One of the latest discoveries in the massage world is the hot stone massage, everything about this massage is new and yet it is so ancient that people used to have it way before it became a trend. Hot stone massage seems to be the ‘in’ new thing on Day Spa Menus worldwide. But stone massage is not a new therapy. Hot stones have been used for massage for many thousands of years by Indigenous Cultures from Russia, Hawaii, Japan, and North America. The stones used in Hot Stone Massage are mostly basalt stones created by Volcanic activity. The surfaces have been completely smoothed – in riverbeds or tossed by the ocean for many years.
A Stone Massage Session
Smooth warmed basalt stones are used to massage the body in long flowing strokes to relax and unwind muscle tension and stress from the body. The sensation produced by gliding, heated stones over the body along with the occasional “click” of the stones touching each other, is something that can only be appreciated by experiencing it. The heat of the stones, combined with the soothing gliding movement, warms, and relaxes the muscles to a much greater extent than that achieved by simply massaging the body with the hands alone. Using stones in massage is similar to ‘ironing’. The warm stone ‘irons’ the muscle effectively helping to unwind and relax tight tense areas.
What to Expect
The stone massage varies from therapist to therapist. The stones will be warmed in a heater and then placed on your body. A variety of very specific shapes and sizes of basalt stones are used throughout the massage, applied to specific areas and energy centers on the body. The therapist will massage you with the stones in a similar manner to normal relaxation massage – mostly the only difference is that the therapist is holding a stone while they are massaging.
The stones should be warm – not very hot even though the massage is called Hot Stone Massage. When the therapist places the stone on your body ideally you will feel a sensation similar to getting into a warm bath or shower. The temperature should be wonderfully warming and inviting and never be a shock to the body or feel as though it may burn. If you are at all concerned in your massage that the stones are too hot – be proactive and ask that they be taken off straight away. With an experienced Stone Massage Therapist, you will be in very good hands and half an hour into your massage you will be blissed out. In fact, you may not even remember all your massage.
By placing the heated stones on these specific points – some of which include the hand, toes and back -the muscles are prepared to allow for deeper relaxation.
Your massage therapist will administer a hot rock massage, by rubbing the body with stones to create the ultimate healing and relaxing experience. Because the warm heat from the stones helps to relax the muscles, it allows the therapist to apply deeper pressure. Strategic placement of the rocks during the hot stone massage is important, as they are thought to be the energy centers of the body that returns balance to the mind and body. Deeper muscle penetration and relaxation is one of the attributes that makes the hot stone massage therapy so popular. It is also proven to improve one’s circulation and flush out toxins that could be harmful to your body. If you suffer from any of the following medical ailments, hot stone massage therapy could be just what you need:
• Muscle pains and aches.
• Upper and lower back pain.
• Effects of anxiety and stress.
• Symptoms of arthritis.
So, what types of rocks are used in stone massage therapy? The river rocks used in stone massage therapy have been made smooth by the current of the river over time. Made of basalt, they are rich in iron, so they retain heat. After being immersed in water, they are placed in a device that heats them to the proper temperature. The hot stone massage technique is very popular, but it is particularly so among anyone who suffers from stress-related symptoms and who are more comfortable with a massage that is administered with a lighter stroke. As mentioned before, during the process of hot stone therapy, the muscles become easier to work with as a result of the warmth being directed to them.
Some people may be turned off by the thought of hot rocks on their body. But there is no need to worry… the stones are always smooth, flat, and only about the size of a large egg. The heat is not a concern either, as the hot rocks are warmed under the strictest precautions in a unit that carefully monitors the degree of warmth. And while everyone has their own comfort range, your massage therapist will always hold the stones in his hands before applying them to your body to make sure that they are not too hot.
To begin your hot rock massage session, your therapist will ask that you lie face down on the table so that he/she can place the hot stones on the key points on your back. When the muscles have been sufficiently warmed, the therapist will continue your hot rock massage by removing the rocks and using them to rub your back with just the right amount of pressure needed to provide complete relaxation. Most massage therapists like to incorporate some type of cream, oil, or lotion into hot stone massage therapy to allow the stones to run smoothly over your skin. Your massage therapist will then ask that you lie on your back so that he can address the front of your body, by placing the hot stones on the palms of your hands and between your toes.
When performed correctly, a hot-stone massage session is one of the most relaxing and rejuvenating experiences a person can receive. For professional hot-stone massage, head to Bonita Skin Care and Massage in Melbourne, Florida.