiving stone massage.