Well, if you aren’t going to find out by having one. I will do my best to explain it in words for you.
As the name suggests, the therapist uses hot stones to penetrate the muscles and tissue. This allows the therapist to work deeper into the muscle and work out stubborn knots or injuries.
A lot of people who have tried several types of massage standby hot stone therapy as being the complete package. Its warm, relaxing, and really works into those aches and pains.
The basalt stones are heated up to around 125 degrees. If this sounds hot, it’s because it is. But it’s incredibly relaxing.
The stones are placed to transfer heat the length of your body, giving you a relaxing experience that can’t be replicated any other way.
The History of Hot Stone Massage Therapy
These techniques date back more than 2,000 years. It was Chinese cultures that the roots can be tied back to. They used the hot stones to heal and improve internal organ functions.
As time went on other healing benefits were realized. And, the techniques started to spread over the globe. Bringing new variations, ideas, and techniques. Bringing us to where we are today.
Hot stone massage doesn’t manipulate the muscle and connective tissues like a traditional massage technique. Instead the heat works to release tension deep in the muscles, increasing the body’s blood flow.
Increasing the body’s blood flow means more nutrients to your muscles. Improving the immune system, and giving a better supply of oxygen to repair and keep muscles healthy.
A Relaxing and Rejuvenating Experience
If you are feeling a little down from the gloomy weather – as I write this in January. A hot stone massage can lift your spirits. It works well for depression and anxiety symptoms, relieving the effects.
If you are just run down from leading a hectic and busy life. Again, this therapy will work wonders. If you’re new to the techniques, you are in for a real treat.
Hot stone therapy is very effective at working out muscular pain. The heat gives a much deeper penetration than other massage techniques.
The typical areas that are focused on are the back, shoulders, and neck. All large muscle groups that hold a lot of tension and benefit from this type of therapy.
People who live in colder areas find this type of massage particularly rewarding. There are few feelings better than coming in from the cold and having a hot stone massage.
Health Concerns to Get Checked out before Booking a Hot Stone Massage
As with most massage therapy, if you have an existing health condition you need to be cautious. Hot stone therapy is not advisable if you are suffering from any of these conditions:
- Skin conditions or open wounds.
- Autoimmune issues.
- Had recent surgical procedures.
- Pregnancy. (not a suffering condition of course)
You should consult your doctor before even considering therapy. Then you should disclose any medical conditions with your therapist during your pre-session consultation.
It’s worth mentioning that you can stop the massage at any point if you feel uncomfortable in any way. Everyone has a different tolerance to the heat and pressure. Your therapist can go easier on you and give you a ‘warm’ stone if necessary.
The goal of any massage is to give the client the absolute best and most relaxing experience. If there is anything that is not perfect, you need to speak up.
The therapist is there to give you the best possible experience. But they are not mind readers. They love feedback, so never be concerned about offending anyone. Always speak up.
Contraindications for Hot Stone Massages
Contraindications for hot stone massages are similar as with any massage therapy and should not be ignored. If you have any illnesses, fever, currently taking medication, have any of the conditions listed above, or anything else relevant you need to avoid massage.
The nature of hot massage means that heat is applied to the body. This increases the problems with the certain conditions and can be very uncomfortable or painful. It’s within your best interest to act with caution safe practice.
How Hot and Cold Therapies Affect the Body
Cold therapies increase stimulation and circulation. Decreasing pain and inflamed areas. Cold works as an analgesic, reducing how much you feel through nerves and easing swelling and bruising.
Heat therapies increase the circulation of blood and oxygen through the body. Working to decrease the pain and nerve sensitivity in the body. Heat has a relaxing effect on the body, increasing quality of sleep and rejuvenating the body.
Tips to Get the Most out of a Hot Stone Massage
To find out what a hot stone massage feels like you are going to have to have one. So to make sure there are no surprises and to prepare you. Here are some tips to make sure you have the best possible experience.
Don’t Go on a Full Stomach
Eating a lot and being full will make the massage uncomfortable. You should eat light so you are not hungry, but not be bloated. This is an extra distraction you do not want when you’re relaxing.
Give Your Therapist Feedback
You will have a chance to discuss your health and massage history before the therapy. As well as afterwards to leave feedback. Always be as open and honest as you can. This improves your experience, the therapists, and potentially other clients.
Hydrated Yourself Afterwards
Drink plenty of water after your massage. You will lose a lot of fluids while having a hot massage and will need to replenish your fluids.
Let Yourself Go
Leave any nerves or embarrassment at the door. To get the most out of a massage you need to let yourself go and fully enjoy it.
If you want to sleep then do so. If you want to enter a deep state of relaxation, do so. It’s your time to enjoy, so get the most out of it.
I’m a MA, (CMT) Certified Massage Therapist, Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), and Reiki Master — I’m a licensed massage therapist with over 10 years of experience in the industry.