In Hot Stone therapy the recipient relaxes while clean water-heated stones (smooth river rocks) are placed at key locations of the body. The soothing weight and heat penetrates muscle tissue and relaxes the whole body and is especially enjoyed by people who prefer a lighter touch.
Typical placement areas include along the spine and in key areas of the back, palms, feet, and between the toes but may vary depending on the client's condition.
Therapists also work soft muscle tissue by holding the warm stones and using them to knead muscles by gliding the stones in long sweeping motions (usually using massage oil). All sides of the stones are used to great effect. The stones do most of the work and the process feels absolutely glorious.
The warm stones are moved in various stroke patterns including paired long sweeps, single sweeps, alternating sweeps, paired circles, figure eights, fanning, pickups, rocking, wringing and more.
The warmth stimulates circulation throughout the body and many people claim they have a sedative effect that helps relieve chronic pain and stress. Of course the entire process is exceptionally relaxing.