Hot stone massage is a special form of massage which provides relaxation to the muscles through hot, flat and smooth basalt stones which are placed on certain parts of the patient's body in order to stimulate the opening of the energy channels.
Inventor of Hot Stone Massage
Hot stone therapy was invented by Mary Hannigan in 1993 and was initially named La Stone Therapy. Today however, most spas and health facilities have developed their own variants of hot stone massages and numerous people benefit from this treatment yearly.
The Process of Hot Stone Massage
Before the massage starts, the therapist places the stone is hot water and waits for them to be heated adequately. In order not to burn you, the therapist will examine the stones before placing them on your body. If the stones cool down during the massage session, the therapist will swap them with other, hot ones.
You may be asked to lie on your back and then on your stomach, as the therapist applies oil on the parts of your body which are going to be massaged. The oil helps the stones glide over the surface of your body, relaxing your muscles and relieving tension. Once the muscles get relaxed, the therapist may leave the stones aside and massage you with hands, returning the stones after this process and leaving them on for a longer period of time.
Second Phase of Massage
Then, you may be asked to turn around, lying on your back, and stones may be placed between your toes and fingers. Naturally, these stones will be small and appropriate for these purposes.
Finally, the whole massage therapy session of this type lasts for about an hour. However, some hot stone massage sessions last for up to 90 minutes.
The Principles and Benefits behind Hot Stone Massages
As it was mentioned above, these hot stones relax and warm up the muscles. Also, they improve the blood circulation in the area and relax the nervous system. The philosophy behind hot stone massages is placing the stones in the right order so that your organism may reach a state of absolute balance.
As for the benefits of this process, it reduces pain and stress in the muscles and other parts of the body. Additionally, people feel comfortable and enjoy the whole session, being rejuvenated afterwards. The blood circulation gets boosted, your body releases toxins and gets cleansed and your muscles reach a state of deep relaxation.
Moreover, people suffering from muscle aches or backaches, as well as insomnia, osteoarthritis, stress, anxiety, blood circulation problems, depression or fibromyalgia, all can benefit from hot stone massages.
Who shouldn't do Hot Stone Massage?
Yet, do not undergo this treatment if you have been operated on recently, or if you have undergone chemotherapy. Also, people who are prone to having blood clots formed in their body should avoid these massages as well as those with skin rashes and skin diseases.