Hot rocks or stones offer you great benefits when used for massage. Their intrinsically organic rounded shape helps increase blood circulation, deeply relax even the knottiest of muscles and stimulates body metabolism. An hour and thirty minutes of hot stone massage therapy can help your client feel physically and emotionally at peace. There are many benefits of adding hot rocks or stones into your box of tricks as a masseuse!
These 3 kits have a great selection of shapes and sizes
What Is Hot Stone Massage Therapy?
Hot stone massage is one of the many types of massage therapies and it’s highly therapeutic and just a touch indulgent:) Specialised smooth stones are used. They are usually heated for a while by hot water before they are applied and used to massage the body.
The stones are made of basalt. Basalt is a type of volcanic rock which is great at retaining heat. It can also be heated to very high temperatures. Hot stones are usually placed at specific places on the body.
Most common hot stone positions:
- Along the spine
- On the chest
- On the face
- On the stomach
- On feet and toes
- On the palms
In other situations, hot stones can be used to massage the body using techniques like long strokes, circular movements, tapping and vibration.
Benefits Of Hot Stone Therapy
1. Helps Relax muscles and relieve pain
Heat is a well-known method for relieving muscle tension and body pains. Hot stone massages help the body increase blood circulation to affected pain areas. For patients with muscle spasms, hot stones are just perfect.
They help increase bone flexibility. Some masseuse alternate between hot and cold stones for the best effect.
2. Promotes Sleep
Massages are known for inducing sleep. In 2006, a study found that hot stone massages can be an alternative to sleeping pills for insomniac adults. This research proved that back massages will promote relaxation of the human body and enhance sleep.
3. Relieves symptoms of autoimmune diseases
In a 2002 study, it was proven that fibromyalgia patients who received massages for 30 minutes, slept longer. They also showed fewer trigger points in the future. To prove the effectiveness of hot stone massages, the patients had decreased levels of substance P.
Substance P is a substance that helps transmit pain signals. Hot stone massages however aren’t a standard practice of treating fibromyalgia yet. For patients with rheumatoid arthritis, a 2013 study found that they could benefit from moderate-pressure massages. Patients who received one month of massage therapy said they experienced less pain and greater strength in their arms.
4. Improved Circulation
Before hot stone massages begin, the heated stones are placed to rest on trigger positions in your body. During this time, the heat from the hot stones goes into deep body tissues, thereby opening up blood vessels and helping to improve circulation. Many adults face poor body circulation which leads to stress and muscle tensions.
5. Mental Benefits of Hot stones
In addition to all the physical benefits above, hot stones have many mental benefits. One of those benefits is that hot stone massages help to relieve mental stress. Some therapists claim hot stone massages can fight and reduce symptoms of depression and other disorders. They’re however not a substitute for seeking medical help or psychiatric advice.
Types Of Hot Stones Used For Massages…
While there are different types of stones used, they are generally slightly rounded for better grip, flat and smooth stones for ease of use. Client comfort is important, so make sure all your stones are smooth! Like we said earlier the stone are positioned at trigger spots on the body or can be used as a massager to ease tension the muscles. Generally there are three types of rocks that make up stones.
Three Types of Hot Stones:
1. Igneous Rocks
These are rocks formed when molten magma from the earth’s core cools. Such as after a volcanic eruption. Basalt stones are in this category called Igneous rocks
2. Sedimentary rocks
These rocks are formed when erosion occurs on the earth due to water or ice. They are formed over time by the pressure from erosion. This pressure eventually makes the earth a rock.
3. Metamorphic rocks
Metamorphic rocks are rocks that have become another type of rock. They were originally sedimentary or igneous rocks. These rocks change when they are under a lot of pressure from the elements.
How To Choose Hot Massage Stones
Now we’re going to discuss how to select massage tones based on composition, shape, texture and size.
1. Stone Size
Stone size is an important factor when selecting a hot stone for massages. Larger stones tend to have more weight, traction and heat retention capabilities. Select the largest stones that can perfectly be placed and used on the location you want.
2. Stone Shape
When selecting a stone based on shape you should know what you want to use it for. Placing hot stones beneath or on top of a body require them to fit their body contours. Look out for smooth edges and flat surfaces.
3. Stone Composition
For this factor, feel the stone and notice its density. The heavier a stone is, the more mineral ore is present, the more it can retain and conduct heat. This is because ore is a great heat conductor.
4. Stone Texture
Sometimes, you want to go out of the perfect smooth and polished stones. Stones with a bit of texture are great for stimulating the lymphatic fluids during a massage. So sometimes, pick stones that are a little rough.
Following our guide above, you should be able to pick out the perfect stones you need for that great massage.
How To Heat Hot Stones
These are steps on how to heat up your hot stones properly before a massage.
1. Use a crock pot or a special hot rock heaterthat can hold enough water or a tabletop skillet. The pot should be able to hold about 5 litres of water.
2. Get a little portable thermometer and place in your crock pot to measure the temperature. Wait until the water is around 40 degrees celsius.
3. Don’t forget to set the heat beneath the pot or skillet low or warm so the water doesn’t boil.
4. Place the stones one after the other and wait until the temperature of the water is almost 50 degrees before you take them out.
By following these steps, you’re ensuring the stones have absorbed enough heat for massage. Please note the temperature will still reduce to around 40 degrees.
Hot stones have great benefits for the body and are super easy to use. They are great to make your body feel better and healthier. However, if you have any medical conditions please consult your doctor before getting any hot stones.