The Hot Stone Massage has been used for thousands of years to treat muscle aches and pains. For this kind of massage, the therapist places warmed stones on certain areas of the body, such as acupressure points. The stones may be used as massage tools or be temporarily left in place. Used along with other massage techniques, hot stones can be quite soothing and relaxing as they transmit heat deep into the body. To add to your Fife massage experience try our Table Shower.
Hot stone massage is massage therapy that involves the use of smooth, heated stones. Your massage therapist places the hot stones on specific points on your body and may also hold the stones in their hands while giving the massage. The localized heat and weight of the stones warm and relax muscles, allowing the massage therapist to apply deeper pressure to those areas without causing pain or discomfort.
How Is Hot Stone Massage Differ from Other Massages?
The key of a hot stone massage is the use of the heated stones. Basalt has a fine grain and the colors range from dark green to grayish black. Basalt river rocks are typically in hot stone massages because they are smooth and retain heat well. In preparation, the massage therapist heats the stones in a professional stone heater until they are within a precise temperature range, typically between 110 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit. While some massage therapists use anatomy to guide the placement of the stones, other therapists will also place stones on points to energetically balance the mind and body. Swedish massage therapy techniques are usually used during the massage, which may include long strokes and kneading and rolling.
People often describe hot stone massage as comforting and relaxing. If you tend to feel chilly, the warmth is very soothing. The heat contained in the stones relaxes muscles, allowing your therapist to work deeper while using lighter pressure. While there is a lack of research on the benefits of hot stone massage, people often use hot stone massage for the following conditions:
• Back pain
Is It Painful?
The hot stones are very smooth and usually several inches long. The stones should be warmed using a professional massage stone heater so that the temperature of the rocks can be controlled. If the stones are too hot or uncomfortable, be sure to let your massage therapist know immediately. Stones that are too hot can cause burns. The heat of the stones allows the massage therapist work on deep tissue, if this type of treatment is needed. As with any massage, however, massage therapy shouldn't hurt, and you should tell your therapist if you feel any pain.
What to Expect
During the massage, the therapist will place the warmed stones on specific points on the body. The point placement may vary depending on the areas of muscle tension and the client's health history. The stones are generally placed in the following areas:
• Along both sides of the spine
• In the palms of your hand
• On your legs, abdomen, feet
• Between the toes or on the forehead.
After the stones are placed, it may take a few minutes for the heat to penetrate through the sheet or towel, so you can discern whether the stones are too hot.
The therapist applies massage oil to your skin. Holding stones in both hands, the massage therapist uses gliding movements to move the stones along the muscles. Your therapist will probably use Swedish massage techniques on the back, legs, neck, and shoulders while the stones are in place or after they have been removed. The length of a typical hot stone massage is 60 minutes.
Who Shouldn't Get a Hot Stone Massage
While hot stone massage is considered safe when performed by a trained and licensed massage therapist, it's not right for everyone. Consult your doctor prior to your massage therapy session if you have any of the following medical conditions: high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, varicose veins, migraines, autoimmune disease, decreased pain sensitivity, cancer, epilepsy, tumors, metal implants, on medication that thins the blood, recent surgery, Hot stone massage is not recommended for Pregnant women or children.
Hot stone massage has and will continued to evolve, with many massage therapists offering their own versions of the massage. Whether this is your first massage, or you are already a fan and just want to try something new, talk with your massage therapist (and healthcare provider) to see whether hot stone massage is appropriate for you. While many individuals find the warmth deeply relaxing and beneficial for the body, mind and spirit, you also want to make sure that it's right type of massage for you—especially if you have an injury or prior health condition.
Additional tips on making the most out of your massage experience:
• Don't eat before your massage.
• Drinking water before and after your massage, stay hydrated.
• Let your massage therapist know if the stones are too warm or the pressure too intense.
• Please see a licensed massage therapist trained in hot stone massage.
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