Warm stone therapy, also known as hot stone massage, is one of the “hottest” massage modalities being used today. Most commonly requested as a relaxation method, this form of massage uses the direct heat and pressure of the warm, smooth stones to relax muscles and allow practitioners to manipulate deep muscle layers that otherwise are inaccessible due to tension or stiffness. Circulation is increased due to the expansion of blood vessels due to heat, which increases the amount of blood flow throughout the body.
The stones, usually comprised of volcanic basalt, are heated to a specific temperature range and then are placed on key points of the body after being checked for temperature by the massage therapist. Basalt tends to retain heat well due to its high iron levels. The practitioner alternates between using the stones in the massage itself or massaging after the stones are applied.
Rather than a painfully hot experience, warm stones bestow a comfortable, sedating heat that reduces stress and chronic pain, and often lulls massage recipients to sleep. Those who find they are frequently chilly tend to favor the modality. If you find the stones to be too warm for your comfort, they can be adjusted; speak to your massage therapist about your personal preferences.
Heat therapy also allows the body to be worked upon and to heal without the strong pressure used in deep tissue massage, making it an excellent alternative to those who are adverse to the deep tissue massage methodology.
An ancient technique that has seen a renaissance in popularity, warm stone therapy is especially attractive to those with chronic pain or tension due to conditions like arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, insomnia or fibromyalgia. The therapy helps to decrease the length and severity of muscle spasms, and aids in increased joint flexibility.
Be sure to mention whether you have a rash or any cuts or wounds on the skin, which could be exacerbated by the warm stones or the oil that is applied to the body prior to the application of the stones .
Crane Massage Therapy offers Warm Stone Massage, so if this sounds like just what you’ve been looking for, book an appointment today!