September 3, 2012

Hot Stone Massage

    Hot stone massage is a wonderfully relaxing specialty massage using smooth, heated basalt stones.  Basalt is a type of ancient volcanic rock that absorbs and retains heat especially well.  Hot stones may be placed on various points on the body, including along the spine, in the palms of the hands, on chest and abdomen, on the face and between the toes.  The heated stones encourage deeper relaxation of the muscles, as well as the mind and spirit. Massage cream or oil is used in conjunction with a warm stone to apply some traditional Swedish massage strokes.  Of course, the therapists fingers, hands, forearms and elbows are used, as well.

Hot Stone Massage

Stones of various shapes and sizes are used.  The stones are heated in water, and moist heat is the most effective for warming and relaxing the muscles quickly.  This allows for deeper muscle work more quickly within the time-frame of the massage. The amount of heat and pressure used will depend on your preferences.  The heated stones will be tested and approved by you before application to the body.  Recommended temperatures run from 110 degrees Fahrenheit to 130 degrees Fahrenheit Usually 120-125 is comfortable for most people, and the warmer the stone, the longer it will hold the heat.  By the same token, the longer the stone has been warming, the longer it will hold the heat, so scheduling a hot stone massage later in the day may be of some added benefit.

Hot Stones

Benefits of a Hot Stone Massage
    A hot stone massage provides all of the benefits of Swedish massage. An additional advantage is the sense of deep connection with nature and the earth through the touch of the hot stones.  This soothing touch and the relaxing heat also add the benefit of deeper work made possible by the heat.  The hot stone experience releases tensions, warms the body and soothes away stress.