Hot stone Massage
Published on 3 September, 2013 | alternative therapies
What is Hot Stone Massage? part 1 /2
This most relaxing and beneficial technique of massage with stones is not actually a modern invention, but rather it has recently been “rediscovered”. Originally from the Far East almost over five thousand years ago. Its progress down the ages is quite difficult but not impossible to track. We do know that it was certainly being practiced in the ancient baths of Rome.
Benefits of Hot Stone Massage – Special stones are heated and applied to the body which in turn promotes deep-tissue healing and relaxation. As the stones are warm this then helps to loosen stiff and tense muscles, which then makes this a great treatment to unwind after exercise and is known to be quite beneficial for those whom suffer from poor circulation as the hot stone massage benefits the client with increased blood flow round the whole body. By using a light and gentle massage strokes and a combination of the stones this clears toxins from the body and also helps to stimulate the metabolism, unblocking the body’s natural channels of energy. A hot stone massage can also relieve stress and premenstrual tension.
Precautions – Contraindications
The temperature of the stones is very important. The should be cool enough to hold and not too hot for the skin, especially in the back area as this more sensitive. The client should not feel any discomfort. Some therapists prefer to drape the back with towel. If doing this then the stones can be slightly hotter but the therapist must handle the stones with confidence.
What type of stones to use
Never be tempted to use just any old stone that you find, no matter what the surface. If it is porous it will only scratch the skin but will absorb the oil which will then make them difficult to clean. The best stones are Basalt Stones, which are ideal massage tools and their smoothness is unsurpassed as they retain heat well due to them being formed as molten lava which has cooled.
Preparation for a treatment
Your stones should always be cleansed and disinfected before use. There are special Massage Ovens that can be purchased to heat the stones up to the correct temperature. The stones should never exceed 50 degrees Centigrade or 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Whilst the stones are heating up you can then prepare your room. You would take the steps needed for a normal basic aromatherapy massage, ie clean towels, dim lights, ensure room temperature correct, take the phone off the hook, burn incense or essential oils etc… Make sure your client is comfortable and warm. Never put your hands in the water to retrieve the stones. Tip the pan and pour the water away or use tongs.
In part 2 we look at doing an actual treatment on both the legs, back, neck and face and scalp. In the meantime if you would like to learn how to do a full hot stone treatment then see our homestudy- Hot Stone Massage Diploma Course.