River stones aren’t just used for skipping; they are now used in an advanced massage treatment to bring deep relaxation to tight muscles. Hot stone massage, a therapy said to be used by Native Americans, is experiencing a rebirth in alternative massages.
The treatment begins with the therapist warming up the body with traditional massage strokes while the patient is laying on their stomach. The therapist then transitions to using the warmed stones while continuing to massage the affected area. When the first stone cools it is replaced by another warm stone. The therapist will use stones of all different sizes, but they are traditionally flat and smooth stones, which ensure there will be no roughness in the massage. Often the therapist will leave stones in specific energy points in your body i.e. your stomach, in the palms of your hands, or between your toes to deliver the warmth deeper into the tissues.
This form of massage is seen to lead to deep relaxation. It has also been used in the treatment of the following:
- Back Pain
- Poor Circulation
- Arthritic Pain
- Stress, anxiety and tension
Interesting fact: The stones used in hot stone massage are typically made up of basalt, which is a black volcanic rock. These rocks are usually heated in 120-150 degree water before the massage begins.
What to look for in your hot stone massage: Hot stone massage is a specialization; make sure your therapist is qualified in this area of massage.