History of Hot Stone Massage
Hot stones have been used for thousands of years by healers from the Middle East, Asia and Hawaii. They are used on acupuncture points, energetic gates or chakra points as well as shiatsu points. Traditional hot stone massage uses volcanic hot stones to relieve deep seated muscular pains and energetically balance the body. Today, the usual commercial hot stones are flat, smooth basalt which are machine polished to give uniformity to the stones. Basalt is a volcanic rock which contains several minerals depending on its origin. It is thermostatically conductive which allows the stones to store and release heat. Using natural local stones also connect us energetically to our local area and the ancient wisdom of the Australian landmass.
The Benefits of a Hot Stone Massage
- The heat of the stones is used to help relieve muscle tensions and pain. It increases blood flow to the affected area as well as reduces muscle spasms and increases flexibility and range of motion.
- Improves circulation by penetrating heat deep into body tissues causing blood vessels to open which leads to improved circulation. The heat also brings more oxygen to the muscle which promotes improved circulation.
- The hot stones can reduce stress and anxiety.
- Heat promotes sleep by relieving tension, stress and insomnia
- The heat therapy may relieve symptoms of auto immune disease eg fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, promoting less pain, greater grip strength and improvements to range of motion
- Mental benefits – eases mental stress and tension.
- Cold therapy helps relieve inflammation.
- Human Touch – Massage provides a sense of connection and security through the fulfilment of a basic human need for touch
What to Expect during a Hot Stone Massage
The hot stones of various sizes are heated to a temperature of between 57 and 62 degrees Celsius in water, which has essential oils added, in a regulated stone heater.
The hot stones are then placed on your body on specific points to penetrate and diffuse the tensions, stimulating the areas to promote releases and relaxation. The stones act as an extra pair of hands for your therapist. The therapist can also use the stones to massage your body in a variety of techniques to assist with releases of tight muscles.
At the end of your massage cold stones are used to massage your face briefly to calm and soothe the skin.
As a form of remedial massage a Hot Stone Massage is an indulgent, therapeutic treatment for the mind and body. It is a combination of remedial, relaxing and rejuvenating massage techniques.