A type of massage therapy designed to help you relax and ease sore muscles, in this process a massage therapist places smooth, heated stones on specific points of your body. Known to promote deep muscle relaxation, the heat from the stones helps to penetrate the muscles, loosening them so that the massage therapist can provide a deeper and more effective massage.
How Are Hot Stones Used?
During a hot stone massage, stones, often made of basalt for their heat-retaining properties, are heated to between 100-150* Fahrenheit. The stones are either heated in a professional stone heater or in warm water until they are within this temperature range. These stones are then placed on the skin, often along your spine, stomach, chest, face, palms or feet.
Hot stone massage can also be used during a variety of other therapeutic massage techniques. They can be used as an extension of the massage therapist, held in their hands as they knead, roll or otherwise massage your body with long or circular movements.
Benefits of Hot Stone Massage
- Improves circulation and blood flow – The heat from the massage stones opens up blood vessels, improving circulation.
- Helps with the effectiveness of deep tissue massage – With the addition of the stones, the direct heat helps to soothe and relax muscles, allowing the massage therapist to access deeper muscle layers.
- Reduces pain and discomfort from painful conditions – As the heat of the stones helps to increase your circulation, the excess of oxygen being delivered to the muscles helps to reduce and alleviate aches, pains and conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel.
- Alleviates stress – Studies have shown that massage can effectively reduce stress and anxiety by promoting physical and mental health.
- Enhances mental clarity – Massage helps to stimulate the left side of the brain, improving mental health and promoting efficient thinking.
- Enhances flexibility in joints – When muscles are tense, it makes it harder and more difficult to move the joints. Massage helps to loosen the joints, promoting easier mobility and movement.
- Better sleep – By using heat to relax you, your mind is naturally calmed. With relieved muscle pains, a hot stone massage can help you sleep better.
- May help boost immunity – Massage may help give your immune system a boost as it increases the activity level of white blood cells that work to combat viruses.
Is Hot Stone Massage Right For You?
This massage treatment method is the perfect way to relax, relieve tension, get better sleep and boost your immunity. In short, hot stones help to relieve anxiety and stress by easing tense muscles and damaged soft tissues in your body.
It is important to speak to a certified medical massage therapist to discuss any medical or health conditions that may interfere with having a massage. A hot stone massage takes a lot of skill on the part of the therapist, so it is important to note that your massage therapist is licensed and trained.
To learn more about hot stone massages or whether they are right for you, chat with Patrick Hicks, certified massage therapist in Reno, NV. Patrick Hicks never uses static hot stones, but uses them dynamically throughout the massage where needed. Speak with Patrick today about your massage needs!