An ordinary massage can be less effective when your muscles are taut. That’s why experienced masseuse applies hot stone massage to loosen the muscles for a better and more relaxing experience.
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the words “hot stone massage?” Well, you may have guessed it right. As the name suggests, a hot stone massage involves the application of heated stones on the skin to help loosen the muscles. And make no mistake – these are not your average stones. They are formed when formerly molten rocks (Basalt) from volcanic activities cool and harden to create an iron-rich stone with incredible heat-retaining abilities.
The hot stone massage stones are kept at skin-friendly temperatures – usually, around 120-145°F depending one where they will be placed. Massage therapists rub the smooth rock around the body, with more focus on problem areas, using smooth Swedish- style strokes. Sometimes, they set the stones at strategic points to loosen the underlying muscles. The hot rocks send therapeutic relief into the deepest layer of the body tissue. The soothing heat also helps the muscles to relax and enhances the blood flow to the focus area. What’s more, the stones allow the therapist to apply more pressure than they would if they were using their bare hands. So, they can go deeper to melt away knots of locked muscle fiber.
How it works
The heat-retaining stones are placed in hot water before being applied to the body. As mentioned earlier, the rocks are just warm enough to produce the desired result – not to burn the skin. A certified massage expert places them on specific body areas, including the feet, hands, face, back, stomach or face. Sometimes, the therapist can hold the stones in his or her hands and use them to massage.
In addition to deep relaxation, other benefits of having a hot stone massage include:
- Promotes better sleep
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Increase joint flexibility
- Decrease cancer symptoms
- Creates a sense of warmth and comfort
- Improves energy and blood flow
- Reduce and manage stress
- Increase joint flexibility
- Relieve autoimmune disease symptoms
- Relieve muscle pain, spasm, and tension
- eleases toxins and enhances skin appearance
Before your appointment
Like with any procedure, it is essential to ensure that your therapist is qualified to do the massage. This is the only way to get the most out of the process and also limit the chances of any injuries and accidents. It is equally important to inform your therapist about any medical conditions and how you react to external stimuli. Your therapist will gauge whether you are the right candidate for the massage or not based on the information you provide.
Getting the most from your massage
Most people enjoy a good massage – but there are a few things you can do to get an even better experience. This includes choosing a reputed spa, talking to the therapist, communicating about how you feel about the massage and finding out whether you are the right candidate for the massage.
Hot stone massage allows heat to be delivered into the muscles and deep tissue to unlock any tangled fibers. It is a nice relaxing way for you to loosen your muscles and enjoy the benefits of massage.