Massage therapy is a common form of treatment for individuals suffering from pain or stiffness. And if we were to mention the word “massage”, we can almost guarantee that you’d know exactly what we were talking about and could easily visualize it— you know, a man or woman relaxing facedown on a padded table while a massage therapist treats them.
However, there is more than one type of massage therapy treatment. And if we were to mention the words “hot stone massage”, you’d probably have a little bit of a harder time trying to visualize it. Sure, you could probably put it together just based on its name, but hot stone massages are much different than their typical counterpart.
In this article, we’ll discuss everything from what a hot stone massage is and what to expect to the benefits of a hot stone massage.
Currently, hot stone massages are only offered at our Baden location, but stay tuned as we continue to grow. Patients who regularly visit our Kitchener office are also more than welcome to schedule a hot stone massage appointment with our Baden team.
What is a Hot Stone Massage?
Hot stone massages have been a regular practice for many cultures around the world for thousands of years and are known to be one of the most relaxing forms of massage therapy available. During a hot stone massage, Basalt lava stones are placed in very warm water to heat up and then are placed on various parts of your body.
Stones can be placed on:
- The sides of your spine
- The palms of your hands
- Your legs, abdomen or feet
- Among many other places
Using the hot stones as heated tools, your massage therapist will massage areas of tension and tightness in your body. The hot stones apply heat to the specific parts of your body and cause your muscles to relax.
What to Expect
One of the most common misconceptions about hot stone massages is that they are painful. People assume because the stones are hot that they will burn their skin. This, however, is not the case. Every one of our registered massage therapists has received years of training to guarantee your safety and relaxation. The stones are heated in a controlled manner to ensure they do not exceed the proper temperature. The temperature of the stones typically ranges between 110-130 degrees Fahrenheit and is set to ensure the stones do their job without causing you harm. With that being said, every individual does have a different pain tolerance and we ask that you notify your massage therapist immediately if you begin to feel any pain.
Who Should Not Get a Hot Stone Massage
Due to the extreme temperature of the stones, hot stone massages are not suitable for all patients. For starters, pregnant women and children should not receive a hot stone massage. Patients who suffer from high blood pressure, migraines, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, epilepsy and other similar conditions should also not receive a hot stone massage. Finally, if you have recently had surgery or have weakened skin, you should also not undergo hot stone massage therapy.
While these are just guidelines, it’s important to speak with a Registered Massage Therapist to discuss your specific case. In most cases, people with medical conditions mentioned above receive the ok to undergo hot stone massage therapy.
Benefits of Hot Stone Massage Therapy
As we mentioned above, hot stone massage therapy is very similar to traditional massage therapy except for the use of hot stones to achieve the desired relief and relaxation. For this reason, hot stone massages offer many of the same benefits that traditional massages do, including:
- Reducing or in some cases, eliminating muscle pain
- Improving joint mobility
- Improving circulation
- Improving immune system functioning
- Increasing lymphatic drainage
- Reducing depression and anxiety
- Reducing tension within muscles
- Increasing body awareness
Aside from those shared benefits, hot stone massages also offer patients a few benefits that you won’t find in any other form of massage therapy. These include:
- May promote sleep
- May boost your immune system
- May help relieve symptoms of fibromyalgia and other diseases
We hope this article has opened your eyes to the benefits of hot stone massage therapy and we look forward to seeing you at our Baden office. As we mentioned earlier, hot stone massages are not for everyone, but if that happens to be your case, we are confident we have the expertise and team members to offer you an alternative treatment to help you relieve any tension or tightness. And as always, if you have any questions about anything discussed in this article or would like to chat more about hot stone massage therapy, we encourage you to get in touch with us by phone or email and we would be more than happy to help you.