What Is Hot Stone Massage?
Hot Stone massage therapy has been increasing in popularity across the US since the 1990’s, generally recognized to promote calmness, relaxation, relieve stress and even reduce pain.
Basalt stones are most commonly used in Hot Stone Massage therapy, they’re formed downwind of a volcano, and smoothed over time in river beds, they are often a dark grey color but look black when used with oil, darker stones tend to absorb and hold heat longer. Marble stones are often used for cold therapy as they retain cold longest and most effectively.
Common Terms For Hot Stone Massage
Stone therapy, hot rock therapy, stone massage, hot-cold stone, river-stone, river-rock, geo-thermal and
geo-thermal-cryo (this is the combined use of hot and cold stones) therapy.
History Of Hot Stone Therapy
Hot Stones have been used by many civilizations throughout history to help relax and cleanse mind, body and spirit. Massage is quite possibly the oldest form of hands-on-healing known to have been used by humans, with evidence of it’s use among Native Americans, the Chinese and Hawaiians pre-dating written records.
Hot Stones are also recognized to enhance the relaxation and healing benefits of traditional Swedish or European massage treatments.
Why Add Hot Stones To Swedish/European Massage?
A regular Deep Tissue massage can be incredibly relaxing, but when you add the soothing warmth of comfortably Hot Stones, it makes this an increasingly popular choice either as the main therapy, or as an add-on option to our Swedish or European massages.
Hot Stones are a great add-on option for other massage therapies because the therapist is able to use special techniques combined with the warmth of the stones to help relieve tight muscles, reduce stress, promote calmness and relaxation.
This is a style and modality that works especially well for anyone who may find Deep Tissue massage just a little too intense.
Health Benefits of Hot Stone Massage
Our certified Hot Stone massage therapists will typically warm up the body before applying hot stones, using long flowing strokes across the trapezius, sacrum, along and back up the flanks, then to the shoulders up onto the neck a few times mostly to promote a state of relaxation before applying Hot Stones.
Hot Stone massage is generally recognized to help relax muscle and soft tissue, alleviate pain, improve circulation and help rid the body of toxins. It’s very popular among people with fibromyalgia because the heat allows the therapist to deliver massage without excessive pressure.
Hot stone massage can be very helpful in relieving muscle restrictions after orthopedic surgery. The combination of hot and cold stones is particularly effective for those with sports or over-use injuries.
Styles of Hot Stone Massage
Large stone or stones are placed on the sacrum area at the lower base of the back, providing heat to the entire lumbar area. Then smaller stones are placed along each side of the spine along the longisimus muscle. The stones are left in place for anywhere from 15-25 minutes.
Combination Massage & Placement Therapy:
By applying oil to the hot stones, the therapist uses them and the residual heat to apply broad strokes leaving the stones in place before moving to work on another area of the body.
Tooling stones are similar in size to the thumb, they are used to apply more pressure on targeted areas to release specific knots and areas of tension.
Often a smaller or tooling stones may be placed in the hands and between the toes to help keep extremities warm as body temperature often drops during a massage.
Precautions & Contra-Indications:
There are no side effects associated with Hot Stone massage, but it’s always best to mention to your therapist if you have sensitive skin or skin allergies.
Anyone who is pregnant, has varicose veins, high blood pressure, ulcers or any kind of skin disease or rheumatoid arthritis should not have a hot stone massage.
You should always discuss your medical history with your therapist prior to having any massage service, just so they can help you understand if there are any potential issues or contra-indications based on your personal history and needs.
It’s always very important to let your therapist know ALL medications you are taking, but especially any that may react to the heat from the use and application of Hot Stones.
It’s also very important to re-hydrate during and after a Hot Stone massage.
Check out our Monthly Special, as we publish this post you can get a 60 minute Hot Stone Massage AND a Luxurious Peppermint Foot Scrub for just $89!
How To Make A Reservation
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