Hot stone massage is something which is popping up in more therapist clinics, but not everyone is really sure what it is?
THE HISTORY OF HOT STONE MASSAGE
The technique might have only quire recently become popularized in the West, but it has been around in other parts of the world for much longer.
The Chinese have been using hot stones in their medicine and therapeutic practices for more than two millennia. It has long been thought to help the health of the body’s organs.
However, China is not the only place to use the treatment.
Other parts of the world such as areas of Europe, Africa, the Americas, India and Egypt have also used the practice.
Stones have also been used in childbirth and pregnancy by practitioners known as “curanderas” (healers, in Spanish). They have been applied, both cold and heated, to help with the discomfort and pain of menstruation and labour.
It is even believed in some cultures that the mere act of holding stones can provide a source of help – for example in childbirth.
Stones have been used as a form of therapy centuries, the Romans used them in their baths and saunas, for example.
REINVENTING THE PAST
However, hot stones massage as a form of therapy was virtually unknown in the west until the nineties.
It was popularized by Mary Nelson and has boomed as an industry since then.
Today, hot stones massage can be incorporated into almost any other massage therapy.
Full body stone massages can involve deep tissue massages. Hot stones can also be utilised in facial treatments, for clients in beauty clinics.
The stones might be manipulated by the therapist and used as tool to massage the body with. It helps to penetrate warmth into the muscles without pressing down too hard. This is both effective and warming at the same time.
WHAT HAPPENS IN A HOT STONE MASSAGE
Exactly what takes place in a hot stones massage depends upon the exact nature of the therapist doing the treatment.
The hot stone is a basalt stone that has been placed in hot water to heat it and then put onto the body part it is treating.
These are flat stones and basalt (a type of volcanic rock) are specially chosen because they stay warm for a long time.
WHAT AREAS CAN BE TREATED WITH HOT STONES?
The areas of the body which are principally used in hot stones massage include the stomach, the back, the hands, the feet and the face.
Sometimes, cold stones can be used in the treatments as well. This may be used particularly in facial treatments.
The purpose of cold stones is to help to soothe the swelling of blood vessels. It can also be good at cooling down hot skin.
THE ADVANTAGES OF HOT STONES THERAPY
THE RELIEF OF PAIN
Pain relief sits at the top of the list of reasons that most clients seek out a hot stones massage.
It can help manage the pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis and other painful conditions. And by diminishing pain, mobility is automatically increased in the client.
THE RELIEF OF STRESS
Stress can be a killer and never underestimated in the threat it poses to your health.
Hot stones massage is deeply relaxing and anything that reduces stress is helping in the fight against cardiovascular disease.
THE INCREASE IN JOINT FLEXIBILITY
Hot stones massage plays an important part in aiding mobility and promoting greater flexibility in joints.
If you suffer from recurring joint pain then a hot stones massage might help.
AN IMPROVEMENT IN MUSCLE ACHES
Likewise, if your muscles are tense and prone to spasming, it can cause a lot of pain as well affect your mobility.
Hot stones massage can help to see a reduction in the inflammation of muscles, which helps with the pain and contractions.
A BETTER NIGHT’S SLEEP
Like many other forms of massage, hot stones massage is relaxing, which can help the sufferers of insomnia.
Try and schedule your hot stones massage for later on in the day, for it to help you sleep later.