A hot stone massage is a type of massage therapy. It’s used to help you relax and ease tense muscles and damaged soft tissues throughout your body.
During a hot stone massage, smooth, flat, heated stones are placed on specific parts of your body. The stones are usually made of basalt, a type of volcanic rock that retains heat.
According to the University of New Hampshire Health Services, hot massage stones are heated to between 130 and 145 degrees.
The stones may be placed:
Massage therapists may hold heated stones as they massage your body using Swedish massage techniques such as:
Sometimes, cold stones are also used during a hot stone massage. Cold stones may be used after hot stones to calm any engorged blood vessels and to soothe the skin.
Benefits of hot stone massage
All massages generally fall under the alternative medicine umbrella. They’re becoming a popular complementary therapy for many conditions. Here are some advantages of getting a hot stone massage:
- Helps relieve muscle tension and pain
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Promotes sleep
- Increased joint flexibility
- Decreased muscle spasms and tension
- May help relieve symptoms of autoimmune diseases
- May help decrease cancer symptoms
- May boost immunity