Massage might be one of the most popular treatments on the spa therapy menu, but there are lots of different variations that help individuals to achieve their individual goals and preferences. One such variation is hot stone massage - a deep tissue treatment for relaxation and tension relief.
What is a hot stone massage?
Hot stone massage is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a back or full body massage, but instead of manipulating and kneading the muscles using the therapist's hands alone, it incorporates the use of stones that are heated in a hot water tank before the treatment begins. As a result, you benefit from both the heat and the more intense massage movement.
Types of hot stone massage
Hot stone massage is a type of massage in itself, so there aren’t many variations on it persay, but different spas and treatment brands do tailor the treatment to provide their own unique experiences. For example, a variation from Clarins uses a heart shaped stone that is applied to chakra points.
Lava shell massages are also an option. Lava shells are similar to hot stones but they contain a heated bag filled with algae and black lava. So, rather than being heated from the outside, they are heated from within.
What are the benefits of hot stone massage?
Like all deep tissue massages, hot stone therapy is designed for relaxation and relieving muscle tension. Hot stone therapy is particularly popular because it provides a deeper massage than other techniques.
The addition of the heat from the stones is effective in muscle relaxation which, in turn, allows the therapists to work deeper and with less discomfort for the client. Stone therapy has also been linked to helping ease arthritis, relieving fatigue, soothing aches and pains, and combined with the oils that therapists may use, it’s good for dry and dehydrated skin.
What happens during a hot stone massage?
- Like all treatments, a hot stone massage begins with a consultation to ascertain what you want to achieve and whether there are any areas to avoid. That may also affect the products that they use.
- You will then be taken to your treatment room, and given time to relax on the treatment bed.
- The therapist will then return and start working on the treatment.
- Depending on the destination, the treatment might incorporate different oils and additional phases such as scrubs or moisturisers to finish.
- When your treatment finishes, the therapist will leave the room and give you a moment to come around. They may also offer you water and invite you to spend time in the relaxation lounge.
Choose this if you want to…
- Ease muscle tension
- If you do a lot of sports and want to aid recovery
- Ease muscular aches and pains
Average price of a hot stone massage
A hot stone massage tends to be a little more costly than a regular massage, and it will also vary from one destination to the next and how long the treatment is. However, they usually begin at about £50.
Hot stone massage aftercare
All massage aids detox so it’s important to drink plenty of water post-treatment. Avoid caffeine or alcohol for the rest of the day, and make sure you relax. It’s best to exercise or use wet facilities before your treatment so you can leave products on your skin and continue relaxing.
What should I wear to a hot stone massage?
As with other massage treatments, it’s recommended that you wear underwear or swimwear for a hot stone massage. Women may be asked to remove their top or bra during the treatment but you will remain covered. You might want to put your clothes back on afterwards, or even better if you’re on a spa day - pop your robe and slippers back on so you can head to the relaxation room and avoid getting oils on your clothes. We also suggest that you bring two swimsuits on a spa break - one to wear in the pool and one to wear in your treatment so you stay comfortable.