When you’re feeling sore, achy, and tender, and you just want your discomfort to melt away, hot stone massage may be the perfect match for you.
Hot stone massage is quite simply massage therapy that uses smooth, heated stones to enhance the therapeutic qualities of the massage. With hot stone massage, you can receive “deep tissue” work without a lot of pressure, so if you’re sensitive to pressure but need deeper work (like if you have fibromyalgia), hot stone massage can be an excellent choice. The heat of the stones penetrates gently through your muscles and tissues, increasing circulation and relaxation. This alone helps resolve tension and pain, and it allows you to unwind.
Hot stone massage can be a good choice for those who prefer deep pressure, too. The weight of the stones themselves, when properly applied, can be incredibly effective at breaking up stubborn tension, and the heat enhances this effect.
Every massage therapist who offers hot stone massage has their own style. My style at Riverside Serenity Massage & Wellness is to hold the stones in my hands as I give the massage, using the stones rather than just my hands to work out tension in much the same way I do in a “regular” massage. I sometimes place hot stones in a “layout” on a towel over the skin on areas that need more attention, usually the back. This helps to loosen the tension before I work it, so the muscles and tissues are already “warmed up” and more ready to relax.
My clients have told me that they feel more “grounded and centered” after a hot stone massage. The soothing warmth creates a profound sense of calm and well-being, leaving them feeling like melted butter.
Add hot stone therapy to your next ninety-minute or two-hour massage to experience its relaxing and therapeutic effects, and you’ll see why it’s one of the most widely-evoked images for massage therapy.
-Erin LaMountain, CMT is the owner and massage therapist at Riverside Serenity Massage & Wellness