Beyond Relaxation: Hot Stone Massage

Hot stone MassageIf you do a quick search on the internet for massage images you will see a bunch that have smooth river stones in them. Have you ever wondered why? Hot stone massage is a popular type of massage, especially when it’s cold outside.

What it is:
Hot stone massage is a massage where your therapist will use smooth, heated stones during your massage. This is done in a couple of ways, either by placing the warm stone on or under your body and allowing it to heat the area or as a tool in the therapist’s hand.

Some of the benefits:

  • Improved Circulation – Heat is a vasodilator. In other words it opens up your blood vessels, allowing blood to come more freely to an area. This can be a good thing especially when it comes to tight muscles. Bringing fresh blood and warmth to muscles will encourage them to relax even before the actual massage starts.
  • Pain Relief – Warming up muscles during a massage can help the therapist to reach deeper levels of tension in the body without applying large amounts of pressure to get there. This can be a great benefit for people who can’t typically handle deep pressure due to personal preference or chronic issues such as fibromyalgia, osteoporosis or even MS.
  • Relaxation – Never to be undervalued, relaxation is a vital part of our health. The application of heat to a tense area of the body often encourages that area to relax. Even beyond relaxing your muscular system, hot stone massage has been shown to encourage mental relaxation as well. This makes it a great way to unwind after stressful situations.

Is hot stone massage right for me?
As I’m sure you can see there are all kinds of situations where hot stone massage can be beneficial. There are also a handful of situations where it’s not recommended. If you have high blood pressure, are on blood thinners, have a burn (sun or otherwise), are pregnant or just run hot, this is not the therapy for you. If you’re not sure if hot stones are right for you, talk to you massage therapist before your appointment. The two of you can figure out your best option!

As the days get shorter and the weather cools down, consider a hot stone massage as a great way to stay warm and unwind. Schedule an appointment today!