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Bliss, frankly! A variant of ‘LaStone® Therapy’, Hot Stone massage is a relative newcomer to the world of spa massages compared to therapeutic treatments harking back thousands of years.
The basic idea is that varying sizes of smooth black basalt stones (derived from lava) are heated to between 120- and 150-degrees.
Held in the spa therapist’s hands, these warm stones are placed on energy points along the torso and sometimes also the scalp. Having applied gently heated oil, she then uses her hands to glide the stones along the skin, working deeper in to the muscles than is arguably possible using a conventional Deep-tissue or Swedish massage technique.
Cool marble stones are sometimes also incorporated in to the Hot Stone treatments for their opposite anti-inflammatory, bloody capillary-constricting and energy-balancing effect (think ice pack on a swelling, which helps drain the white blood cells away from the site of inflammation). This sensation of coolness can be very effective in facials where the use of heat is not advised, for reducing puffiness around the orbital eye area for example, using warmer stones to ease muscular tension in the jaw area.
Hot Stone massage usually lasts between 40 minutes for an ‘Express’ Back Neck and Shoulder or Hot Stone Head massage, to 90 minutes for the whole body including the back, arms and legs.
Another variation of this is the Lava Shell massage, using warmed lava shells to massage the back and neck.
…if you suffer from cuperose, varicose veins or thin delicate skin. The stones should never be too hot, but could be enough to trigger the contraction and expansion of broken capillaries in those with sensitive skin types.
Your body will require more hydration after this hot massage than after other massages to help it detoxify. Be sure to drink plenty of water afterwards.
To minimize discomfort, try abdominal breathing outwards in time with the application of the warm stones. Read our Handy Tips and breeeathe section to find out more about this highly effective natural pain relief technique.
Looking to purchase a hot stone massage for a friend or loved one? Check out our spa vouchers page where monetary gift vouchers can be redeemed against treatments at over 500 spas across the UK.