Practiced in ancient medicine for centuries, a heated stone massage is a technique that is renowned for its healing and relaxing properties, while providing individuals with a unique way to indulge. This specialty massage utilizes carefully placed heated stones, which is believed to rejuvenate and soothe the body and mind.
What to expect from a Hot Stone Massage?
A variation of a traditional massage, a heated stone massage utilizes hot stones, generally that are heated in 120 to 150 degree F water. A massage therapist then massages oils into the skin utilizing Swedish massage techniques. This relaxes and makes it easier for the body to absorb heat from the stones. A massage therapist then places a variety of stones at focal parts of the body such as the upper and lower back. The stones release heat and where they calm and relax the muscles. When stones cool, they are replaced with another heated one during the duration of a massage. This may also be followed with a traditional massage.
Placement of Hot Stones
Generally, a person receiving a hot stone massage is lying on their back, where hot stones are placed along the spine. Depending on where the tension lies, a massage therapist may place hot stones in the palms of the hand and between the toes. This is believed to improve the flow of energy in the body.
Properties of Hot Stones
The stones utilized in a heated massage generally use iron-rich stones such as basalt, which is smooth and can retain heat quickly. River rocks are also used since they are very smooth due to the effects of a river’s strong current.
Changes During a Heated Stone Massage
During a heated stone massage, the body undergoes numerous physiological and physical changes. This can include an increase in heart rate, temperature and rate of breathing. This elevation in the body will rise and dip as the stones are working to heal the body, and it may even continue to do so long after an individual finishes with their massage. This reaction is normal, as the body is reacting and adapting to the effect of the heat on the body.
Overall Healing Properties
A heated stone massage is believed to have numerous healing properties and can be more beneficial than a traditional massage. The heat can help relieve muscle tension and allow the body to relax and be at ease. A hot stone massage can also help with inflammation, injury, back pain, poor circulation, osteoarthritis, arthritis pain, stress, insomnia, calm nervous system, and even mental disorders such as depression and anxiety.