What is a Himalayan Salt Stone Massage?
To begin, we will answer the first question in three parts: what is a hot stone massage, what properties are in Himalayan salt rocks that are beneficial, and what about the massage being done specifically with Himalayan salt stones makes it that much better for you to try it?
What is a Hot Stone Massage?
Starting with the base of question: The Hot Stone Massage. There is a lot of information online about the benefits of massage, and the massage treatment can be greatly improved with the addition of hot stones. The stones are heated either in an oven, a hot plate, or in water. The stones are usually made out of a type of volcanic rock called basalt, that retains heat very well. These stones are usually heated between 130-145 degrees Fahrenheit. Then placed on the body, usually the specific area the client requests work on. Such as the spine, stomach, chest, face, palms, and/or feet. The therapist uses the stones as means to warm and loosen the muscles before proceeding to massage them, as well as a means to massage you with. This is done with long strokes, circular movements, tapping, and kneading.
Benefits of Hot Stone Massages include:
1. Helps relieve muscle tension and pain
2. Reduces stress and anxiety
3. Promotes sleep
4. May help relieve symptoms of autoimmune diseases
5. May help decrease cancer symptoms
6. May boost immunity
Anyone with muscle pain, insomnia, or stress may benefit from a hot stone massage.
Himalayan Salt Rocks:
This particular pink salt rock comes from the Punjab region of Pakistan, near the base of the Himalayan Mountains. Also known as the Salt Range. Once upon a time it was a primal seal before it became the famous mountains they are today.
What Properties in Himalayan Salt Rocks?:
Salt is something our body needs. Though not too much or too little. It is composed of two electrolytes- sodium and chloride- help with maintaining the fluid balance in your body. Himalayan crystal salt contains minerals like potassium, calcium, and magnesium- and 84 other trace minerals- that make it so desirable in meals, as lamps, and in massages. Himalayan salt is naturally rich in iodine(note, that it is not as much iodine as Iodized salt), which is needed in our body to make thyroid hormones and is also used as an antiseptic.
Some Benefits of Himalayan Salt:
Promotes healthy blood sugar
Helps lower blood pressure
Supports a healthy respiratory system and sinuses
Boosts bone health and prevents muscle cramps
Relieves anxiety and addresses insomnia
Lightly exfoliates the skin and is highly relaxing
Emits negative ions when heated, delivering a myriad of health benefits—from higher mental alertness to protection against germs in the air
So how is the Himalayan Salt Stone Massage better than a Regular Hot Stone Massage? And why should I try it?
The warm salt crystals being used by the therapists with its heat and shape to massage away tension in the body. There are some who claim it can promote a sense of well-being, improve sleep, and balance the nervous system.
Using the warmed Himalayan Salt Stones to apply pressure with therapeutic massage techniques, the properties of the stone such as its many minerals are absorbed through the skin. Seems not super different from a Hot Stone Massage so far, lets go deeper.
Massage therapists deal with the Parasympathetic Nervous System, which is one of the 3 divisions of the Autonomic Nervous System. This one specifically deals with the rest and digest system. Such as slowing heart rate, intestinal and gland activity, and relaxes sphincter muscles in the gastrointestinal tract. This part of the nervous system calms your body and mind and can be triggered to activate by the massage therapist. This helps your therapist get to the problem areas and get some real work done in those muscles with the combination of the warmth, the relaxed muscles, and extra tools in hand to get those muscles worked on and provide the relief you need.
Many say that the salt stones are equally as smooth as the volcanic basalt stones. Their key difference being that they claim to feel the nutrients being absorbed into their skin from the salt stones.
Salt stones are also naturally antimicrobial due to the iodine in them. Which helps with fears of cross-contamination and other health risks. Though they might be naturally antimicrobial, therapists are still taking the time to sanitize them between sessions.
From a therapist perspective, to choose Himalayan stones over hot stones is more in the department of delivery than the receiving. We are aware of the benefits of both basalt and the Himalayan salt- but as a therapist why would you choose one over the other? Consider their heating methods. Clunky ovens, heating pots, the humidity from the basalt stones are their own distractions and issues. They do not always hold a consistent temperature either. Himalayan salt stones can be warmed on a heating pad/tray or on a heat lamp in a basket for example. They are dry, smooth, and can be constantly ready through every session of your day. A less troublesome setup and breakdown for your clients session right off the bat. They can also behave as a salt lamp for your treatment room, with a relaxing orange-pink hue for your clients to switch mindset as they walk in the door. Caring for your salt stones is simple as using special cleaning products and keeping them dry, and with that care they can last for years.
In conclusion, as to why you should try Himalayan Salt Stone Massages:
- Possesses all the benefits of a Basalt Hot Stone Massage, and
- Absorption of 84 different trace minerals from the stone through the skin
- Maintains consistent heat through your session
- Can be used to warm the muscles
- Can be used to naturally ionize the air
- Can be used to create relaxing lighting
- Lightly exfoliates skin
- Naturally antimicrobial
It’s an upgraded experience from the hot stones, overall. There are many spiritual elements as well if you are open to them to be incorporated into your session. Leaving you feeling relaxed and grounded inside and out!
Book an appointment and try a Himalayan Salt Stone Massage soon!