I’m going to give you an idea for your today’s chill session: hot stone massage. It sounds interesting, doesn’t it? Such treatment has a positive influence on your body and soul. Unfortunately, not everyone can enjoy the benefits of hot stone massage. But those of you who can, please read on to learn the advantages of this amazing and exceedingly pleasant therapy. Naturally, I’ll also tell you something about the contraindications so you will be aware of the possible risk.
Hot stone massage: A little bit of history
This type of massage originates from the regions of the Middle East and it was known to the ancient people. This treatment makes use of theory of the energy transfer in the human body. At this point, I must tell you that there are various energy channels spaced in our bodies, and these are located close to endocrine glands – the channels, or spots, are responsible for stimulating the very glands. In ancient times people developed special body maps presenting the very spots together with the connecting channels. And these are the very channels that hot stones are placed on and then glided to encourage energy to flow through our organisms.
Types of massage stones
The massage stones are made either of black basalt and white marble. The former has as many as 54 kinds, they all are oval and are taken from the deep-sea floor. Reportedly, to help basalt stones retain their natural energy, they have to be stored either in spring water or sea salt. Basalt stones are recognized as the best ones used in heat therapies (thermotherapy). They are warmed up until having 50 ºC so they remain hot for long. They are used to improve circulation which leads to better oxygen distribution and nourishment. White marble stones, in turn, display chilling properties. To make the effects more dramatic, the stones are put into ice right before the treatment. Then they are put on the body parts that are often swollen (eye skin and lower limbs). The biggest stones are put on the belly, aitchbone and below neck, whereas the smaller ones are supposed to be held in hands, between foot fingers and on face.
How does hot stone massage therapy look like?
You have to take your clothes off and lie either on your back or belly; the position is chosen by the therapist who takes into consideration the ailment that has to be dealt with. After that, hot stones are placed on body that was earlier treated with a body oil. The therapist glides the stones across the patient’s body in such a way to let the releasing warmth activate the circulation of blood. Then, detoxification takes place and the entire body becomes nourished and supplied with oxygen. In most cases, hot stone massage lasts 60-90 minutes. Of course, the therapist exchange the stones since they cool down during the massaging.
You can expect the therapist to use the following movements:
- stroking – depends on gliding the stones gently along the entire body
- rubbing – depends on using circular motions
- kneading – depends on kneading a skin fold that appears through bringing two stones together
Once the massage is over, the stones are rinsed under the stream of cool water, then they are washed in soap water and disinfected. Finally, they can be put back into spring water or sea salt for approximately 20 minutes.
The benefits of hot stone massage
Hot stone massage doesn’t only affect skin but also it positively influences the entire organizm, including the main systems of the human body and internal organs. It’s main task is to reduce pain no matter its source. Massage done with the aid of hot stones influences:
- Skin – skin pores open up which fosters skin cleansing. Additionally, blood and lymph circulation improves, skin becomes more supple and resilient. Moreover, skin tone is evened out and cellulite is significantly reduced.
- Circulatory system – hot stone massage dilutes blood vessels and improves circulation in the entire body.
- Nervous system – relieves stress, relaxes and helps you calm down.
- Muscular system – influences muscle tension and elasticity, helps regenerate muscles after exertion.
- Lymphatic system – improves lymph flow, stimulates metabolic rate, helps organism get rid of toxins and prevents lymph deposits.
Contraindications to hot stone massage
Sadly – and as I’ve mentioned it in the introduction – not everyone is lucky enough to enjoy all the benefits of hot stone massage. This involves people who are sensitive to the touch or hyperactive either to hot or cold. Moreover, those of you who suffer from nervous and/or circulatory system ailments shouldn’t expose their bodies to hot stone massage therapy either. Finally, those of you who struggle with joint, bone and tendon inflammations, diabetics, pregnant women and even those who have open wounds and high fever, should resign from hot stone massage as well.