Massages are always a hot ticket item, and when you add hot stones into the mix, it takes on a literal meaning.

“The hot stone massage differs from the Swedish massage and the deep tissue massage,” says Maja Salter, a licensed massage therapist (LMT) at Maja LaV’s Massage and Skincare.

“The hot stones bring heat to the affected area and causes a much faster increase of circulation and relaxation of the local musculature, allowing the therapist to manipulate deep tissues more effectively,” Salter says.

“When you get a hot stone massage, the hot stones can provide the benefits of a deep tissue massage due to the heat, but without the need of the pressure typically applied,” says Noelia Correa, a licensed massage therapist at Massage Envy.

“I put the stones on and massage with the stones. When you go over knots in muscle tissue you can feel the stones go up and melt everything around it,” Correa says.

“The heated stones provide the extra benefit of releasing tension and easing sore muscles,” Salter says.

As the demand for hot stone massages grows, contrast therapy is becoming popular, which is when the therapist alternates hot and cold stones during the massage, creating a multi-dimensional stimulating effect.

“This alternation helps every cell in the body to receive more oxygen, nutrients and encourages a more effective removal of toxins,” Salter says.

The primary stones used in hot stone massage therapy are basalt stones, which are a type of volcanic rock and made up of silica and iron content that holds in the heat. The smooth texture of the stones makes them ideal for use on the legs and back, with smaller stones sometimes used on facial muscles and during pedicures.

Before, during and after your massage:

• Drink plenty of water before to flush toxins and after to avoid dehydration.

• Avoid heavy meals before your massage.

• Communicate with your massage therapist, if the stones are too hot- tell them.

• Schedule your appointment at a time when you can relax for a bit before and after.

• Make sure your surroundings are relaxing and stress-free.

Source:Jenny Jurjevich For Pensacola News Journal

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