Hot Stone Massage
Hot Stone Therapy is widely recognised as a modality with therapeutic benefits. The application of heat to the body causes vasodilation. This is when the blood vessels in the body expand and dilate. As a result, sweating and circulation both increase and metabolism quickens. Ultimately, the muscle tissues relax and provide a sedative and relaxing effect on the body.
The benefits of Hot Stone Therapy include the following:
* Improved back/shoulder/neck pain
* Improved lymphatic circulation
* Increased circulation
*Decreased joint pain
*Decreased tension headaches
*Decreased sciatic pain
*Reduced overall stress
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 smooth - they are smoothed over time by the river current.
The stones are immersed in water and heated in an electric heater until they are within a certain temperature range. The placement of the stones is usually at specific points on the back, in the palms of the hand, or between the toes but may vary depending on the client's condition. Heated stones are never placed directly upon the skin, a towel barrier is always used. Only once the massage begins does the therapist use the stones directly on a person.
Hot Stone Therapy vs. Massage Therapy
Some people find the warmth of the stones to be comforting and enjoy this type of massage for relaxation. It is suited to people who tend to feel chilly or have cold feet/hands.
What Can I Expect During My Hot Stone Massage?
Your massage will begin much like a regular massage, face down, with the heated stones placed on your back and legs. The therapist removes the stones and applies oil to the body, which allows the stones to glide smoothly along the muscles. Once the back of the body is done, you will be asked to turn and new heated stones will be placed on your arms/legs to warm the tissues before the massage continues.
What better way to beat the cold, chilly winter weather?