Is A Hot Stone Massage Worth It?
If you are already a fan of traditional massage, the addition of hot stones will definitely make a good impression. The addition of heat, along with the pressure of the stones, enhances the usual massage experience, and increases the feeling of relaxation and restfulness, as the body responds naturally to warmth.
If you are new to massage, a hot stone massage may prove the ideal starting point, as it is less physically intense than other forms of massage, which can feel as though you’ve come out the wrong end of a fight, as your muscles adapt to being in their most efficient positions, rather than under constant strain.
What Should You Expect During a Hot Stone Massage?
A hot stone massage will typically begin with classic massage techniques in order to prepare the body’s muscle tissue for the heated massage element.
The therapist will apply massage oil to the body – usually an essential oil, such as lavender or sandalwood, often combined with a carrier oil such as jojoba or grapeseed oil.
They will usually place two rows of high-quality stones warmed in a good massage stone heater on the table and cover them with a towel. You would then lie down on the table so that the stones are aligned with the muscles running alongside your spine.
Warm stones may also be placed on your legs, abdomen, between your toes, in the palms of your hands, or on your forehead.
Holding the stones in their palms, the therapist uses gliding movements to move the stones along the muscles with added pressure and heat. They will also use classic massage movements on the back, legs, neck, and shoulders while the stones are in place and after they have been removed.
The length of a typical hot stone massage is between 60 and 90 minutes.
Is There Anyone Who Shouldn’t Get a Heated Massage?
If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, varicose veins, migraines, rheumatoid arthritis,decreased pain sensitivity, recent wounds,areas of weakened or inflamed skin, tumors,metal implants, or are on medication that thins the blood, check with your doctor before getting hot stone massage.
In general, hot stone massage should not be done on anyone who should not receive standard massage therapy. Also check with your doctor if you have had recent chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery. Pregnant women and children should avoid hot stone massage.
The Last Word
Whether you’re trying massage for the first time or are already a fan and interested in trying something new, talk with your therapist (and healthcare provider) about whether hot stone massage is appropriate. While many people find the warmth deeply relaxing and beneficial for the mind, body, and spirit, you will want to do your research, to ensure a heated massage is right for you.
Some tips on making the most of your massage:
- Don’t eat a heavy meal before the massage.
- Let your therapist know if the stones are too warm or the pressure is too intense.
- If it’s your first time at the clinic or spa, arrive at least 10 minutes early to complete the necessary paperwork. Otherwise, arrive 5 minutes early so you can have a few minutes to rest and relax before starting your massage.
Author: Jane Neu
Jane is the creator of Complete Home Spa – “It’s a good idea,” she said. But even she has been taken aback by its success. She lives with a cranky Englishman in a quiet countryside retreat. And in the past year, has become mom cat to a spunky rescue named Mina. Connect with her on Twitter @completehomespa.