- Hot Stone Massage Therapy - Wikimedia Commons
The sound of a hot stone massage can sound a little daunting, but it’s just one of the latest complementary therapy techniques which can help in the relaxation process. It is basically an organic form of massage therapy and its origins go back to the Native Americans, who would use the hot stones during the massage treatment in their ceremonies, whilst incorporating the use of elements such as earth, fire, water and air during the ritual to help relieve tension and pain in the body.
According to UK based massage service, Winchester Holistics, “Perfectly round hot stones would be used to rub on areas in which pain and discomfort were felt.” As a result the feeling is one of relaxation and release in the tissues and muscles. What makes a hot stone massage so relaxing is its energy inducing warmth, which quickly passes over the body to stimulate and release surface tension. It is different to a deep tissue massage which is more suited to releasing chronic muscle tension.
According to Archa Libra.co.uk, a UK based holistic therapy practice, “Deep tissue massage is a type of massage therapy which focuses on realigning deeper layers of muscles and connective tissues.” In contrast, hot stone massage is more about improving and rejuvenating the body through improving circulation using oils and hot lava stones, which are temperature controlled so as to not to be too hot on the skin. Archa Libra.co.uk also state that the benefits are to mental and physical stimulation. “Physically, the circulation and metabolism are stimulated; mentally you will reach a state of deep relaxation and spiritual balance.”
Hot stone massage is therefore on one level, capable of enhancing your spiritual and mental well-being. But it also has many physical benefits, mainly derived from the use of the cool oil and heat from the stones, which help in stimulating the body’s muscles to relax and promote a sense of well-being. This is explained further by the GoodSpaGuide.co.uk, which states that “The combination of relaxing warmth and refreshing coolness is thought to encourage the body to detox and heal, increasing lymph flow and helping to flush out waste.”
In addition a hot stone massage could be beneficial in other ways to both the mind and body. Some of these ways include helping to stimulate the circulatory system which means it could be a good holistic therapy for those who suffer with arthritis or rheumatic conditions such as Reynaud’s. Improvement of digestion, decreased stress, detoxification of the body and tone of skin can all help to improve health and well-being.
The treatment is also relatively safe for most people when it’s carried out in the right hands. Be sure to choose a professional with plenty of experience of carrying out hot stone massages. As Massage Education.com states, “There are many things that could happen using the hot stones, and proper instruction is very important.” A professional will know how to stimulate the correct muscle areas to release tension in the body, as well as being fully trained on how to correctly and safely use the hot stones during the massage process.