You’ve probably seen the images in a spa brochure of somebody lying peacefully on a massage table with stones on their back. But what exactly is it? During a hot stone massage session, your therapist places heated stones on specific parts of the body. The stones are smooth and flat, usually made of volcanic rock that retains heat well. Your therapist will use a heating device to bring the stones to around 110-130 degrees for the session.
Throughout the massage, your therapist will place the stones along your spine, stomach, chest, face, palms, feet or toes. The heated stones provide soothing relief to each area. Sometimes therapists place stones along acupressure points to promote energy healing. If you have any specific areas you want to target, communicate with your therapist so they can find the best placement for the stones.
During a Swedish massage, your therapist may use the hot stones as they perform massage techniques like long strokes, circular movements, tapping or kneading. Using the stones in this way allows your therapist to apply more targeted pressure to areas that need it. Hot stones can be added to just about any massage technique, though it is not recommended for pregnant women. If you are expecting, you should consult your doctor before booking a hot stone massage or adding it to another massage therapy session.
What are the benefits of hot stone massage?
Hot stones enhance the experience of any massage. Use them when you need powerful tension relief in your muscles. This type of massage enhancement also reduces stress and feelings of anxiety. Hot stone massage is great for relieving sore back muscles from poor posture, sitting at a desk all day, or chronic low back pain.
The warmth offers a soothing effect that instantly calms and relaxes. Because it promotes sleep, hot stone massage is a great choice for nighttime sessions. Insomnia sufferers should book at-home sessions in the evenings to get the full sleep-inducing benefits.
While there are no medical studies that demonstrate the benefits of hot stones specifically, research shows that regular massage can also help ease tension and inflammation. This is especially helpful for people who suffer from arthritis and fibromyalgia. Studies also show that massage can reduce symptoms in cancer patients.
Should I give it a try?
We always recommend being open about trying a hot stone massage therapy session.
Most men and women pair hot stones with a Swedish massage therapy session, the two are bliss for relaxing. If you unsure, be sure to talk to your massage therapist or consult with your doctor.
Hot stone massage won’t be for everyone, but if you’re looking to unwind, relax, and get rid of a little stress, you’ll likely be glad you booked the massage.