Hot stone massage is a natural therapy in which warmed stones are positioned on parts of the client’s body to maximize the therapeutic benefit. The stones used are smooth-surfaced stones made of basalt. These stones are heated in sanitizing water before use. The high iron content in basalt helps the stones retain heat during the massage. Hot stone massages are beneficial on both physical and psychological levels. The massage uses soothing oils, warm basalt and sometimes cold marble stones to relax your muscles, allowing for a deeper and more intense all-over massage.
In hot stone therapy, I apply smooth, water-heated basalt stones to key points on your body. This direct heat relaxes your muscles, which means that the massage itself is more effective and intense than it would be otherwise. The size of the stones varies, according to which part of the body your therapist is treating.
Always check with your doctor before getting a hot stone massage; individuals with certain conditions–including pregnant women and people with high blood pressure are advised to avoid this type of therapy.
Hot stone massage can:
boost your circulation
release stored tension
recharge your energy levels
Hot stone massage is said to have health benefits for people with:
rheumatic and arthritic conditions
The heat from the stones helps your muscles relax, allowing myself to manipulate your deep tissues more effectively. Overly tense muscles can hinder the massage procedure, so if your muscles are extremely tight or stiff, the heated stones may provide the extra relaxation you need for the massage to be beneficial in releasing tension and easing sore muscles.
While all types of massage can help relieve pain caused by tense muscles, stiff joints or injuries, a hot stone massage may provide greater relief due to the intense nature of the massage. Because the hot stones allow the massage therapist to penetrate deeper, you may find that a hot stone massage leaves you feeling physically better than a Swedish or deep-tissue massage that does not incorporate heat. It is important to let your massage therapist know if you feel that the heat from the stones is too much or that the pressure he is using is too harsh. Pain or discomfort during the massage process can cause more harm than good after the massage is over.
Typically, a massage therapist allows the heated stones to rest on trigger points in your body before beginning the actual massage. As the heat from the stones penetrates into your deeper body tissues, your blood vessels open, resulting in improved circulation. Poor circulation can lead to fatigue, which tenses the muscles building up fluid and lactic acid. Increased circulation delivers more oxygen to the muscles, which can help ease aches and pains.
Massage therapy can result in mental benefits as well as physical ones in many people. You may find that the relaxation afforded to you through a hot stone massage helps ease some of your mental stress and tension. A hot stone massage may also help you combat some of the symptoms of anxiety disorders and depression. While massage therapy is not a substitute for traditional medical or psychiatric care, it can be an integral part of your treatment plan.
Never underestimate the feel-good factor.
Hot stone massage will make you feel nurtured, pampered and special. Before your treatment begins, I will ask about any medical conditions you have. Share anything significant, as your therapist I will take your medical history into account when choosing the right stones and techniques for your body. The treatment is not recommended if you are pregnant, have high blood pressure or a heart condition.