Hot stone massage is a variation on classic massage therapy. Heated smooth, flat stones are placed on key points on the body and the massage therapist also hold the stones and use them to massage certain areas of the body. New Image Day Spa has developed our own versions of the hot stone massage using heated, smooth rocks and we incorporate it into the entire massage session.
How Does Hot Stone Massage Work?
The hot stones are usually made of basalt, a type of rock that is rich in iron, so they retain heat. River rocks are normally used because they are so smooth – they have been smoothed over time by the river’s current. The stones are immersed in water and heated in an electric heating device until they are within a certain temperature range. The stones may be placed at specific points on the back, in the palms of the hand, or between the toes. The heat warms and relaxes the muscles, which allows the therapist to apply deeper pressure, if desired. The warmth of the hot stones improves circulation and calms the nervous system.
Our therapists also place stones on points that help to balance the Chakra, energy centers of the body to rebalance the body and mind.
Why Do People Get Hot Stone Massage?
Many people find the warmth of the hot stones to be comforting and get it for relaxation. Hot stone massage is suited to people who tend to feel chilly or who have cold feet. It’s also suited for people who have muscle tension but prefer a lighter massage. The heat relaxes muscles, allowing the therapist to work the muscles without using deep pressure.
People also get hot stone massage for a variety of health conditions:
- Back pain and aches
- Poor circulation
- Osteoarthritis and arthritis pain
- Stress, anxiety and tension
How Do the Hot Stones Feel?
The hot stones are never rough. They are always flat and smooth and in a variety of sizes to be used on the specific muscle groups. The stones are heated in an electrical heating unit that has an adjustable thermostat control. The massage therapist always holds the stones first before touching them to your body, which ensures that the temperature will not be too hot. Everyone, however, has their own comfort range. Be sure to speak up if the stones are too hot for you. Cool marble stones are occasionally used during a treatment, particularly if there is inflammation.
What Can I Expect During my Hot Stone Massage?
The massage therapist generally uses a warmed massage oil fragranced with essential oils, which allows the hot stones to glide smoothly along the muscles massage cream can be substituted for the oil, upon request. We use the hot stones from head to toe. After the hot stones have relaxed the muscles, the massage therapist may put down the stones and use his or her hands to directly massage the skin.
The hot stones are often placed back on to the body and left for a short period of time, while we are working other areas of the body. We also place small hot stones between your toes or in the palm of your hand.