Hot stone massage is a natural therapy in which warmed stones are positioned on parts of the client’s body of to maximize the therapeutic benefit. The stones used are typically river rocks or other very smooth-surfaced stones made of basalt. These stones are heated in sanitizing water before use.
The high iron content in basalt helps the stones retain heat during the massage. Hot stone massages are beneficial on both physical and psychological levels.
Helps relieve muscle tension and pain
Muscles that are tight and tense are much harder to penetrate during a massage. By placing these stones along the tense spots in your body, the muscles are loosened and relaxed, thereby allowing your massage therapist to really heal, lengthen, and soothe those areas, without greatly increasing the pressure of the massage. Essentially, the warmed stones allow your massage therapist to do his or her job more readily and effectively while still maintaining your greatest comfort.
Typically, a massage therapist allows the heated stones to rest on trigger points in your body before beginning the actual massage. As the heat from the stones penetrates into your deeper body tissues, your blood vessels open, resulting in improved circulation. Poor circulation can lead to fatigue, which tenses the muscles, and a buildup of fluid and lactic acid in the muscles. Increased circulation delivers more oxygen to the muscles, which can help ease aches and pains.
Massage therapy can result in mental benefits as well as physical ones in many people. You may find that the relaxation afforded to you through a hot stone massage helps ease some of your mental stress and tension. A hot stone massage may also help you combat some of the symptoms of anxiety disorders and depression. While massage therapy is not a substitute for traditional medical or psychiatric care, it can be an integral part of your treatment plan.