Hot stone massage therapy is a type of thermo-therapy that uses penetrating heat from basalt rocks. It improves the operation of lymphatic and immune systems, normalizes body functions and assists the body in self-healing. Ultimately, the goal of hot stone massage therapy is a deep relaxation that will alleviate chronic and acute problems. This type of treatment also facilitates balance within the body.
Before the appointment, the massage therapist sanitizes the stones and heats them in a bath of 120- to 150-degree water. The stones themselves are usually basalt, a black volcanic rock that absorbs and retains heat well and has been smoothed by natural forces in the river or sea.
The therapist will use several stones when performing a hot stone massage. They vary in shape and size allowing the practitioner to use the stone as an extension of their hands. The direct heat of the stones melt away muscle tension, allowing the therapist to access the deeper muscle layers.
Hot stone treatments are great for helping with:
- Reducing stress and anxiety
- Stiff, aching muscles
- Poor sleeping
- Relieving pain from conditions such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome and multiple sclerosis
Hot stone massage is NOT recommended for people with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease or those on medication that thins the blood.