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Whether you’re yet to experience a spa visit or are a regular spa-goer who is looking for something new to try, a hot stone massage treatment can be a warming and relaxing treat. In this guide, we explain the basics of a hot stone massage and look at who can benefit from this novel and beneficial spa treatment.

What is a hot stone massage?

A hot stone massage is a therapeutic massage treatment during which warmed stones are placed on certain areas of the body, such as acupressure points. The stones may be used as massage tools or could be temporarily left in place. Along with other massage techniques, hot stones can be quite soothing and relaxing as they transmit heat deep into the body.

What can you expect from a hot stone massage treatment?

A full-body hot stone massage usually lasts for around 90 minutes, however you can also book an express back, neck and shoulders hot stone massage or a hot stone head massage. 

The treatment uses varying sizes of smooth black basalt stones (derived from lava) which are heated to between 120 and 150 degrees. The warm stones are then placed on energy points along the torso and sometimes across the scalp. Having applied gently-heated oil, the therapist will then use their hands to glide the stones across the skin, working deeper into the muscles than is often possible in a conventional deep-tissue or Swedish massage.  

Cool marble stones are sometimes also incorporated for their opposite anti-inflammatory and energy-balancing effect. 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.

Who can benefit from a hot stone massage? 

A hot stone massage will help muscles to relax, so can be beneficial for anyone with muscular issues, such as pain and tension. A hot stone massage can also be good for those who suffer from blocked emotions, as the warm stones draw energy from static energy points. The warmth creates wellbeing and soothes the nervous system. Those with rheumatic and arthritic pain, poor circulation (e.g. Raynaud’s), depression and insomnia might also benefit.

Hot stone massages can also help with:

  • deep muscular pain
  • the release of negative energy stagnation
  • improved circulation
  • boosting the lymph and blood circulation for detoxification

Who should avoid a hot stone massage treatment?

Although hot stone massage treatments can provide many health benefits, you should avoid the treatment if you suffer from couperose, varicose veins or thin delicate skin. The stones should never be too hot, but this could be enough to trigger the contraction and expansion of broken capillaries in those with sensitive skin types. 

Top tip: To minimise discomfort, try abdominal breathing outwards in time with the application of the warm stones. Read the handy tips section of our massage tips to find out more about this highly effective natural pain relief technique.

Know of a friend or loved one who might benefit from a hot stone massage? Check out our spa vouchers page where monetary gift vouchers can be redeemed against treatments at over 500 spas across the UK.

If you’re ready to book a hot stone massage at one of our spas, give our team a call today to discuss your options.

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