By Courtney Slivka
If you attend many upscale spas, you will probably find that they offer hot stone massage sessions. In fact, the hot stone massages may be among their most popular treatments. There is certainly something special about combining the therapeutic effects of a massage with the healing power of natural elements. When the two come together in a hot stone massage, the results are usually quite powerful for both the therapist and client.
The hot stones are powerful because they transfer heat which warms the body and muscles. As the muscles become warm, they become relaxed and the soft tissues become easier to manipulate. Receiving a hot stone massage feels similar to a hot bath in the sense that both are very soothing and comfortable. The heat also helps to stimulate blood flow and circulation, thus bringing a greater state of healing to the body.
In a hot stone massage, the client is not the only one to reap the benefits. The massage therapist can use the stones as tools throughout the massage, utilizing both the heat and firmness of the stones to perform deep tissue massage while saving their hand muscles from stress and trauma. Therapists can personalize the hot stone massage by searching river banks and beaches for their own collection of smooth, natural stones.
Cleanliness is key when using hot stones. Be sure to thoroughly sanitize any stones before a treatment, and again after the session. Communicate with your client when it comes to temperature and pressure to keep them comfortable and safe through the session. Hot stones can take extra time to set up and dismantle, but clients are usually quite appreciative of the treatment.
If you are interested in providing hot stone massage treatments to you clients, seek out a massage school that provides a comprehensive program incorporating the stones. Because it can be slightly complicated until you have a real feel for the process of a hot stone treatment, consider taking specific continuing education classes that focus on the treatments, and even certify therapists to perform the hot stone sessions.