These days, there are so many different types of massages, it can be hard to choose! Some massages target specific problems or areas, while others are geared toward whole-body relaxation. A warm stone massage is versatile! It relaxes your entire body, and has additional, more specific benefits (we’ll talk more about that later).
About the warm stone massage
Native Americans used hot stones to treat muscle aches, and now the practice has been revived! Mary Nelson, of Tucson, Arizona, is generally credited with the resurgence of warm stone massage. In a nutshell, warm stone massage is a type of massage that uses warm stones. They’re usually a type of black volcanic rock, called basalt. These stones are used because they retain heat very well, and have been smoothed by the ocean or a river, so they don’t have any rough edges. This makes them perfect for massage!
What happens during the warm stone massage
Your massage therapist will start you face down, with a traditional massage to warm your muscles up. Then the hot stone comes into the mix. Your therapist will use the hot stone until it cools, then replace it. Generally the larger the muscle, the larger the stone used. Then the hot stones are left on your skin, allowing the heat to penetrate and relax your muscles.
Benefits of warm stone massage
The biggest benefit here being that the heat allows the therapist to be able to work on deeper muscles much more quickly than a typical massage. The stones also improve the energy flow in your body. A lot of therapists believe that the stones have their own energetic charge, and must be placed correctly in order to maintain that charge. Additional benefits include:
- Increased circulation
- The heat expands your blood vessels, increasing blood flow throughout the body
- Stress relief
- Chronic pain relief
- Reduces muscle spasms
- Reduces tension
- Increases joint flexibility
- Provides relief from certain chronic conditions such as:
- Fibromyalgia, arthritis, carpal tunnel
If you do decide to have a warm stone massage, make sure you go to a reputable location. These stones are placed directly on the skin, so they must be properly sanitized after every use. Additionally, make sure you choose a therapist with extensive warm stone massage experience. And if at any point you feel uncomfortable, either from the heat of the stones or the pressure, simply inform your therapist! If you have sunburn, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, take blood thinning medication, or are pregnant, you should avoid warm stone massages. Ready to schedule your massage? Call Spa Atlantis today!