Hot Stone Massage

What is a Hot Stone Massage?
Hot stone massage is a variation on classic massage therapy. Heated smooth, flat stones are placed on key points on the body. The massage therapist also holds the stones and uses them to massage certain areas of the body.

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.

Why Do People Get Hot Stone Massage?
Many people find the warmth of the hot stones to be comforting and get it for deep relaxation, combining the effects of a relaxation massage and a hot bath together.

Hot stone massage is also suited to people who tend to feel chilly or who have cold feet. 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
  • Insomnia
  • Depression

How Do the Hot Stones Feel?
The hot stones are never rough. They are always flat and smooth. The hot stones used on the back are about the size of a large egg, only flat. 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.

What Can I Expect During my Hot Stone Massage?
The massage therapist often begins by applying oil to the body, which allows the hot stones to glide smoothly along the muscles. Heated stones are placed over the small of your back and in your hands. You are lying face down, and the massage therapist applies a relaxation massage first directly to one section of the body, and then goes over the same area with the hot stones. After the back of your body is finished, you are asked to turn over onto your back. The massage therapist may place small hot stones between your toes or in the palm of your hand and repeats the sequence for the front of your body including feet, legs, arms, upper chest, neck and face.

Hot Stone increases internal body temperature and causes dehydration, therefore it is not recommended for pregnant women and those with high blood pressure. Your therapist may also not use this treatment on people whose ability to judge pressure and heat may be compromised.