A hot stone massage is a specialty massage that implements the use of heated volcanic rocks called basalt. These rocks are specifically used because they are capable of retaining their warmth and can be easily shaped in smooth, flat stones that are perfect for holding in the palm of the hand during a massage or placing on key points throughout the body such as your
Hot stone massages are the perfect answer to stress decompression and ultimate relaxation. Because of their warmth, the stones also help to increase blood circulation to the area being massaged which helps to eliminate metabolic waste, promotes healing of damaged tissue, and eases the tension between muscles.
What Happens During a Hot Stone Massage?
Prior to your visit, the stones are prepared by placing them in a heated bath (usually 120-150 degrees). Several stones are placed in the bath and your therapist will keep extras on hand should one of the stones cool too quickly.
Once you have arrived and made yourself comfortable lying face down on the massage table, your massage therapist will begin with traditional, relaxation massage techniques such as:
- Long strokes
- Circular Movements
The stones are introduced once your muscles have begun to relax in order to deepen your relaxation and further your therapist’s efforts during the massage. At first the stones will be used to massage your muscles with and then strategically placed on key points throughout your body. During the massage you may experience the stones being massaged onto or placed on your spine, stomach, chest, face, or hands and feet.
Benefits of Hot Stone Massage
Massages in general are known to have a wealth of physiological and even psychological benefits. Hot stone massages are the same. Advantages of a hot stone massage are:
- Diminished Muscle Pain
There is a reason why heat pads are used when muscles are sore or following an injury. Heat increases the flow of blood to the area which promotes faster healing and calms muscle spasms. Using hot stones during your next massage may also improve your flexibility and range of movement
- Promotes Sleep
Getting a massage, even earlier in the day, can lead to a better night’s rest. When your body and mind are both in a relaxed state, it is easier to drift off to sleep.
- Alleviates Symptoms
Several studies have shown that receiving a regular massage can lead to numerous health benefits including improved cardiovascular health, reduced stress, less anxiety, and less pain stemming from health issues like fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Boost Immunity
Heat increases blood flow, which means that more oxygen and nutrients that the body requires for healing are being carried to your sore muscles and joints. When your blood is pumping through your body at an increased rate, more cells are getting what they need to fight off an illness at a faster rate.