Heated Stone Massage
This type of massage work uses water treated stones placed on the body or integrated with the massage stroke to allow the therapist to more easily perform deep tissue manipulations. Heat from the stones dilates blood vessels (vasodilation) increasing blood flow and circulation to that area. The added blood flow helps to nourish muscles, flush toxins, and can increase joint mobility. Furthermore the heated stones will promote deep muscle and tissue relaxation, alleviate stress, and calm the psyche. Massage oils are usually incorporated into the massage treatment. The stones are kept between 80-100 degrees (low on a crock pot) or 120-135 degrees (high on a crock pot). If the stones are too hot for the therapist to hold in their hands, they can be dipped in cool water before applying to the client. It is not uncommon for the skin to become flush or red after a treatment from the increased blood flow. It will return to normal soon after treatment.
Additionally cool or cold stones are used in practice in conjunction with heated stones. The application of cold agents for therapeutic purposes is know as "cryotherapy". The primary goal of cryotherapy is to reduce tissue temperature. As cold is applied to the body, heat is drawn from the tissues causing cooling. The local application of cold stones is beneficial on painful, inflamed and swollen areas. It acts as an analgesic to reduce pain and causes vasoconstriction to limit swelling. The stones are at room temperature or kept in ice water and placed on the body for short durations. They are also used in a "chasing technique" with a heated stone, alternating them up the back, or a leg for instance. Clients have described this as enlivening and invigorating!
Eric Gorski, LMP is now incorporating heated and cool stones into his body work. For an appointment please call the office at 360-459-9000!