Hot stone massage has gained much popularity in recent years. This variation on classic massage therapy utilizes flat, smooth stones that are heated up and then placed on certain points of the body. The massage therapist may additionally hold the stones and use them as a massage tool for certain places on the body.
Hot Stone Massage was first introduced by Mary Nelson, an Arizona massage therapist. Even though hot stones have been used since ancient times for healing, it became much more mainstream once she introduced her hot stone massage technique, known as “LaStone Therapy.”
Nelson trains other massage therapists in LaStone by conducting workshops. Even though LaStone continues to remain popular, spa technicians and massage therapists have patented their own techniques utilizing smooth, heated stones.
Typically, the stones are a basalt type of rock. These are rich in iron and therefore, retain heat for a longer time. River rocks are ideal choices due to their smooth, flat surfaces, due to being washed over by the river on a continual basis.
Heating the Stones
The stones are placed in water that has an electric heater to warm them up within a particular temperature range. The stones are then placed at certain locations in the palms of the hands, along the spine, and on the feet or between the toes. Placement of the stones can vary depending on the client’s health and personal preference.
The warmth of the stones helps to calm the nervous system and improves circulation. The heat of the stones acts to relax and warm the muscles. When the muscle fibers are relaxed, the therapist is able to gradually apply deeper pressure. Certain massage therapists place stones on points that are believed to be energy centers of the body.
This technique is thought to rebalance both the mind and the body.
Benefits of Hot Stone Massage
Some people wonder whether or not they would benefit most from a regular Swedish Massage or a Hot Stone Massage. The warmth of the hot stones is an excellent component to help aid in relaxation. It can be a wonderful choice for those people who suffer from cold hands or feet or who tend to frequently feel chilly. It is also a great choice for those individuals who have muscle tension and prefer a lighter massage. The heat allows the muscles to relax and this enables the therapist to work the muscles without relying on deep pressure.
Some of the health conditions that benefit from a hot stone massage include: poor circulation, back aches and pain, Osteoarthritis, Arthritis, Insomnia, tension, depression, anxiety and stress.
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