What is Hot Stone Massage?

hot stone massage on back

Hot Stone Massage is a unique blend of heat, relaxation and muscle work tailored to your needs. Warm, oiled stones are used in the massage therapist’s hands, the heat from the stones penetrates the muscles releasing tension loosening tight muscles. The movements during a Hot Stone Massage are slow and deliberate in order to induce your muscles and your mind to release and relax. The slow massage mixed with the heat and weight of the stones is profoundly relaxing. (Warning: snoring and drooling are common side effects.) Often the client doesn’t feel the stone itself, but just the sensation of deep warmth.

Not all Hot Stone Massage is the same
There are different training programs, each with their own style and techniques. Some methods involve laying stones on the body, directly against the skin or over draping, to rest for a period of time. Other styles involve keeping the warmed stones moving at all times. Different techniques may be more or less useful for particular health issues. Hot stone massage can be a great treatment for stress relief, fibromyalgia and even headache problems.

Seek a therapist with advanced training
Hot Stone Massage is a fantastic modality, but like all massage specialties, carries with it certain precautions. For example, hot stone massage is not always appropriate for those with circulatory or nervous system issues. Stones, and the equipment used to heat them, require careful maintenance to assure cleanliness and good hygiene. Trained therapists are knowledgeable about the types of stones, appropriate cleaning methods and especially conscious of temperatures to avoid burning or harming the skin.

How to get the most from your Hot Stone Massage
Just as for any massage, you want to arrive a few minutes before your appointment time, plan to be early so you don’t feel stressed and rushed! If it’s your first time with this therapist, you may need to fill out an intake form. Be sure to let your massage therapist know if you have any health issues or are taking any medications. You’ll also want to tell your massage therapist about any sore spots on your body, or any general areas of tension. That way your therapist can be sure to focus on those problem areas, which makes for a fantastic massage. Communicate during the massage, too. If you’re not comfortable on the table, if it’s too warm or too cold, it’s even okay to say something if you don’t like the music that’s playing! It’s very important to tell your massage therapist if the pressure is too deep and causing you pain, or if the stones feel too warm. Also tell your therapist if you would like more pressure in a specific area. Great massage therapists want your feedback, so they can make the massage the best possible experience for you.

Enjoy your Hot Stone Massage!