Hot stone massage is a massage that uses smooth heated or cooled stones that have special properties to retain hot and cold. The stones may be placed on the body and left there while massage is performed on other parts, or the therapist may use the stones as an extension of their hands to apply specific massage techniques on the body.
The stones that retain heat are basalt stones and the stones that retain cold are marble. The basalt stones are heated to temperatures ranging from 120 – 150 degrees in hot water while the marble stones are cooled in the freezer. The temperature of the stones is consistently being monitored to ensure that they are never too hot or too cold for the treatment. These temperatures can be altered depending on your state of health and the reasons for the treatment. The heat can be reduced by lowering the water temperature while the marble can be cooled over ice rather than in the freezer.
The stones are cleaned previous to your massage and immediately after your massage.
Your massage will consist of hot and cold stones being placed in specific areas of your body such as along your spine, stomach, chest and/or forehead. Stones may be placed in the palm of your hands which you will hold on to for the treatment time frame, while others will be placed between your toes. A series of stones both large and small will be used during the treatment. Communicate immediately with your therapist if the stones are too hot, too cold, if the pressure is too deep or if the placement of the stones is bothering you.
Hot stone massage is not for everyone. It is not recommended for those individuals who are pregnant, or who have heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, autoimmune disease, nerve damage either from disease or neuropathy, recent surgery, sunburn or those who are on medications that thin the blood or block sensory sensations. For many people experiencing menopause, the treatment may trigger hot flashes.
Using stones during a massage can increase the risk of injury if the massage therapist is not properly trained. It is recommended that you check with your therapist before consenting to this treatment.