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Warm stone massage—ease your mind, relax your body

Besides feeling warm, soothing, and relaxing, a warm stone massage can be just the thing you need to unwind and relax. Slow and gentle strokes help you feel grounded, comforted and calm. A warm stone massage offers some relaxing time for your mind and does wonders in releasing muscular tension and may also help in supporting a healthy metabolism, relieving pain, and improving circulation. It is often more effective than traditional massage techniques, and with so many healing properties, you may find yourself coming back for the warm stone massage as your go-to.

How does it work?

The heat and smoothness of the stones rolling over your body are incredibly relaxing but more invigorating than a traditional relaxation massage. Your massage therapist may place stones on trigger points, on your hands and even between your toes. Other than the hands and feet, the warm stones should never be placed directly on your skin so there should be fabric in between. Besides placement, the stones become an extension of your therapist’s hands and used during the massage stroking along the length of muscles, allowing your therapist to go deeper into the muscle without more pressure, helping you to relax even further.

Heat has been used as a therapeutic technique to assist in the healing process in many cultures for thousands of years. It has essential healing properties that are known to increase blood flow and circulation, help remove toxins by increasing metabolism, relax muscles and relieve tension. Many feel that it enhances the intensity and benefits of the massage experience while promoting deep relaxation.

How can a warm stone massage help you?

1. Muscle Relaxation
Are you continually moving from a busy or stressful life? While movement is good, not allowing your body to rest can put a strain on your muscles causing them to tighten or become extremely stiff. The warmth of the stones leads to deep relaxation and warms up tight muscles, releasing tension more quickly, allowing your therapist to work more deeply and penetrate the muscle to help ease soreness, reduce muscle spasms and increase flexibility and range of motion. Warm stones are also beneficial after a therapeutic massage because it can help calm down the muscle tissue.

2. Pain Relief
Manipulation of muscles can significantly reduce muscle spasm and give comfort to painful muscles like back pains or muscle aches. Due to the nature of a warm stone massage, your massage therapist will be able to work deeper and release tense muscles, stiff joints or injuries, and provide more significant relief.

3. Improved Circulation
Poor circulation can lead to fatigue, and a buildup of fluid and lactic acid inside your muscles, which tenses the muscles. Good blood flow is vital for a healthy body, and the warm stones help expand blood vessels, which encourages blood flow throughout the body. Your therapist will place a few warm stones on trigger points in your body before beginning the actual massage. The warmth from the stones penetrates into your deeper body tissues, your blood vessels open, resulting in improved circulation, delivering more oxygen to the muscles, which helps ease aches and pains Ahhhhhhhh!

4. Mental Benefits
A warm stone massage can help ease some of your mental stress and tension. It may also help you combat some of the symptoms of anxiety disorders and depression which can be an integral part of your treatment plan. If you suffer from chronically high levels of stress hormones, the soothing nature of this specialty massage can help balance your metabolism and calm your mind, helping to shed stress and worry.

5. A better night’s sleep
People often struggle to find restful sleep because of tension and discomfort; a warm stone massage can leave your mind clear, and your muscles relaxed, leading to an undisturbed sleep at night. Is a warm stone massage good for everybody?

Always check with your doctor before getting a warm stone massage; individuals with certain conditions, including pregnant women and people with high blood pressure, are advised to avoid this type of therapy.

Is this massage painful or uncomfortable?

Let your therapist know immediately if you experience any type of pain while the massage is performed. You should not feel pain from the actual massage. Please let your massage therapist know if you feel that the heat or pressure from the stones is uncomfortable.

How is a warm stone massage different from other massage treatments?

Although most massage styles are similar in that they provide stress relief and overall relaxation of the mind, body, and spirit, warm stone massage uses the addition of heat to further promote tension and pain relief that stems from deep within the muscles. The additional stimulation may also induce a deeper level of relaxation and relief. The warm stone massage is a technique that helps transfer heat from the stones to the muscle tissues to relax it in ways that the human hands can’t.

Lori Vargas, Spa Vargas Wellness founder, entrepreneur, spa consultant, mother, ironman triathlete

Lori Vargas founded Spa Vargas Wellness in 2001 and currently has 3 locations in the Chicagoland area. Since then, she founded Vargas Consulting with projects that include Hilton, Sheraton, Wyndham, and Key Lime Cove, and in 2009, the International Massage and Spa Academy. Based on her experience in the spa industry, the curriculum focuses on educating students to become business minded nurturing massage therapists. As a mother of two boys, Lori strives to create a balanced life and is always in the pursuit of living in the present. “My children have become my inspiration, and I am grateful to them for the happiness they have brought to my life. Of course, we have a dog, two cats, two parakeets and three fish, so our home is not a tranquil environment!.

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