What to expect during a warm stone massage
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For many, the ultimate spa indulgence is a warm stone massage. But it turns out this sensual treat may even promote your good health by lowering stress, relieving pain and promoting relaxation. Warm stone massage uses two powerful stress-busting components: heat and traditional massage techniques.
What happens during warm stone massage
Similar to a traditional massage, you will recline onto a massage table. Some facilities use heated tables.
Your massage therapist will have prepared several hot, smooth stones by heating them in a warm stone cooker or crockpot. Basalt is a favored choice of many spas because of the rock's ability to retain heat.
Soothing scents may be added to the heated water to further relax you. Your massage therapist might add chamomile, a calming scent, or lavender, a natural anti-depressant. If you suffer from migraines, peppermint and rosemary may be used. If you are looking for arthritis or joint pain relief, your therapist may use ginger.
The heated stones will be gently placed on the muscles on either side of the spine to promote deep tissue relaxation. Smaller stones may be placed between the fingers and toes to warm and relax the area.
Next, the massage therapist will gently glide the warm stones over your body. As the stones cool, your therapist will select other stones until your muscles are completely relaxed.
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How is warm stone massage feel
The warm stones are never rough. They are always flat and smooth and in a variety of sizes to be used on the specific muscle groups. The stones are heated in an electrical heating unit that has an adjustable thermostat control. The massage therapist always holds the stones first before touching them to your body, which ensures that the temperature will not be too hot. Everyone, however, has their own comfort range. Be sure to speak up if the stones are too hot for you. Cool marble stones are occasionally used during a treatment, particularly if there is inflammation.
What is warm stone massage benefits
The warm stones are usually made of basalt, a type of rock that is rich in iron, so they retain heat. River rocks are normally used because they are so smooth – they have been smoothed over time by the river’s current. The stones are immersed in water and heated in an electric heating device until they are within a certain temperature range. The stones may be placed at specific points on the back, in the palms of the hand, or between the toes. The heat warms and relaxes the muscles, which allows the therapist to apply deeper pressure, if desired. The warmth of the warm stones improves circulation and calms the nervous system.
The facility at which you receive your massage should be clean and sterilize all materials and equipment – including the basalt stones – between clients. If you’re unsure if this was done, don't be afraid to ask.
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