What is Hot Stone Massage?
The application of stones placed on the body has been practiced for thousands of years. Stones have been used for techniques like warming, cooling, healing and for re-balancing of the body.
Were you aware that in the early 1900’s stones, heated in the fireplace, were placed in a metal container to warm the bed and to warm the bed linens before retiring? Of course that was before the advent of central heating. Back in those early days, heated stones were used to keep feet warm in the winter and when traveling with horse and buggy.
In China the use of heated stones to relax muscles dates back to about 2000 BC. In the Philippines, many people used smooth stones with soap and water in place of the more costly wash cloths. The Native American people have used large heated stones in traditional sweat lodges for centuries. A the stones were brought into the sweat lodge, people would chant, “Welcome grandmothers, and welcome grandfathers,” thereby honoring mother earth and the ancient history of the stones.
The concept of hot stone massage is very simple-use smooth, heated stones on the body while applying the common massage strokes, such as effleurage, pettrisage, and friction. Hot stone massage uses massage oil for easy mobility. Some treatments can often be taken further then regular massage, through the use of different stone like Chakra stones or frozen marble stones; and through the use of techniques like tapping, and deep trigger point work.
Note: Although you break “contact” with the client, there is still a sense of ‘being connected’.
The heat delivered by the basalt stones can penetrate very deep into the muscle, so that the vigorous manipulation of muscle in traditional relaxation massage need not be used. This can be beneficial for those who cannot tolerate the deeper massage work.
It is common practice on several hospitals in Europe to use the alternating hot and stone water therapy in renowned hydrotherapy cures. The physical and psychological benefits of both hot and cold on the body have long been scientifically and medically proven.
Hot stone massage is truly an ancient treatment that has experienced a recent global resurgence in the massage and spa industry. Clients will often express the same sentiments a the completion of the treatment. “I have never felt so deeply relaxed. It feels like being massaged while in a hot bath. I feel balanced and energized, etc”.
Benefits of the Hot Stone Massage
*Improved circulation, deep relaxation and significant stress reduction
*Instant relaxation of tight sore muscles
*Body temperature elevation to help expand capillaries and stimulate blood circulation
*May ease bloating caused by water retention of PMS
*Improves blood circulation and increases the body’s energy reserve
*Rest and relaxation through balance and soothing of the nervous system
*The metabolic exchange between the blood and cells is accelerated
*Balance yin and yang
*The hear of the stones penetrates so well into the muscles that deep muscle manipulation is often not necessary, which ban benefit both the treatment provider and the client
Health conditions which benefit from hot stone massage
*Muscular aches and pains