Types of Massage: Hot Stone Therapy

hot-stone-therapy-20140331One of the wonders of massage is the versatility. There is such an abundance of modalities and options available that there is a type of massage suitable to anyone. One incredibly great type of massage includes using heated stones.

When you book a session for a hot stone massage do you know what it is? Hot stone massage can be done in a variety of ways, and is usually unique to each therapist. The session is generally a full hour to 90 minutes to incorporate the extra time needed in using the stones.

The stones used are smooth, flat basalt stones found in rivers and along oceans in certain areas of the world. They are ideal for massage because they contain high levels of iron, which makes them retain heat. The stones are of various sizes and are immersed in water contained by a special heater. Typically the water is heated to between 120 to 160 degrees. A therapist may place them along the body and let them sit and then do the actual massage after the muscles are warm and relaxed, and/or use them as part of the actual massage. If they are incorporated into the actual massage work, oil is typically used to help them glide over the skin.

Hot stones can be of benefit in a variety of ways. They help ease the stiffness of arthritis and increase mobility in the joints. Hot stones are also great for improving circulation. The heat from the stones relaxes muscles allowing for deeper massage work and lessening of existing pain. The weight of the stones combined with their warmth is incredibly relaxing, making them useful for insomnia and depression.

As with any massage style, there are some contraindications for this type of session. Those with open wounds or active skin infections, those who have recently had surgery, chemotherapy or radiation, and those who have a history of blood clots should not have a hot stone massage. It can be adapted during pregnancy to use cooler stones or to not place them on the body but to only use them on certain areas during the actual massage. However, pregnant women should talk to their doctor first.

The addition of hot stones is a wonderful experience. If you have never enjoyed this style of massage or are completely new to massage, check us out and book one for yourself!

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