Hot Stone Massage
Hot stone massage technique
Two different types of stones are involved in the treatment. The first are basalt stones which are chalky grey in color but turn dark once oil is applied to them. Before every massage they are placed into a purpose-built Stone Heater filled with water heated to 130-150 degrees. They stay in the heater while the therapist warms-up the body with traditional Swedish massage, after which, he strategically applies the stones on the key points of the body improving the energy flow. While they remain on the body the therapist uses other stones as well for working the muscles and replaces the ones already set if they get cool. The stones need to remain constantly hot because they enhance the therapeutic benefits of the massage due to the penetration of the heat and the energy deep into the muscle making the massage more efficient and less uncomfortable. While, the second type of stones used for hot stone massage are chilled stones. They are usually made of marble and they are placed into a bowl of iced water before use and not always used during the massage.
What is hot stone massage?
The very term massage means a therapy that relaxes you and eases your muscles while improving your mood. Everyone is familiar with the pleasure of enjoying simple massages, but what if there's a special kind that's even better? Well, hot stone massage has all these effects and much more. By using smooth, water-heated stones, it can help every muscle of the body reach deep relaxation, relieve all your stress and anxiety, as well as improve your circulation and metabolism. Hot stone massage originates from the Native Americans which used stones warmed by fire to treat aching muscles. The modern version of the therapy is attributed to Mary Nelson, a native of Tucson, Arizona, and it involves not only stones, but also massage oils to ease the process of working the muscles.
Health benefits of hot stone massage
Most massages really help people to relax and beat the muscle stiffness. But, with the hot stones massage therapy these effects are even more noticeable because the hot stones soften the muscles and allow the therapist to work deeper and facilitate the release of muscle restrictions, helping the therapist alleviate pain, improve circulation and rid the body of toxins. The hot stone massage treatment can also reduce stress, promote calmness and increase relaxation. According to the latest research the hot stone massage has a wide range of positive effects on the cardiovascular, lymphatic, integumentary (including fascia), musculoskeletal, endocrine, nervous and digestive systems. Also, the combination of hot basalt stones with cold marble stones increases circulation and speeds injury recovery as well. However, keep in mind that if you chose a hot stone massage therapy due to a medical condition, it would be beneficial to inform your therapist about your condition so that he will be able to choose the most soothing therapy for you. Nevertheless, not all people that choose hot stone massage do so because they already have some kind of a problem; some of them just want to feel good and hot stone massage will surely make you feel nurtured, pampered and special. Furthermore, this massage, beneficial as it is, is not recommended to everyone. It should be avoided by people prone to blood clots, people with infectious skin disease, rashes, or open wounds and is not recommended for people that have just finished surgery, chemotherapy or radiation. Pregnant women should also consult a doctor before going for this therapy.
Useful hot stone massage tips
You should know that the hot stone massage usually lasts for an hour and during that time you are allowed to wear your bikini only, however, your therapist will strategically place towels on your body and s/he will wait outside while you undress in private and lay down. Furthermore, it is not recommended to eat a heavy meal or drink alcohol just before and after the hot stone massage. During the therapy it is possible for you to start drifting off into a dreamy state because you'll feel so relaxed. It may be better for you to schedule a treatment in the days when you have nothing else planed because the essential oils used in the hot stone massage may be hostile for your hairstyle and after the massage you may not feel like working anymore.