At first, it may seem silly. Why put hot rocks on your back or in the palm of your hand – or, even, between your toes? Here are 5 things to know about hot stone massage and why it feels so good!
1. What Kind Of Stones Are Used? In general, the stones that are used in hot stone massage are basalt river rocks. Basalt is high in iron which helps the stone hold the heat. River rocks are smooth by the water. If you’ve ever picked up a river rock and held it in your hand, you know it’s both comforting and sensual. A variation is the use of cool marble stones. The marble stones are most likely to be used if there is inflammation.
2. How Hot Are They? The stones are heated with water in an electrical heater that has a temperature reading or setting. The therapist always holds the stones in his or her hand before applying them to your body so you don’t have to worry that the stones will burn or be uncomfortable. However, everyone has a different comfort level, so if you want your stones a little cooler or warmer, but sure to let your therapist know.
3. Why Use Hot Stones? The heat from the stones relaxes you – and, more importantly, your muscles. This makes two different things possible. If you prefer a light pressure massage, the heated stones relax the muscles. This makes it possible for the therapist to work with tense muscles with a lighter touch. Conversely, the relaxed muscles make it possible for a deeper massage if that’s what is preferred.
4. How Are They Placed? The placement of stones on the back are usually at specific positions although those positions may vary according to the therapist and what is being treated. Some massage therapists use the points that are thought to be the body’s “energy centers” and this pattern is thought to help balance mind and body.
5. Health Conditions That May Be Helped By Hot Stone Massage. The combination of heat and a professional massage can bring relief for conditions like arthritis and back pain. It can also increase circulation. The relaxing combination of the hot stone and the massage can release stress, lower anxiety and release tension helping with conditions like insomnia and depression.
If you’ve never tried a hot stone massage, but you think you would benefit from its relaxing combination of heat and pressure, try it! Just make sure you go to a massage center where you will work with a massage therapist who is accomplished in using the stones and in the art of massage.