Hot Stone Massage

Don't underestimate the power of heat when it comes to therapeutic benefit. That's part of the basis behind hot stone massage therapy, as it consists of placing heated stones on a patient's body to help loosen up tight muscles so that the massage therapist's work can become more effective. The stones that are used are usually large, smooth and flat river rocks, and they're commonly heated in sanitized hot water (usually temperatures ranging from 120 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit) prior to being administered on the patient's body. They're normally placed along the patient's back to start, whether it's up the spine or elsewhere to target tight muscle groups. After working on the patient's back, the patient turns over so that treatment can be administered to their front. Usually large rocks are placed on the larger muscles and small ones placed on the smaller muscle groups.

The Benefits of Hot Stone Massage

One of the major benefits of hot stone massage therapy is that the heated stones can better help to loosen tight muscles. This is important because it helps to condone muscle relaxation, so that the overall massage can be carried out more effectively. Other benefits include:

  • Pain relief: Because heat is used for these types of massages, the hot stone massage is considered a more intensive type of massage. And while all types of massages can help manage patient pain or discomfort, the heat ups the ante on this benefit. That's largely because the heat loosens the muscles up better, thereby allowing the massage therapist to penetrate deeper.
  • Improved blood flow: Increased blood flow is another benefit, and this can in turn lead to the delivery of more oxygen to the muscles. 
  • Psychological benefits: Massages, especially a hot stone massage, can offer several psychological benefits as well. For instance, they are proven to relieve stress and promote relaxation. Some evidence suggests that hot stone massages can also alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. 

Hot stone massages, however, aren't for everyone. Specifically, they're not ideal for pregnant women or for patients that have issues with elevated blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease. 

For more information on hot stone massages, and to schedule an appointment today, contact the massage therapists at The Health Network at 519 433 7400.