What is a Hot Stone Massage?
Hot Stone Massage is a specialist therapy that uses smooth, flat, heated basalt stones that are placed on specific parts of the body. These can include your spine, in the palms of your hands, along your legs and between the toes. If you are having a facial massage, sometimes the therapist may use stones on the face as well.
The origins of hot stone therapy can be traced back to over 2,000 years ago, when the Chinese used heated stones more than 2,000 years ago as a means of improving the function of internal organs.
Typically, from river beds, basalt stones are used for massage as they have a rich iron content that retains heat. Cold marble stones can and are often used in the treatment to help aid with detoxing and healing the body.
During a Hot Stone Massage, the techniques for a regular massage are applied and the stones aid with the use of heat.
How is a Hot Stone Massage performed?
Your spa therapist will warm the stones in water until they are within the precise temperature range of between 120- and 130-degrees Fahrenheit.
A hot stone massage may begin with a traditional Swedish massage technique to prepare your muscles. Your spa therapist will then place the warm stones on key acupressure points on your body. The stones warm and relax your muscles, allowing deeper pressure to be applied during your massage.
Using massage oil and a combination of strokes and techniques, your spa therapist will massage your neck, back, arms and legs, with and without the stones. You should always tell your spa therapist if the stones are too warm or the pressure is too intense.
Allow plenty of time for your hot stone treatment; arrive 10 minutes early to allow yourself time to relax. If it is your first time at the spa, you’ll be asked to complete a pre-treatment health questionnaire. Avoid eating a heavy meal or drinking alcohol prior to the treatment.
What are the benefits of a Hot Stone Massage?
The combination of hot and cold stones encourages your body to detox and heal through increasing your lymphatic flow and encouraging your body to remove waste products.
The benefits of this type of massage includes, but is not limited to the following:
- Can reduce pain in a variety of conditions, such as Fibromyalgia and some other autoimmune disorders.
- Overall relaxation helping to relax tense muscles.
- Improves circulation, which brings more oxygen to muscles and other tissues.
- Improve sleep due to relief of stress.
- Relieve headaches as a result of stress and/or poor circulation.
- Can decrease stress levels and lower cortisol levels.