Though stress is an unavoidable element of modern life, we’re fortunate to have numerous ways to counter-balance its damaging effects. Hot stone therapy (or hot stone massage) is a recent revival of an ancient technique intended to help us rediscover deep calmness and relaxation.
The technique typically involves placing water-heated stones at various strategic locations on the body. Often, these locations coincide with well-established acupoints, helping to release tension or blockages in our body’s ‘meridians’. Many therapists will also incorporate a massage into the session, bringing deeper levels of healing to the client.
Are you looking for pain relief or massage therapy in Maryland and DC? Read more about our holistic health services and discover the Nava difference that helps our clients live life at 100%! With that, we will now show you the Benefits of Hot Stone Therapy.
What to Expect from a Hot Stone Massage
Before your arrival, the hot stone therapist will typically sterilize and heat stones to 120-150℉ in a water bath. Therapists tend to work with smooth black basalt (volcanic) stones, which retain much of their heat throughout the treatment. The size of the stones will vary depending on their placement location – with larger muscles calling for larger stones.
During the session the therapist may begin with a light massage to warm the body, before beginning the placement of stones. Though some stones will remain in place, it’s also common for the therapist to use oil with stones to apply massage pressure around the body. The application of warm pressure releases deep tension in muscles, ligaments, and tendons. From this state of deep relaxation, the therapist may opt to massage deeper levels of muscle.
Although the rocks are intentionally hot, they should not burn. Be sure to communicate honestly about how comfortable you are with the temperature of the stones to ensure you receive the full benefits of the session.
Benefits of Hot Stone Massage Treatment
Hot stone therapy is unique in that it promotes relaxation at deeper levels than many other massage techniques. Following are a few benefits of this unique approach:
- Improves circulation by expanding blood vessels
- Relieves tension & muscle stiffness
- Allows access to deep muscle layers
- Promotes pain relief from many chronic conditions
- Improves immunity & digestion
- Assists in body detoxification
- Increases joint flexibility & mobility
Swedish Massage vs. Hot Stone Massage
Therapists often describe these techniques as being ‘related’ but as having vastly different end-goals. Swedish massage – often termed a ‘classic’ massage – uses oil and long strokes of superficial (outermost) muscles to relieve tension, and improve circulatory and lymphatic function.
On the other hand, hot stone massage uses both stones and pressure to access deeper levels of tissue that lie beneath superficial muscle layers. It’s often described as enhancing the effects of classic massage by providing access to these additional layers. For this reason, the two are often used in unison to achieve the maximum benefit.
Ready to Relieve Your Pain and Relax with Hot Stone Massage?
If you’re looking for a massage therapist specializing in hot stone massage, call Nava today at 1-800-762-6282 or fill out our appointment request form to see about the availability of our massage therapists. We hope you enjoyed learning about the Benefits of Hot Stone Therapy.