A massage with stones. Your initial reaction might be “What?” vs. “Ahh…,” but once you’ve experienced this ancient practice, you’ll understand why hot stone massage is on the menu of some of the best spas and wellness centers in the world.
The hot stones used by your massage therapist help to both direct heat through tired muscles and limbs and smooth out their massage strokes as they work on your body. The benefits go deep into your body, helping to relax, soothe, and melt away stress, anxiety, and any other number of issues. Here’s why you need to book your treatment as soon as possible and turn your “Ow!” into “Ahh…”
Types of Hot Stone Massage
Most hot stone massages use a special kind of smooth stone. This is not your average, let’s go grab a rock from the garden, stone! Volcanic basalt stone, smoothed and rounded, is often used in hot stone massage. This special type of rock helps to retain consistent heat when heated up the correct way in water.
Himalayan salt stones are also used in hot stone massage. Not only do they promote the same benefits of hot stone massage, but Himalayan salt stones also contain a large number of minerals and other elements which help to rid the body of unwanted pollutants. They also help to replenish, nourish, and exfoliate the skin. Himalayan salt stone massage could arguably be the premier of all hot stone massages.
In both cases, hot stones are placed on the body at various points by the massage therapist. They are then used to work on specific points requiring attention. Although the stones are hot, they should not burn your body. The temperature should be a pleasant heat which warms right through from the top of your head to the end of your toes.
History of Hot Stone Massage
So where did it all begin? The use of hot stones for healing can be traced back to ancient India, China, and Japan, although it is thought that river stones might have been used at this time.
Native American people and native Hawaiians were familiar with the practice of hot stone massage, too.
Advantages of Hot Stone Massage
Although massage itself offers many benefits, the added use of hot stones can accentuate those benefits, taking the level of healing one step higher. Some of the benefits of hot stone massage include:
- Promotion of blood flow and circulation.
- Stress relief, helping to promote your immunity system response.
- Promotion of sleep quality.
- Promotes a reduction in pain and muscle tension.
- Promotion of a reduction in inflammation of the body.
- Promotes detoxification of the body.
- Promotes reduction in respiratory issues.
- Promotes deep relaxation of the body.
Benefits of Himalayan Salt Stone Massage
Let’s break that down even further if you are using Himalayan salt stones. Himalayan salt stones are made up of elements such as calcium, aluminum, cobalt, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, nitrogen, oxygen, selenium, sodium, and zinc. These are just a few of the eighty-four trace minerals, elements, and electrolytes found in Himalayan salt.
Himalayan salt stones differ from basalt stones in that they are mined from ancient seabed reserves in the Himalayan mountains vs. volcanic rock.
What does that mean? Basically, these essential trace elements help your body to function better each day from healing tissue, to protecting your heart, to maintaining a healthy immune system, improving brain function, reducing inflammation, and relaxing body and mind.
Cautions for Hot Stone Massage
Although hot stone massage can be used by many people, if you have any of the following conditions, you may want to seek further professional advice before booking a treatment:
- Open wounds
- If you are taking blood thinners or have a bleeding disorder
- Recent surgery (last two months)
- Severe osteoporosis
- Low platelet count
- Some autoimmune disorders (e.g., lupus)
- Children under 18 years of age.
How to Choose a Hot Stone Massage Therapist
A good hot stone massage therapist should be able to answer any questions or concerns you have about the treatment before you book with them. Here are some common things to consider:
- How do they heat the stones?
- What is the temperature of the stones?
- What type of hot stones are used?
- How do they place the stones (i.e., directly on the skin, on a towel, on clothing)?
- How long is the treatment?
- Which oils are used in the treatment (and why)?
Experience Hot Stone Massage with Your Body Needs
At Your Body Needs, we offer several hot stone massage treatments. These include:
- Hot Himalayan Salt Stone Massage
- Aromatic Hot Stone Massage – with lavender-infused heated stone.
- Hot Stone Myofascial Release.
You can book any of these treatments directly online with us or give us a call. And seriously, you’ll ask yourself how you managed this long without this treatment (at least your body will). See you soon!