Hot stone massage is a natural therapy in which warmed stones are positioned on parts of the client’s body of to maximize the therapeutic benefit. The stones used are typically river rocks or other very 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. 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.
The heat from the stones will help your muscles relax,thus allowing the massage therapist to manipulate your deep tissues more effectively. Tense muscles can stop muscles relaxing when being massaged, so if your muscles are extremely tight or stiff, the warmed stones may provide the extra relaxation you need for the massage to be beneficial in releasing tension and easing sore muscles.
Massage can help relieve pain caused muscle tension, stiff joints or injuries but a hot stone massage may provide greater relief due to the warmth from the stomes. Because the hot stones allow the massage therapist to penetrate deeper into the muscles just from the heat of the stones. A hot stone massage may leave you feeling physically better than a Swedish or deep-tissue massage that does not incorporate heat.
Always let your massage therapist know if you feel that the heat from the stones is too much or that the pressure is too firm.
The therapist will allow the heated stones to rest on trigger points on your body before beginning the 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, and a buildup of fluid and lactic acid in the muscles. 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 most people. You may find that the relaxation you receive from having a hot stone treatment helps relieve some of your mental stress and tension. While massage therapy is not a substitute for traditional medical care, it can play an important part of your treatment plan.