Hot stone massage is a popular spa treatment that combines the benefits of massage therapy with the healing properties of heated stones. It is a form of therapy that has been used for centuries to promote relaxation, reduce stress, and ease muscle tension. In this blog post, we will explore what hot stone massage is, how it works, and its benefits.
What is a Hot Stones Massage?
Hot stone massage is a type of massage therapy that involves the use of heated stones to warm and loosen tight and sore muscles. The stones used in this therapy are typically smooth and flat, and they are heated to a temperature between 50 – 55 degrees Celsius.
The massage therapist will utilise the stones by placing them on specific parts of the body, such as the back, legs, or arms. They are also used to apply pressure and perform massage strokes.
Hot stone massage therapy is not just utilising hot rocks. The hot stones used are typically made of basalt, a type of volcanic rock that retains heat well.
Basalt flat stones are smooth and polished, making them ideal for use in massage therapy. They are also known for their ability to absorb and retain warmth, which allows them to stay warm for an extended period of time.
What does hot stone massage do?
Research has demonstrated that applying heat to areas of the body increases circulation. This allows for increased blood flow to the area, supplying oxygen rich blood and nutrients to the affected area whilst also promoting and expediting removal of waste products such as carbon dioxide and lactic acid.
Hot stone massage utilises this technique by applying heat to particular areas of the body to improve circulation. The heated stones penetrates into the deeper layers of muscles for extended periods of time which assists and enhances its therapeutic effect during massage and can reduce muscle spasms.
The two types of hot stone massage techniques
There are two types of hot stone massage techniques.
The first involves utilising the warm stones whilst applying massage strokes to the body. The heat transferred from the stone to the body increases circulation during the stroke which encourages relaxation, healing and a sense of calmness.
The second type of technique used is by placing hot stones over particular areas or muscles for a period of time which encourages increased circulation and healing.
The types of stone used are volcanic rock, commonly known as basalt. The properties of this stone is important when utilising for hot stone massage as they have a fine texture, contain various minerals whilst most importantly, being able to retain heat.
What to expect during a hot stone massage
Your therapist will first apply massage oil or lotion to the skin to make it easier to glide the stones over the body. The stones are then heated in a hot water bath, and your therapist will place them on specific areas of the body, such as the back or shoulders.
The heat from the stones warms and ease tense muscles, making it easier for the therapist to perform massage strokes and deep tissue work. As with all our massage services, we encourage open communication between you and your therapist to ensure best experience and minimise any discomfort.
The therapist may use a variety of massage techniques during a hot stone massage, including Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, relaxation massage and myofascial release. The heat from the stones helps to increase circulation and promote relaxation expeditiously when compared to regular massage techniques.
The stones may also be used to perform specific massage techniques, such as the placement of the stones on the acupressure points of the body to release tension and promote healing.
Hot Stone Massage massage benefits:
There are many benefits to receiving a hot stone massage. Here are some of the most significant:
Reduced Muscle Tension:
The heat from the stones helps to relax the muscles, whilst the pressure used in combination with massage techniques promote the releasing of muscle knots and tension.
The heat from the stones helps to increase blood flow and circulation which can bring oxygen rich blood and nutrients to the muscles and tissues whilst it also removes waste products like excess lactic acid.
This mechanism has an overall effect in promoting healing and reduce inflammation.
Hot stone massage is a proven method and can be a great way to relieve stress, mental health and promote relaxation. The warmth of the stones can help to calm the nervous system, promoting a sense of peace and tranquility.
Hot stone massage can help to relieve pain and discomfort in the body. The heat from the stones can help to reduce inflammation, while massage techniques can help to release tension and trigger points in the muscles.
This makes hot stone massage a great treatment choice for conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and chronic pain where recipients report less pain.
Hot stones massage can be an excellent way to improve sleep quality. Sleep improves through the relaxation and stress relief that comes from this type of therapy can help you fall asleep more easily and provide deep relaxation whilst you enjoy the benefits of restorative sleep the next day.
Increased Range of Motion/Movement:
Hot stone massages can help to increase range of motion and flexibility in the body. The heat from the stones helps to loosen tight muscles, making it easier to move and perform physical activities.
Boosted Immune System:
The heat and massage techniques used in hot stone massage can help to stimulate the immune system, promoting healing and reducing the risk of illness and disease.
Who Can Benefit from Hot Stone Massage?
Hot stone treatment can be beneficial for almost anyone, regardless of their age or physical condition. However, there are some individuals who may not be good candidates for this type of therapy.
If you have any health conditions that may affect pain signals/sensation or if you have any cardiac conditions such as high blood pressure, it's essential to consult with your doctor or health care professional before getting a hot stone massage.
Also, if you have any open wounds, skin conditions, or are currently experiencing inflammation, it's best to avoid hot stone massage until the condition is resolved.
Aside from these considerations, hot stone massage can be an excellent option for people looking to reduce stress, relieve muscle tightness, and improve circulation.
It's especially beneficial for those who suffer from conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia pain, and chronic muscle discomfort, as the heat from the stones can help to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.
At Siam Soul Thai Massage, we recognise the importance of a tailored and individualised experience with us. We offer a specialised hot stone massage option as part of our complementary therapies in addition to incorporating it with your favourite massage as one of our luxury add ons.
As such, combining hot stone massage with other massage techniques such as deep tissue massage and head, neck and shoulders have strong health care benefits with a tailored experience.
Overall, hot stone massage is a safe and effective form of massage therapy that can provide numerous health benefits, such as relaxation, pain relief, and improved circulation. It is important to talk to your doctor before scheduling a hot stone massage if you have any medical conditions.
At Siam Soul Thai Massage, our hot stone massage is a wonderful way to relax and rejuvenate the mind and body. Book your hot stone massage with us!
Is hot stone massage safe?
Yes, hot stone massage has been around for thousands of years. It is best used in a massage by a trained therapist. The stones are typically heated to a temperature that is safe for the body, and the therapist will ensure that the stones are not too hot before placing them on your skin.
It is important to keep open communication with your therapist and advise them if the stones are too warm for you so that we can make adjustments accordingly.
Which is better, deep tissue massage or hot stone massage?
The choice between deep tissue massage and hot stone massage depends on personal preferences and goals for your massage.
Hot stone massage therapy promotes relaxation of muscles, increasing circulation and promoting a sense of relaxation and well-being. Whilst deep tissue massage uses a firm pressure to reach deeper layers of muscle and fascia to relieve symptoms such as chronic tension and pain, improve flexibility and range of motion.
Can’t decide on which one is right for you? select your favourite massage and add on hot stones as a luxury add on!
Does a hot stone massage release toxins?
Lactic acid can cause muscle pain and aches. Heat from the hot stones massage promotes relaxation, reducing muscle tension and improving circulation. Increased circulation assists with elimination of lactic acid to enhance overall recovery and reduced muscle tension.
Is a hot stone massage better than a regular massage?
Hot stone massage and regular massage are two different techniques that have different massage goals. Both types of massage are beneficial, depending on the individual’s needs and preferences.
Hot stone massage can be especially beneficial for people with muscle tension or stiffness as the heat from the stones can promote relaxation of muscles and improved circulation as blood vessels expand. Some people may find that hot stone massage is more effective for their specific needs, while others may prefer a traditional regular massage.