Hot Stone Massage

Hot Stone massage is a unique style where heated rocks are moved over the body allowing the heat to sink into the muscles. Although deep work is not usually done with Hot Stone, the heat penetrates to make the muscles relax and feel better.

There are several types of Hot Stone massage and like other massage styles, these change with each therapist that does the work. Probably the most known style is called La Stone which was based on the types of massage done by native American Indians. They used hot and cold stones to create a relaxing experience. Marie Hannigan took this information and created La Stone from it as she was hurting her hands doing a lot of deep tissue work. With the stone, it gave her a tool to go deeply with while the heat penetrated and softened the muscles.

La Stone also incorporates prayers, chanting, and movements around the client with occasional clapping of the stones. It has been said that La Stone is more about the stones than the massage. That is the key difference between La Stone and Hot Stone massage. Hot Stone massage tends to be more about the massage. Basically, Hot Stone (which probably stemmed from La Stone) tends to be La Stone without the clapping, chanting, and other stuff.

In a Hot Stone massage session, the client is oiled, and receives some basic massage with the hands to prepare the areas. Then heated stones are slowly moved over the body allowing the heat to sink in deeply. The stones need to keep moving because if they are left in one place, they will burn the client. If the stones are moved too quickly the heat will not sink in as well. As they are used, the stones are turned over and eventually replaced with others as they cool off.

The stones used are generally Basalt which is a common gray to black volcanic rock that is usually fine-grained due to rapid cooling of lava on the Earth's surface. The rocks can range from the very small which can be put between the toes to the fairly large which could weigh a couple of pounds.

During the session, the stones can be placed on and around the body (keep in mind that everyone does it differently). The smaller ones are generally placed between the toes. Medium sized ones can be placed on each side of the spine when the client is face up. Larger ones can be placed on the chakras (major energy centers) to work with the energies. Cold stones can be incorporated to create different sensations. The heat from the hot stones tends to give the client a ‘floaty’ feeling. The application of the cold stones brings the client back ‘down to earth’.

In some cases, powder is used as a lubricant to allow the stones to move over the body easily. Most therapists use oil which is also heated by the stones thus spreading the heat more thoroughly. (Caring Palms uses oil as the lubricant for its Hot Stone massages sessions. They also use only hot stones. Although the added weight of the stones can be used to do deep tissue work, it is usually not needed as the heat relaxes and soothes the muscles.

If you want to try this wonderfully relaxing style of massage, call Caring Palms and make an appointment. Hot Stone massage is not available for walk-ins as it takes an hour to heat the stones. But with an hour’s notice, one could enjoy a relaxing experience.