Hot stone massage is a therapeutic massage designed to relieve tension, ease muscles, induce relaxation, aid better sleep and even improve digestion. During a hot stone massage, smooth flat stones, made of volcanic or river basalt, are heated in water to about 49degC. They’re then placed along the spine, on the stomach, chest or palms. Smaller stones may be placed on the face or between the toes. Some therapists may even position the stones on points thought to energetically balance the mind and body.
A masseuse will then hold and move the stones along the areas of the body using Swedish massage techniques such as long strokes, kneading, tapping and rolling. For this reason, it is recommended that vests and bras are removed to eliminate stones being lifted off the body during a movement.
A little history
The practice of using stones and gemstones in healing dates back thousands of years. It’s been documented that over 2 000 years ago, the Chinese had been using hot stones to improve the function of internal organs. Subsequently, civilizations in North America, South America, Egypt, African, India and Europe have practised the ritual art of laying out or wearing stones for diagnosis and healing purposes. This ancient ritual was reborn in 1993 by Mary Nelson of Arizona, USA through the introduction of LaStone Therapy, a trademarked practice using hot and cold stones.
5 Secrets of Hot Stone Massage
- There is a considerable lack of medical research directly linking hot stones to physical healing. What is evident, is that the heat relaxes the muscles effortlessly, allowing the therapist to reach deeper tissue with minimal pressure. Greater therapeutic work can be done with zero pain or discomfort.
- As muscles begin to relax, so does tension thereby creating improved fluidity and flexibility in body movements.
- The heat increases the flow of bodily fluids which aids lymphatic drainage. The massage becomes an almost automatic detox as toxins are eliminated from the body.
- An increase in relaxation improves digestion and toxin elimination by relaxing the digestive tract and colon.
- The heat increases relaxation which leads directly to improved and deeper sleep. And as we know, our bodies heal quickly and more effectively when during sleep.
Risks and warnings
Hot stone massage is no substitute for medical attention nor it is advised should you be experiencing:
- a bleeding disorder, blood clots or taking blood thinners.
- burns or open wounds
- recovery from surgery
- osteoporosis or fractures
To ensure a pleasant and soothing hot stone massage without pain or discomfort, only use salons or therapists who are fully qualified. We are. #justsaying.