Lava Shell Massage is a mineral-heated massage treatment that you can find at many spas and as home kits. There are few things more relaxing than having heat used in a massage or spa treatment. This specific massage technique is comparable to a hot stone treatment in the sense that heat is a primary piece of the massage experience, but there are many key differences.
What Makes It So Special?
Really Lava Shells are an amazing piece of recycling. They start as tiger-striped clam shells. These clams are a food staple in the Philippines, and the shells are harvested from that locale instead of being thrown away. Tiger-striped clam shells are typically smooth surfaced shells, so they glide quite well across the skin.
They get their heat through a natural chemical reaction primarily of salt water, sea kelp, and algae. These ingredients plus other minerals are placed in a small bag and then sealed inside of the clam shell.
During treatment, a massage professional gently runs these shells across your skin. The heat, plus the pressure can release a lot of tension and stress. It can be very relaxing; many people swear by the rejuvenating effects of the treatment.
Lava Shells Vs. Hot Stone Therapy
While both treatments have amazing benefits, there are quite a few key differences:
- Lava Shells provide heat on their own through a natural chemical reaction, so to use them you don't need electricity or any other equipment. They are a self-contained treatment. This makes them a great travel massage or home massage opportunity compared to a hot stone treatment.
- The surface of tiger-striped clam shells is non-porous. This means that they don't trap oils and bacteria during massages. Hot stones, comparatively, have a porous surface and can end up with those unwanted substances absorbed into the stones.
- The heat from Lava Shells is not as strong as the heat provided from a hot stone massage. If you prefer high heat in your massage treatment, don't expect them to match hot stones.
- While the heat may not be as strong with Lava Shells, it does tend to last for a longer duration than hot stones. The stones tend to lose heat quickly, so they need to be swapped out during a massage treatment of any length. The natural reaction of the ingredients keeps that lower level heat running for quite a long time.
- The need to swap out hot stones also leads to a massage being interrupted multiple times during a treatment. For some people, this can ruin the massage experience as there is not continual touch. Lava Shells don't need reheating during a treatment, so there is never a break in the experience.
Where Can You Get A Treatment
A quick online search can give you spas around your area that provide Lava Shell Massage treatments. Prices can range from $75 to $200 or more, depending on the spa and the length of treatment.
There are also home treatment kits available that normally contain a shell, plus three to four treatment bags. These kits are often available at spas and through many vendors online. Refills can be purchased through the same channels. Kit prices start at $30 and refills at $20.
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(price as of May 8, 2016)