There is a lot in life you can’t control. Weeks upon weeks of rainy days, an overbearing workload, a boisterous neighbor or car issues can all add up to equal one stressed-out human. You may not be able to control the stressors, but you can control how you react to them.
One of the best ways to get in the right mindset to tackle your stressors head-on is by focusing on your internal and external wellness.
The best part? This doesn’t have to be a chore!
Some of the most helpful self-care strategies are things that we can look forward to doing. A perfect example? Booking a hot stone massage.
A hot stone massage is the ultimate “treat yo self” moment that offers maximum comfort and relaxation by using massage and heat therapy to calm your nervous system and jumpstart mental and physical healing.
Ready to book the ultimate “siiiiiiggghhhhhh” moment? Here’s everything you need to know before you book a hot stone massage.
What is a Hot Stone Massage?
A hot stone massage is a relaxing massage that leverages hot stones (hence the name) to apply heated pressure to your body. The masseuse will oil your skin and the stones, ensuring a smooth glide across your back and limbs. The masseuse usually focuses on deep tissue areas to warm and loosen muscles for ultimate relaxation.
If you are apprehensive about how rocks can offer a fantastic massage, have no fear – most hot stone massages include both hot stone and traditional massage techniques for a well-rounded experience.
Why Get a Hot Stone Massage?
Reason #1 for most people to get a hot stone massage is simple – it feels gloooooooorious. In addition, the mix of traditional hand and stone massage techniques also creates a more dynamic experience that builds to maximum relaxation levels.
People with especially tight muscles or who hold stress in their neck and back can experience even more release with the simultaneous usage of heat and pressure.
People that regularly book hot stone massages may:
- Sleep better
- Decrease their stress levels
- Loosen tight or sore muscles
- Improve blood circulation
- Relieve symptoms of arthritis
- Reduce pain and inflammation
- Increase metabolism
And, of course, experience a rejuvenating and calming moment to focus on themselves.
What To Wear to a Hot Stone Massage
For most hot stone massages, your masseuse will tell you to “dress down to your comfort level” before hopping on the massage table for your treatment. For some, this means keeping on your underwear. For many, this is your birthday suit! The less clothing you wear, the more areas your masseuse can include in your massage. The masseuse will be sensitive to your comfort by covering private areas with sheets as they massage your body.
Once you are finished with your treatment, we promise that you won’t want to pull on some jeans or tight clothing. Instead, we highly recommend you wear loose, stretchy and comfortable clothing. That way, your clothing choices won’t detract from experiencing that post-massage bliss state.
How to Prepare for Hot Stone Massage
While immense preparation for a hot stone massage isn’t necessary, there are a few things you can incorporate into your day to make the most of your treatment. These tips are all about helping you enter that relaxing, spa-like mindset early so you don’t spend the first several minutes of your massage trying to calm down!
Tips for preparing for a hot stone massage:
- Hydrate well. Your massage will help you expel toxins from your body, boost circulation, and stimulate lymphatic drainage. That means you need to focus on hydrating before and after your treatment. This will ensure you eliminate the bad and accept the good as efficiently as possible. The hot stones will also increase your body temperature, increasing dehydration.
- Start entering a calmer headspace a couple of hours before your appointment. While this can look different to each person, some great areas to start are taking a break from screens, practicing deep breathing, taking a hot shower and stretching lightly to prepare your body and mind for maximum relaxation.
- Save large or heavy meals for after your treatment. A full or uncomfortable belly will definitely detract from the experience.
Swedish Massage vs. Hot Stone Massage
You may be wondering if a hot stone massage is really that different from a more common massage type, like a Swedish massage. While both offer a fantastic treatment experience, here are the main differences.
A Swedish masseuse will leverage their body parts (fingers, hands, forearms and elbows) for sweeping, kneading and stroking movements across your body.
A hot stone massage will also leverage this technique, but it also incorporates the hot stones, both as static tools for heating muscles and dynamic tools for massage movements.
If you enjoy heat incorporated into your massages, a hot stone massage is a fantastic choice for you.
How Much Does a Hot Stone Massage Cost?
The price of a hot stone massage can vary significantly based on where you book your treatment and the length of the massage. For example, booking at a luxury spa with tons of additional amenities can cost $150-300, while a smaller massage parlor may charge between $60-100.
So, it’s up to you to check out the options in your area, look at client reviews, and shop around for a hot stone massage therapist! If that sounds overwhelming, a great place to start is by checking the ClassPass app for great hot stone massage options in your area.
You may not be able to avoid life’s stressors, but even just an hour of focusing on yourself can empower you to face them head-on. Need help finding a relaxing hot stone massage in your area? Check out all of the facilities at your fingertips with ClassPass.