Hot Stone Massage
How Hot Stone Massage Therapy Works
During a hot stone massage, the smooth, warmed stones can be held in the therapist’s hands and rolled/pressed on key areas of the body. They can also be laid to rest on the back, while the therapist works elsewhere using manual techniques.
Stones are fully sanitized and heated in a temperature-controlled environment, normally immersed in water. Massaging oil will be used to ensure the stones slide easily over the skin’ surface.
Most massage stones are egg-sized and smoothed naturally in a stream or by oceanic waves. Basalt stones are most commonly used because basalt’s high iron content guarantees a high heat absorption/retention rate.
The Benefits of Hot Stone Massage Therapy
While hot stone therapy has many potential health benefits, including the following:
• Deeper massage penetration of muscle layers due to warmer muscles
• Expansion of blood vessels, leading to improved circulation
• Deep relaxation and relief of stress and muscle tension
• Increased joint flexibility and range of motion
• Chronic pain relief, including for back pain and arthritis
• Elimination of harmful body toxins
• Lessens the effects of depression and insomnia
Therapeutic use of hot stones has a long history in many far-flung lands, but it was only widely popularized in the last couple decades.