How is hot stone therapy performed and what is is?
The practice of hot stone massage has been around for thousands of years. It started in the Indian healing tradition of Ayurveda and was later adopted by Chinese Medicine. Years later, Hawaiian Natives and Native Americans were using hot stones for massage and healing.
While a therapist is performing manual massage, the stones are placed in a bath of hot water. These specific stones, known as basalt stones, are used specifically because they are able to contain heat for a longer period of time. When the stones reach the perfect temperature, between 130 and 140 degrees, the therapist will use the stones in particular ways, depending on the condition being treated. Often, hot stones are used while performing traditional massage strokes, such as gliding. A therapist may also place a hot stone for a longer period of time, heated to a lower temperature, on an area that has been experiencing pain or discomfort.
What are the benefits of hot stone therapy?
Hot stones deeply enhance the relaxation of a massage. Similar to the benefits of a heating pad, hot stones warm the affected area of the body, which helps to recirculate blood and soften tight, sore muscles. Hot stones, being from the earth, naturally produce a grounding effect, which can create a feeling of centeredness and comfort. The addition of heat also makes the muscles more pliable, enabling the therapist to get deeper into the tissue to treat soreness and other conditions.
What conditions can benefit from hot stone therapy?
One of the benefits of having hot stone massage is deep relaxation. Relaxation is an effect of your parasympathetic nervous system being activated (this is the opposite of being in "fight or flight" mode). When this happens, the heart rate slows down, your body’s internal mechanism are set into motion and your muscles relax. Because hot stones enhance relaxation, they can be used to benefit almost any condition - not just physical pain, but also conditions such as anxiety, depression and insomnia.
We hope to see you soon for your hot stone massage in Jacksonville, FL! Please visit our massage page to learn more and book online.