What Is a Hot Stone Massage?

by | May 8, 2023

What Is a Hot Stone Massage?

Did you know that 4000 years ago, the Japanese placed hot stones on their abdomen to warm it while aiding digestion? 

Then, 2000 years later, the Chinese adopted hot stone massage to enhance internal organ performance.

Later, as civilization spread, various nations, such as the Hawaiians, employed hot stones to promote circulation, while Indigenous Americans used them to treat and relieve cramps.

But, it wasn’t until 1993 that hot stone massage became popular, and many spas started using it. 

But what exactly is a hot stone massage? 

To answer this question, here is how hot stone massage works, its benefits and risks, and why you should indulge in this beneficial, centuries-old massage. 

How Does Hot Stone Massage Work? 

Hot stone massage involves a masseuse using smooth, heated basalt stones and placing them on specific body parts. 

Basalt is a dark-coloured igneous rock that retains heat well, thus providing the warmth required to relax muscles, promote circulation, and provide other health benefits. 

During a massage, the masseuse places the basalt stones in hot water between 110-130F. Then, they wait until the stones are warm enough. 

To avoid hurting you, the masseuse ensures that they can hold the hot rocks in their hands comfortably. 

But, it depends on the type of massage.

For example, a massage session involving placing the hot basalt on your body will not raise the temperature of the stones, unlike massaging, where the masseuse uses friction. 

However, there are risks involved.

For instance, if you have injuries or broken skin, having a hot stone massage may lead to infections. Also, it may cause burns if you are diabetic since this condition might make you lose feeling in your hands and feet, so you will not be able to tell if the stones are too hot.

Therefore, we recommend you consult your doctor before you indulge in a hot stone massage session. 

Benefits of a Hot Stone Massage 

When a masseuse places hot basalt stones on your skin, the blood vessels dilate or widen while it warms your muscles and tissues. 

What this does, is make your muscles and tissues receptive to the massage techniques used, bringing forth several benefits including 

  • Increases Blood Circulation and Flow 

According to a study by the American Journal of Chinese Medicine, this massage helps increase circulation, thus reducing some cardiovascular issues like stroke. 

As the blood vessels dilate or widen, more blood can flow. It sets off a cascade of events in which increased blood flow leads to increased oxygen and nutrient absorption by the muscles and tissue, nourishing them effectively.

  • Improves Overall Health 

Hot massage sessions may help reduce muscle tension and pain while enhancing relaxation. 

Also, a 1997 study found that massage helps reduce stress, while another research showed that it helped patients who underwent abdominal colorectal surgery have less pain, tension, and anxiety. 

And there is more. 

Hot massages release toxins by opening pores and encouraging sweating. 

Additionally, during the massage, your muscles relax and loosen so you sleep like a well-fed baby. In fact, a 2006 study showed that a back massage leads to deep slumber for adults with insomnia.

Below is a table with additional research on how a hot stone massage might benefit your health.

Health Condition Brief Description of the Study
Immunity Research by Cedars-Sinai, a non-profit academic healthcare organization in Los Angeles, reported that frequent massage experiences boost endocrine response and immunity.
Cancer symptoms At Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre, 1290 patients showed a 50% decline in pain, fatigue, stress, and depression levels.
Rheumatoid Arthritis A 2013 study of 42 adults with rheumatoid arthritis found that they experienced less pain, increased grip strength, and greater mobility after one month of massage therapy.

Indulge In A Hot Stone Massage 

With the many benefits, you need to feel pampered, not when stressed, tense, or need a little rest and recreation (R&R), but occasionally. And, while living life to the fullest is good for your health, it’s critical to do so within your budget.

Luckily, indulging in a hot stone massage pamper session will have you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated without breaking the bank.

By the end of the massage, you will feel so relaxed as tension and stress melts away, while the pure, natural Thai goodness nourishes your skin and senses. 

Contact us today to book an appointment where our massage session will hit the right spots, making you feel a little burst of euphoria and relaxation.