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  • Claire Harrison

HOT STONES MASSAGE - WHAT IS IT?


Stone massage and similar practices involving the placement of objects of different temperatures have been dated back to ancient civilisations as a form of healing and therapy. Cultures including native American, Hawaiian and many South Pacific nations have practiced similar methods and techniques using hot stones or lava rocks to provide physical and spiritual ease.


Many experts believe that hot stone massage therapy was first practiced thousands of years ago in India, as part of the Indian holistic health tradition known as “Ayurveda.” At that time, smooth stones were sought from local river beds, which were used either hot or cold as a form of therapeutic massage.


The traditional Hawaiian healing massage ‘Lomilomi’ involves the use of warmed Lomi stones in order to increase areas of blood flow in the body and provide a healing.


The re-emergence of stone massage techniques was seen in 1993 by Mary Nelson with the development of a form of massage utilising hot and cold stones referred to as LaStone Therapy. This form of massage has a strong focus on spiritual healing centring around chakras and energy channelling.


What is hot stone massage therapy?

A hot stone massage involves smooth, flat basalt stones being immersed in hot water typically between 40-60 degrees Celsius and then placed onto specific parts of the body. Regular massage techniques are then used with the therapist working in conjunction with the hot stones that are placed on specific parts of the body such as: the back, the stomach, the face, the hands, and the feet.


Some massage therapists hold the stones in their hands and use them to massage with. This allows the therapist to get deeper into the muscles without more pressure.


What are the benefits of hot stone massage?

In addition to deep relaxation, there are many benefits to having a hot stone massage. They include:


Pain relief

Hot stone massage has been known to relieve symptoms in a variety of conditions, such as fibromyalgia and other autoimmune disorders. Studies on fibromyalgia, and rheumatoid arthritis, have linked massage techniques with lessening pain and improving range of motion.


Stress relief

Massage is an effective method for stress relief. Several studies have shown that massage reduces stress and anxiety and improves cardiovascular health.


Increased joint flexibility

Muscle tension can make it difficult and more painful to move your joints. Massage helps to relax muscles, making it easier and more comfortable to move. People with certain joint disorders may benefit particularly from hot stone massage.


Better sleep

Insomnia is a frequent problem among the elderly. As a consequence, sedative hypnotic drugs are often prescribed that can in themselves lead to problematic effects. A review on the effectiveness of massage shows that it is helpful in promoting relaxation and sleep in older people.


Despite the many benefits associated with hot stone massage, it is not an appropriate therapy for everyone and if you have any specific medical conditions, it’s always wise to consult your medical practitioner before booking a treatment.


It’s important to talk to us before booking your treatment so we can ascertain if this type of massage is suitable for you.


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