What is it?
Hot stone therapy is classified as a geothermal hydrotherapy. We use hot stones to increase blood flow to tissues and to stimulate a soothing “rest and digest” response via deep moist heat.
In practice, we use stones that are made specifically for therapeutic bodywork to ensure the best results. They often have smooth surfaces to allow for appropriate contact to the muscles. Sore Spots uses Basalt, Jade and Soapstone for massage because of their ability to absorb, retain, and transfer temperature.
Usually you can expect a Sore Spots hot stone massage to integrate a few cold stones into your treatment. This provides a blissful contrasting hydrotherapeutic experience, which is great for increasing circulation to tissue. Your therapist will single out one or two areas of your body where adding cool stones will enhance your therapeutic experience, and will always check in before integrating a cold element.
It is worthwhile to note that many clients find including stones into treatment adds a grounding energy to each session. There is something about literally coming into contact with a natural element during a massage that enables a more mindful presence in healing.
Available: Halifax Location
Provides full body relaxation
Relaxes muscles to allow for deeper massage
Increase in blood circulation to treated areas
Can aid in increase range of motion
Works on a deep level without the pain
Increases lymphatic circulation
Provides deep sense of warmth and comfort, aiding in activating “rest and digest” response
Decreases muscles recovery time post-massage
Relief for tension headaches, muscle stiffness, poor circulation.
History of Deep Tissue Massage
As with all massage, we can find references to therapeutic use of hot stones that date to more than 5,000 years ago, and that span many cultures.
As part of Ayurvedic medicine in India, healers collected stones from river beds to warm them in water. In some Indigenous North American cultures, the method of heliotherapy (sun therapy) was used, which involved placing stones in the sun’s rays and then onto the body to relieve pain.
For example, a stone may have been placed on a woman’s abdomen to ease cramping felt during menstruation. In addition, using stones in sweat lodges is a tradition that continues today. In Hawaii’s tradition, healers called kahunas practice a type of massage called lomilomi, which incorporates placing hot stones on the body to increase blood flow.
Credit: The Stone Massage Company, Hazel Millar & Roseann Pikelin, RMT
Won’t hot stones burn me?
The stones that we use are at a controlled temperature (at or below 125 degrees fahrenheit/51 degrees celcius). We also never use stones that are too hot to hold in our hands. That being said, we would never place a stone on a client that we as therapists’ could not handle directly. However, we also understand that heat feels different to everyone and may also be interpreted in different ways by different parts of the body. We check in frequently to ensure your comfort and would also ask you to let us know if the stones being used feel too cool.
How do you use the stones during massage?
During a treatment, you may experience the stones as an extension of the therapists hands for deeper release into the muscle and connective tissue. The therapist may also choose to place hot stones in areas of increased tension - which has a similar feel to and intention of a heating pad - which aids in increasing circulation.