Discover the multiple deep tissue massage benefits and enjoy complete body and mind relaxation. You enter tense and come out smiling!
What is the hot stone massage?
The hot stone massage is a very effective therapeutic massage technique. Here, the massage therapist holds a heated stone and uses it to apply the standard and traditional Swedish massage strokes. Because they tend to absorb heat and retain it for extended periods of time, the stones therapists utilise are usually smooth, black volcanic basalt rocks of various sizes and shapes. For the most part, these rocks are heated in water at 50 to 65 degrees Celsius. Native Americans have also used hot stones for medicinal purposes, but those were heated by direct fire. This fire-heated stone technique was restored by Mary Nelson, a native of Tucson, Arizona, and she trademarked it as a stone therapy.
How does hot stone massage work?
Due to the effects of the heat from the stones, the hot stone massage is profoundly calming and delightfully relaxing as it rapidly releases the tension out of every soft tissue, be it muscle, tendon or ligament, which is included in this treatment. At the same time, gentle and comforting peace washes over the client almost immediately. The hot stones are used throughout the entire session to massage, stroke, press, manipulate, and knead the client’s soft tissues. On occasion, heated stones are laid out to rest at strategic spots along the spine and the palms of the client’s hands and between the toes. This manoeuvre promotes the optimal flow of energy throughout the entire body.
As soon as the stones cool down, the massage therapist will replace them with newly heated ones, but inflamed, injured or swollen areas will often be treated with cold rocks instead of the hot ones.
10 ways to get the best out of hot stone massage
To derive the most out of the hot stone massage therapy, clients are encouraged to:
- Indicate any discomforts, including those which might be created by:
- the too hot stones,
- the massage therapist applying pressure with too much force,
- the too-loud background music,
- the too hot or too cold room temperature.
- Refrain from consuming a heavy meal and abstain from ingesting any alcohol shortly before the session.
- Arrive in plenty of time to check-in and to relax before the treatment.
- Take a sauna, a steam bath or a hot tub before the session as it will relax and soften the muscles for better results from the entire treatment. If the hot tub was treated with chlorine, the clients are asked to take hot showers to rinse off the chemical.
- Remove all their clothing and be assured that they will remain completely covered with a towel. It will give the massage therapist better access and direct contact with the skin.
- Take slow, deep breaths throughout the session as it helps to relax the body and release more toxins.
- To banish irrelevant thoughts from racing through their heads by concentrating on the feel of the therapist’s movements over their bare skins.
- Get off the massage table after the session very slowly as dizziness may set in otherwise.
- Absorb the full results of the massage treatment by allowing some quiet time in a peaceful place.
- Drink extra water after the massage to flush out and wash away the toxins released during the treatment.
Top hot stone massage health benefits
The hot stone massage is beneficial in many ways as it promotes deep muscle and soft tissue relaxation, eases stress, releases toxins, alleviates pain, improves circulation and calms the mind. Quite appropriately, therefore, there is an impressive list of ailments that are treated with hot stone massages, and they are:
- Muscle aches and pains due to overuse, injury or stress;
- Back pain caused by injury, poor posture or misuse;
- Multiple sclerosis (MS);
- Stress, anxiety, nervousness and depression;
- Any number of circulatory problems.
Give it a try!
Hot stone therapy requires specialised training; it involves more preparation time for disinfecting and heating the stones, the sessions are often somewhat longer than usual, and more time is spent cleaning up. Consequently, the hot stone massage tends to be more costly than any other conventional and basic Swedish massage. But it is worth it, and you are worthy of it! So, give it a try!