Hot Stone massage has been used by many cultures for healing and muscle pain over man’s long history. Evidence of stones being used in massage can be attributed to Native Americans, Chinese, Egyptians and Ayurvedic cultures. Originally warmed by fire, the stones are now heated in a specific thermostatically controlled hot stone water bath heater to ensure optimum working temperature in reached and maintained.
Hot stone massage is a comforting and deeply relaxing massage and is often combined with Swedish massage using these special stones. Not only are hot stones used but also cold or cooler stones can be incorporated into the massage and used over the entire body. Alternating between hot and cold stones can increase the effectiveness of stimulating the circulatory and lymphatic systems.
Usually smooth Basalt stones are used with hot stone massage, these stones are rich in iron and therefore retain the heat for longer, the stones vary in shape and sizes and therefore weight. The cold stones are often smooth marble as these naturally feel cool to the touch.
During the treatment the stones can be placed on the body or used as an extension of the therapist’s hands thus enabling the therapist to work more deeply targeting pressure points to help alleviate tension. The larger stones are used for larger areas and muscles, while the smaller stones are used for the smaller more delicate areas and muscles. When placing the stones on the body they are positioned over key points along the spine, palms of the hands, abdomen, chest, legs, and face – this is believed to improve the energy flow throughout the body.
It is said that massaging with stones is more effective. One stroke from a stone is worth five from the therapist’s hands. As with all massage the following benefits are gained but are more effective and longer lasting with the use of stones:
Promote a healthy sleep pattern.
Relieves muscle pain and stiffness.
Stress and anxiety relief.