The hot stone massage consists of, the therapist using flat black basalt stones, a type of volcanic rock which safely holds the heat without cracking and releases it at a more controlled and even rate. The heat from the rocks is very efficient at delivering heat to the soft tissue of the body and relieving stiff aching joints by delivery of heat. We then make use of the heat in your muscles by applying firm, flowing strokes to your body. By using heat on a client, it assists them in relaxing a lot more because the body becomes more comfortable when it is subjected to warm temperatures, especially in the colder months.
- Where you expect the hot stones to be placed on the body.
In a basic hot stone massage, the Stones themselves don’t get placed stationary on the skin when first coming out of the heater. This is because, well they’re hot, and it’s our job not to burn you! In the case of stones fresh out of the hot stone heater, your therapist uses the stone to warm up the tissues in fast, flowing strokes. Then when the stone has cooled down more they are able to be placed in a stationary position on the skin.
- Stock images depicting hot stone massage
We’re constantly shown images of hot stones placed in the centre of a back or as we call it; ‘Stones on bones.’ Can you imagine a heavy stone just sitting on your pointy bones, without you feeling some kind discomfort? Not mention If the therapist were to just drop the stones on this sensitive area without placing them gently, it would be hard to deny that it would be sore. The best way to place a stone would be on either side of the spine on the muscles, which feels a lot better on the back.
- Hot Stone Massage is a set routine.
Keep in mind that as we are all different, so are treatments. Different spas or clinics and the variety of therapists’ within them could use different massage techniques or spend time in one area of the body longer than others.
The Go-To Treatment This Winter
You’ve seen the stock images but what exactly is Hot Stone Massage?
As well as traditional massage, hot stone massage can be a great option for a relaxation-based treatment. With the help of our qualified therapists you will be deeply relaxed in no time and your 90 min treatment will be like a mini vacation!
However, there is some confusion about what hot stone massage is and how it is beneficial. So we’ve put together a blog to help you understand this treatment and weather this service is the right choice for you.
- Stress reduction – as with most types of massage, hot stone massage can help turn on the ‘relaxation response’ leaving them feeling much calmer, rested and more able to manage the stressors and anxiety in their life.
- Reduction in muscle or joint pain – by heating up the muscles they can relax and decrease in tension and in turn decreasing their pull on the joint making movements feel smoother and less restricted.
- Tension relief – the extra heat in the muscles essentially saves your therapist the time of heating them up manually so the few massage strokes they apply with their hands can be immediately targeted towards your tight areas and often applied to the deeper layers of tension.
- Illness – It is best not to get a hot stone massage when you are unwell, as that adding heat to your body can affect your body’s natural recovery process to be interrupted.
- Heart problems- if you are suffering from any type of heat issues, massage is not recommended, in case of worsening the condition.
- Burned skin – If the treatment is not conducted correctly then there is a chance of burning skin from the stone being too hot on your skin. To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, make sure that your therapist is qualified.
- Open wounds – as with any massage areas of open wounds or raw skin will not be worked on for risk of infection.
- Cold or flu – if you’re in the early or middle stages of illness a hot stone massage may simply overload your system and enhance the negative symptoms you’re experiencing.
Iselde de Boam
RMT, Dip. Th Mass ’03 NZCM Dip. Rem Mass ’09 Q. Academy (Au). Cert. VM 1, 2 & 3 ’17
RMT, BTEC Level 5 Dip. Clinical Sports & Remedial Massage Therapy (Oxford, UK).