What is Hot Stone Massage?
Hot stone massage, as the name suggests, is one of those popular specialty massages that makes use of stones that are extra smooth and are heated before using to put pressure on the body. Massage therapists use many different kinds of stones, and the largest of these popular stones used for this kind of massage is basalt. Basalt is about the size of a baseball; it is a dark-colored almost-black volcanic rock that is known for absorbing heat well. Some massage practitioners opt to make us of use oil together with the basalt. There are also others who would place a cloth between the stones and the body. Whatever is used along with the stones and whatever variation, the ultimate aim is to provide relaxation through the warmth and the pressure from the stone.
How Hot Stone Massage is done?
Most therapists use traditional massage first for about 45 minutes before using a stone; it can be one of the many types like Swedish and Shiatsu. Others pour and rub oil to the body. The massage therapist sanitizes the stone. Then the stones are heated in clean sanitized water 120 to 130 degree Fahrenheit. After one stone is taken from the warm water and dried, the therapist will now massage a part of the body putting the right amount of pressure. The therapist always holds the stone first to ensure that the stone is not too hot. As the stone cools, the therapist replaces it with another warm one.
The body parts massaged are usually muscles of the feet, legs, arms, palms, stomach, back, shoulders, neck, and scalp. The warm stones are used to melt away muscle tensions and in such a way to make the client feel the warmth permeate throughout the body. Soothing music is usually played to enhance the massage environment.
Benefits of Hot Stone Massage
There are many benefits that one can get from hot stone massage. One of the immediate benefits is improved blood circulation. Aside from the relaxing and soothing feeling one gets out of the massage, diseases may also be cured. It is claimed that the following diseases or conditions can be cured by the massage: osteoarthritis and arthritis pain, back and muscle pains, poor circulation, insomnia, stress, anxiety, depression, and tension.
The early practitioners may have discovered the pleasure of hot stone massage, but the present therapists have made it perhaps the ultimate in relaxation and massage.