Hot stone massage is a speciality massage where the therapist uses smooth, heated basalt stones as an extension of their hands. The heat can be deeply relaxing and help to warm and release tight muscles allowing the therapist to work the muscles without applying deep pressure. The warmth of the stones improves circulation and lymphatic drainage and calms the nervous system.
Heat is soothing and relaxing to the muscles and this in turn calms the nervous system allowing for a faster and deeper sense of relaxation. Muscles that are warmed first are easier to work into without causing as much discomfort. This means a deep tissue massage without the need to be as painful.
A lot of sweeping movements are used with the stones and also with hands and forearms flushing the lymphatic system and improving circulation. The lymphatic system is the system that clears metabolic waste from the cells. Sluggish lymph flow has been attributed to an increase in snoring, weight and cellulite issues, water retention, impaired organ functioning and many more issues.
The stones are heated in water in an electrical heating device. The therapist will always hold the stones first before placing them on your body to ensure the temperature will not be too hot. However, everyone has their own comfort range so be sure to let the therapist know if the stones are too hot for you.The massage therapist will often begin by first applying oil to the body to enable the stones to glide smoothly over the muscles. Once the stones have relaxed the muscles the therapist may put down the stones and use his/her hands to directly massage the body. Hot stones may also be placed on the body and left for a short period of time.