Hot Stone Massage is a type of massage that uses smooth heated stones placed strategically on points of the body to facilitate relaxation and rejuvenation during a massage. This type of massage has been gaining popularity due to its ability to de-stress but it also boasts a range of other health benefits including:
- Alleviates back and shoulder aches and pain
- Provides relief from arthritis and osteoarthritis
- Lessens anxiety and tension levels
- Promotes peace of mind
- Boosts flexibility and range of motion
- Improves circulation
- Relieves pain from fibromyalgia or carpal tunnel
How Stones Work
Most massage studios use river rocks, otherwise known as basalt rocks for hot stone sessions. These rocks have very smooth surfaces due to natural forces of water eroding abnormalities and they are also capable of retaining heat for some time.
During a massage, the therapist prepares stones by immersing them in a heated water bath to bring them up to the appropriate temperature of 120 to 150 degrees. Once the stones are prepared, the client will lie facedown on a massage table and the warmed rocks are applied to various points on the body, like along the spine, lower back and neck, to promote relaxation of both the mind and body. Both the warmth and weight of the stones act as calming mechanisms for the central nervous system and help facilitate an approach that is different than any other type of massage experience.
The History of Hot Stone Massage
Although a resurgence of interest is occurring in this mode of massage, hot stone massage originated with various Native American cultures that used stones warmed by fire to help heal and sooth sore muscles. It is often believed that if aligned in patterns, hot stones can aid in harnessing and channeling positive energy into the body.
Next time you come in to Elements Massage Tower and Hampton studio, consider making your next session a hot stone massage to experience the healing and relaxing qualities of this distinct type of massage.