If you are looking to rejuvenate your body and mind by using the natural healing properties of volcanic rock, hot stones can be the way to go. After all, one of the best ways to relieve tension in your body is to have it massaged, and hot stones may do the trick in helping you relax, while also providing some of the same health benefits as regular massage therapy would. Whether you are just trying out this form of physical therapy or have been doing it for years, here are nine different ways that you can use hot stones to enhance your massage sessions.
1) Add Essential Oils
Certain essential oils, like peppermint, have proven to be beneficial in relieving tension and headaches. Diffusing them or adding a few drops to hot stones can help alleviate pain and relax your body for a more enjoyable massage experience. Eucalyptus, rosemary, and frankincense are other oils that add a nice touch to hot stone massages. Take note: always ask your partner if they’re okay with you using them in your massage before you apply them to their body. Since some people are sensitive or allergic to certain scents, it’s best not to take any chances if they aren’t already familiar with an oil’s scent.
2) Add Colored Stones for Different Aromas
Aromatherapy is not just for beauty treatments and spas. Adding essential oils to heated stones gives you an aromatic massage as well as making a statement in your home. Choose colored stones, such as amethyst or rose quartz, to match your room’s decor. Place 3-4 smooth, flat stones on a cookie sheet, and place it in an oven preheated to 250 degrees F for one hour (the time may vary depending on your oven). Make sure to place a cookie sheet under the stone so that any oil will not seep through and catch fire in your oven. Remove from heat and allow them to cool slightly before adding essential oils that are safe for skin contact.
3) Always Hold the Heat
It’s tempting to drop a hot stone onto your back or other tender body part, but don’t do it. There are plenty of ways to use heated stones for massage without holding them, as shown in these three great techniques. The first two methods—wrapping a heated stone with a hand towel and putting a heated stone between two towels—allocate some body heat to areas that might not otherwise get attention while letting you focus most of your attention on areas you want massaged. The third method—using heat-safe pillows beneath and/or surrounding your client’s body part or parts—allows all parties to feel warmth throughout their treatment session.
4) Avoid Dropping Them on Skin
Hot stones can be used on your skin, but unless you want to burn yourself (or your client), please be careful. The stones stay hot for a while after they’re removed from their source of heat and can burn sensitive parts of skin, including fingers. Let them cool down before you begin massaging or move them to areas that won’t get in contact with fingers or other body parts. If they do happen to come into contact with skin, let them sit until they’re cool enough to handle. If a stone is too hot for your hands, it’s too hot for sensitive skin; trust us on that one!
5) Start with Smaller, Heavier Stones
If you’re just getting started, it’s best to start with smaller stones. Smaller stones are easier to handle and less expensive. Heavier stones are also easier to manage and won’t damage your client if they accidentally slip out of your hands mid-massage. This stone from Atri Products is a good place to start, as it’s easy on the skin and comes in three different sizes – .75, 1 and 1.5.
6) Start Light and Increase Weight Slowly
Although hot stones are a great tool for delivering a soothing, deep-tissue massage, you should always start off with them lightly. If you apply too much pressure or use too many at once, they’ll leave red marks and possibly burn your partner’s skin. Plus, make sure that you take it slow when gradually increasing their weight as well. This will not only increase relaxation but also make sure that there isn’t any undue pain involved in using them. If your partner is pregnant or has any injuries to be concerned about, be extra careful to avoid anything that could cause damage to their skin or muscles. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!
7) Go Deep with Scraping and Cupping
Scraping and cupping may sound like obscure, expensive massage techniques, but both can be performed with a few simple tools that you likely already have. Cupping is based on traditional Chinese medicine and uses suction to bring blood flow to an area; when it’s combined with scraping, your body will flush out toxins and impurities. These are two of our favorite DIY tools because they don’t cost much—and they do wonders for your health. You can perform cupping or scraping at home; we promise it won’t hurt!
8) Get a Luxurious Vichy Shower With Eucalyptus And Lavender Steam
The relaxing scent of eucalyptus and lavender is said to help soothe muscles and promote feelings of calm, while simultaneously reducing stress levels. To reap these benefits, try adding steaming hot water and eucalyptus and lavender oils to your next bath. Breathe in deeply as you soak to increase circulation and take advantage of all that a luxurious Vichy shower has to offer. You can also place a few drops on your hands, rub them together and place them around your face for five minutes or so for an aromatherapy facial treatment. It’s a perfect way to relax after a long day.
Hot stone massages can be a great way to relax and restore yourself. Be sure to do your research about how to use hot stones for massage, as well as what type of stones are best, before you get started. There are certain ways you should use them and it is important that you know these things before starting a session. Look at our tips above and try them out yourself! You will enjoy using these stones with your massage clients, we guarantee it!