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The news of pregnancy is likely to make expectant mothers start dreaming about their babies. However, pregnancies also mean extreme food cravings, swollen feet, sleepless nights and severe body aches. Naturally, the high stress levels and growing weight of the baby is bound to take a toll on a woman's back, shoulders and lower abdomen. While there are numerous medicines and massages to reduce the stress, there is nothing to beat the age-old custom of a hot stone massage. Here is why you should opt for this massage technique.

Opting for a Hot Stone Massage
  • The stones used for a hot stone massage session are generally made of basalt. At times, therapists may recommend use of marble stones too. These stones are naturally rounded, smooth and flat. It is a common practice to use stones that are about the size of an egg. Generally, natural stones found along river banks are preferred for the massage.
  • The therapy involves repeated heating of stones in a vessel that contains some boiling water. After the stones are heated sufficiently, they are placed on some desired acupressure points on a woman's back or lower abdomen, thereby relaxing and soothing out the stressed muscles.
  • Women generally face problems such as blood clotting or lack of blood circulation to lower parts of the body as the pregnancy advances. Heat application is known to reduce stress levels in the human body. However, there are restrictions to the usage of hot showers and baths during a pregnancy. In contrast, a hot stone massage has been reported as a safe and excellent natural remedy to improve the blood circulation during pregnancy.
How to Go About It
  • The methods used for hot stone massages around the world are bound to differ. However, make sure to consult your gynecologist before you opt for a hot stone massage. Choose a therapist only after getting a confirmation about his certification to practice pregnancy massages.
  • Remember, it is quite easy to lie on your back or on your tummy in the early period of your pregnancy, especially in the first trimester. However, as the pregnancy advances, you might find it difficult to lie down on your back. Therefore, you might need to find out if the massage clinic is equipped with a well designed massage table with supportive cutouts in them that negate the chances of exerting pressure on your stomach.
  • When you arrive for your massage appointment, make sure to inform the therapist that you prefer a plain hot stone massage. It is best to avoid massages with essential oils and herbal lotions during pregnancy.
Some Precautions
  • It is recommended that a gap of at least 1-2 hours is maintained between your meal and the massage. Ideally, do not overeat before a hot stone massage.
  • Make sure to feel the temperature of the hot stones with your hands before they are placed on your back or lower abdomen. At times, the therapist may feel the stones with his own hands to ensure an appropriate temperature. If you happen to feel uncomfortable with the temperature of the stones once they are placed, inform the therapist promptly.
It is recommended that the hot stone massage should not last for more than an hour. However, you may check with your gynecologist in case you wish to extend the massage duration. If this massage therapy makes you feel good, you might be tempted to use it more often. In this case, check with your doctor to know the ideal duration between two massage sessions. Once the therapist begins his work, just relax and enjoy its soothing results. This stress relieving hot stone massage therapy, comes at an approximate cost of $200 for every pregnancy massage session. But this rate may fluctuate with different therapists.