Massage Stone Therapy Buyers' Guide
What are the benefits of stone massage therapy?
Most Stone massage therapy has many benefits. In the past few years it has grown rapidly in popularity. Both hot and cold stone techniques have their own benefits.
What are the benefits of hot stone massage?
Hot stone massage is not only a relaxing massage method, but it also has many healing properties. The use of hot stones allows a therapist to give a deep, penetrating massage without putting excessive stress on his or her own body. Additionally, the stones will heat the skin, open the pores, and prepare one’s skin to better absorb massage oils. They, therefore, increase the benefits any given oil will provide. The use of massage stones is also a great way to increase circulation in and around the area being massaged. Increased blood flow will help clear out toxins and assist in healing an injured or strained area.
What are the benefits of cold stone massage?
Cold stones are excellent because they promote circulation and act as a powerful decongestant for the body. By promoting circulation, a cold stone treatment can ease inflamed tissues, decrease muscle spasms, and can reduce swelling or fluid build-up (for example, as manifested in dark circles under the eyes). Unlike with the use of ice, cold stone treatments will not severely desensitize the skin. The overall effect of a treatment is the reduction of tension with a simultaneous feeling of invigoration.
Can I use both hot and cold stones in one massage routine?
Using both techniques in one routine can be very beneficial to your clients. Switching between cold and hot applications causes blood vessels to alternately dilate and constrict, leading to increased movement of fluids within the body, increased removal of toxins and increased healing. We do not recommend this type of treatment for clients with circulatory problems because they may be too sensitive to the sudden, increased circulation.
Does the type of stone matter and what types are best for massage?
Many different types of stones can be used for stone massage but there are a few that are generally favored across the industry.
Hot stone massage: Basalt stones
Basalt is the ideal material for hot stone massage. The composition of this volcanic rock (high silica and iron content) makes it hold heat longer than most stones. Using a different type of stone may mean that you have to switch stones in and out of the warmer quite often or they will become too cool for treatment.
Cold stone massage: Marble stones
Marble stones are considered the best option for cold stone therapy. The reason that basalt is good for hot stone therapy is that you can massage a person’s body for a long time before they cool. Basalt is also acceptable for cold stone therapy but not as good as marble. Marble stones have proven to be the best at retaining coolness. They do not heat up rapidly during a massage and can draw heat from the body.
Does the color of basalt stones determine the quality?
Some people think that basalt stones should be a deep black color. The color does not necessarily determine how well the stones can hold heat. Most basalt stones are actually gray when dry, but they normally turn black when using with oil. Trace elements influence the color of a stone, but as long as the stone has high silica and iron content, it will retain heat well. There may be some other variation in the color of our stones but they are all excellent at retaining heat.
Is it better to use stones that are all the same shape or stones that are naturally shaped?
There is a debate on this issue, and it comes down to being a matter of personal preference and personal massage philosophy. Some therapists prefer to get a stone set where all the stones are shaped to be specific sizes and shapes. Having a set like this can make it easier to add precision and develop a routine. Some therapists also prefer the look of perfectly-shaped stones. Other therapists, however, may prefer naturally shaped stones. They like this feature because it creates a more natural look and feel. Additionally, no two bodies are shaped the same, and having the various contours of a naturally shaped stone set can give you versatility in treating a variety of clients.
On a price-per-stone basis, your cold stone sets cost more than hot stone sets. Why is this?
The reason that cold stone sets cost more is that it is more expensive to make the stones. Basalt stones are often found in riverbeds where waves have smoothed and shaped them over time. Some sets use stones that have not been altered at all, which obviously saves on cost. Even the polished basalt sets do not require too much work. Marble, on the other hand, needs to be laboriously fashioned and smoothed to make it suitable for massage. Nature does not shape marble to be ideal for massage as it does with basalt.
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