Hot stone therapy or hot stone massage is a technique that uses warmed up rocks placed on various points of the body. It is used in conjunction with massage therapy or other practices, such as Reiki. This practice has been proven to be safe and effective against stress, RSI (repetitive strain injury) as well as other musculoskeletal disorders. The use of heat in healing, also known as thermotherapy is the groundwork for hot stone therapy.
Hot stone massage began a long, long time ago in the 15th century BC and has recently been re-invented and combined with other practices. The idea is that these stones give off enough heat to the body which enable the muscles to relax. The therapist can then have better access to those muscles because of the decreased pressure that his or her hands have to put out.
Preparing The Stones
The stones used in hot stone therapy are typically basalt. Basalt stone is a dark-colored, fine-grained rock commonly formed from lava that rapidly cooled, as in the case of an erupting volcano near an ocean.
Basalt stones are abundant and are excellent conductors or heat and cold. You can probably find basalt stones in your backyard, although the ones used in hot stone massage are clean, smooth, flat and round. You can have the work cut out for you by buying them online or in a massage supply outlet. The ones being sold have been carefully picked, cured and hand polished. They last a lifetime, so you’ll definitely get your money’s worth. Just be careful not to drop them too often.
The table below outlines some of the most popular basalt stones for hot stone massage.
Once the stones are acquired, they will have to be heated. Of course, there are several ways to heat stones. It must be a no-brainer, as many folks would say. Then again, these stones have to be set at a certain temperature so that they don’t become too hot or barely warm when placed on the body.
A slow cooker, frying pan and even towels can heat stones. If you would rather do away with the guess work and have something that has a built-in digital thermometer, preset temperature control and is user-friendly, then a Stone Heater is a wise investment. It’s compact and will heat your stones at the right temperature in a few minutes.
Check out the most sought after Stone Heaters below and see which one fits your preferences and price range.
Benefits of Hot Stone Therapy
Hot stone massage is thought to:
- improve blood circulation
- aid in stress reduction
- aid in detoxification
- deter arthritis, anxiety, back pain, depression, insomnia
- help in meditation
The next time you’re in a spa or massage center, ask about hot stone therapy. They may offer it as a complement.