Taking care of your body includes giving attention to your feet, an often neglected part of the body. Pampering your feet with a pedicure not only keeps you looking good in summer shoes, it also relieves stressed and tight muscles, promoting an overall sense of well-being. A hot-stone pedicure uses heat therapy and, in some cases, massage and aromatherapy to soothe sore leg and feet muscles.
Why a Hot-Stone Pedicure
A hot-stone pedicure is a specialized pedicure that uses heated rocks to encourage relaxation in your legs and feet. If your feet undergo wear and tear in daily life, a hot-stone treatment may be just what you need to complement your pedicure. Your toes come out looking clean and pretty, and your legs and feet feel less tense. Indulging in a hot-stone pedicure encourages you to unwind and relax.
Using the Hot Stones
During a hot-stone pedicure, the technician places heated, smooth, flat stones -- basalt rocks are common -- on top of and underneath your feet. The heat from the rocks relaxes your muscles and stimulates pressure points in your feet. The technician may place heated rocks in a bowl for your feet to rest on. However, more often, she'll tuck small stones between your toes and place larger ones on the tops of your feet, along the sides of your lower calves and -- in some cases -- under the arches of your feet. The specific placement changes from provider to provider.
The Pedicure Process
Soaking your feet, removing old nail polish and trimming your nails all take place during a hot-stone pedicure. These steps occur before the hot-stone portion of the pedicure, so your feet are cleaned thoroughly before the treatment begins. The hot stones are applied for 10 to 30 minutes, after which you receive a foot and leg massage. Aromatherapy oils are often used during the massage. The pedicure finishes with a fresh coat of paint or buffing on your nails.
Benefits of a Hot-Stone Pedicure
Hot-stone pedicures can reduce fatigue and increase energy levels, as well as help you relax and soothe your nerves. The heat from the stones can relieve muscle tension and encourages circulation in your lower extremities. The temperature of the stones is gentle, usually no more than 4 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than your body temperature. The heat from the rocks enhances your skin's ability to absorb oils during the massage and aromatherapy portion of your pedicure.
Bethany Williams has been a beauty and style writer since 2006. She has written for "ELLE Canada," "Canadian Living" and "Flare Magazine." She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and history from the University of King's College.