During a hot stone massage, a therapist applies heated stones to specific energetic zones on your body. Basalt lava stones are typically used as they contain numerous minerals, including calcium, magnesium and iron, which are said to offer healing benefits. While a hot stone massage can be relaxing, boost your energy levels and ease discomfort from several chronic conditions, it may also be harmful if not done with care.
Hot, Hot, Hot
Stones that are too hot can burn your skin. A skilled stone massage therapist knows to cool the stones to an appropriate temperature before applying them. Heated stones should not be used on the face, but cold stones may be used instead to promote relaxation. Communication during the massage is essential and you must voice any discomfort immediately if the stones feel too hot.
Positive Side Effects
Hot stone massage is said to improve circulation and enhance metabolism, though no scientific evidence supports these claims. Hot stone treatments, like other forms of massage, can also reduce stress and anxiety.
Who Should Steer Clear
People with certain medical conditions could have their situation exacerbated by a hot stone massage. People with cancerous tumors, open wounds, internal bleeding, bruises, broken skin, blood clots, phlebitis, varicose veins, cellulitis, low platelet counts, pregnancy, diabetes and heart conditions are usually discouraged from undergoing this type of treatment. If you have any questions as to whether the therapy is acceptable for you, consult your doctor first.
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Andrea Boldt has been in the fitness industry for more than 20 years. A personal trainer, run coach, group fitness instructor and master yoga teacher, she also holds certifications in holistic and fitness nutrition.