Hot stone massage is a great alternative to regular massage. The first time I received a hot stone massage, I didn’t even realize I was going to get one. My massage therapist decided to surprise me with a special treat. I was laying on my stomach, totally relaxed and all of a sudden I thought “how did her hands heat up so much”. The stones were so smooth, and rather large, so I literally just thought her hands had gotten very hot. It was an amazingly relaxing feeling – I was hooked. It’s especially comforting when the weather is cool and your whole body is craving warmth.
What is a hot stone massage
Hot stone massage uses smooth basalt stones that are heated to between 125 and 145 F. The stones vary in size, depending on what part of the body is being worked on. Large stones may be used on the back. Medium sized stones might be used on the shoulder blades or neck. Smaller stones can be used between fingers and toes and on the face. The stones may be placed on specific sites and left there to heat and relax the muscles underneath. They can also be used just like hands in a massage, with long soothing strokes or deeper pressure in certain areas. The hot stones are sanitized between each treatment.
Benefits of a hot stone massage
One of the benefits of hot stone massage is deeper relaxation of muscles. The heat from the stones loosens tight muscles so that the massage therapist can manipulate deep tissue more effectively. Hot stones can also relieve pain more than a regular massage. The heat, combined with the pressure of the massage can help to relieve muscular pain. The extra heat can also improve circulation by helping to open blood vessels and increasing circulation throughout the body.
At any time of the year, hot stone massage is beneficial. Now that fall is here and winter is around the corner, hot stone massage feels even better. In addition to the heating pad underneath you, you can experience wonderful, smooth heat on the areas being massaged.
By: Mary Hayse, Licensed Esthetician