What is hot stone massage and what are the benefits?

Hot Stone Massage Benefits

A hot stone massage at home is one of our most popular treatment booking. Many of our clients are surprised to learn that this massage is available in the comfort of their own home, without a trip to a spa! There are so many hot stone massage benefits that we really recommend you give it a try. It’s a fabulously relaxing and indulgent way to relax, release tension, and achieve balance.

What is hot stone massage?

As its name suggests, a hot stone massage involves using heated stones. Secret Spa massage therapists use heated river stones or lava shells, as they are smooth and retain heat exceptionally well.

Before your massage, the therapist uses a special heater to heat the stones up to around 45-50°C. You don’t need to be worried that this is too hot, or could burn, as a professional therapist ensures the temperature is perfect and consistent. They won’t use a microwave or other means of heating the stones, as this would give uneven or inaccurate temperature.

There are various different hot stone massage techniques, and some will depend on the individual therapist. Generally though, the stones are placed on the body in specific spots, either guided anatomically or on energy points believed to help aid balance and flow. Beyond leaving the stones in place, the therapist will also use the stones to perform Swedish massage techniques, such as kneading, long smooth strokes, and rolling.

Is hot stone massage good for you?

Lots of people rave about how wonderful hot stone massage makes them feel. They report back pain being eased and reductions in anxiety and tension. It certainly seems that hot stone massage is good for you, although more research is needed as to exactly why this is. Some of the benefits of hot stone massage are unique, whereas some are believed to be due to the wider benefits of massage.

Top 10 benefits of hot stone massage

Hot stone massage benefits are wide ranging and sometimes individual. These are our top 10:

1. It’s comforting and relaxing

Think of the pleasure of being made warm by a fireside on a chilly day and you’ll understand why the heat of the hot stones is so comforting and relaxing.  It’s like being deeply embraced, right into your soul. It just feels like you’re ‘home’.

2. The heat aids depth

With the hot stones, one of the major benefits is that the heat from the stones penetrates your body, bringing many of the benefits of massage at a deeper level. It allows intense muscle relaxation which enables the massage therapist to actually work very deeply, without the same pressure that they would need to apply in a deep tissue massage.

3. Relief from tension and pain

Heat is a well-known natural pain reliever. If tension is behind an ache or pain, then heat can be enormously effective at releasing the tension and thus easing the pain. This is believed to be because when heat is applied to an area, the blood flow to that region increases. It can help alleviate spasms and enable a joint or muscles to be gently flexed and regain movement and mobility.

4. Relief from stress and anxiety

Massage, including hot stone massage, has been scientifically proven to reduce stress and anxiety. It’s actually fascinating to learn why this is. Lots of processes are stimulated by massage. Endorphins and other feel-good hormones are released which reduce stress and anxiety. At the same time, the ‘stress’ hormones, such as norepinephrine and cortisol, are lowered. 

5. Aids sleep

Just one of the huge benefits of having a hot stone massage at home is that it will help ease you into deeper restful and restorative sleep. Indeed, one study has shown that massage is particularly beneficial for easing insomnia in postmenopausal women. More research needs to be done on the benefits of hot stone massage and sleep, but it certainly seems to promote good sleep in everyone we know!

6. Immune boosting

Many of the techniques used in a Swedish massage are also used in hot stone massage. Quite remarkably, Swedish massage has been shown to positively impact your immune system, even after just one session. Knowing that you can boost your immunity simply by being pampered and massaged is wonderful to know!

7. Managing chronic pain

For those with chronic pain conditions, such as Fibromyalgia, massage has been shown to bring tangible positive effects. The science shows that this is due to the lower levels of substance P, which is how the body partly transmits pain signals. Other research has shown that people with painful Rheumatoid Arthritis have also experienced less pain.

8. Cancer management

Swedish massage, which is incorporated into hot stone massage, has been shown to really help cancer patients manage the symptoms of their disease. From less nausea and depression, to reduced pain and fatigue, it would appear that a caring massage can really help individuals to alleviate some of their cancer symptoms.

9. Draw out toxins

Many practitioners of hot stone massage believe that one of the real benefits of this type of massage is its ability to draw toxins to the surface of the skin, and eliminate them through the body’s natural sweating process. This leads to a wonderful radiant glow.

10. Self-healing

Whether it’s due to the balance of energy flow, or some other lesser understood process in the body and mind, a hot stone massage can restore balance and many feel it helps with self-healing.

Hot stone massage aftercare

If you have a hot stone massage, we recommend following our massage aftercare advice. In particular, make sure you drink plenty of water as the heat can cause you to sweat and dehydrate. Plus, the movement of toxins is best managed by flushing water through your system.

With a hot stone massage, be honest with the therapist about the heat of the stones. Hot stone massage isn’t recommended for those who are pregnant, or who have diabetes, high blood pressure, or if you are on medication which thins the blood.

Make a booking for a hot stone massage at home in London with Secret Spa. We also offer mobile massage services in Manchester and Brighton. Please book at least 48 hours in advance.