More and more, hot stone massages are being appreciated worldwide because of their healing benefits and their ability to relieve stress. It is being increasingly demanded at many spas and wellness centers and is also being used in therapy. While stones have always being used for construction or decoration, in the past few years, some specific stones have being found to be good instruments for body massage. A massage stone is a smooth, flat and heated or cold rock used for body massage.
The massage stone was first used traditionally by some tribes in South America and Asia. The recent revival of hot stone therapy in the U.S was by Mary Nelson of Arizona who introduced the LaStone Therapy.
Different types of stones are used for stone body massages some of which are sardonyx, marble, jade and basalt. Basalt is the most used stone for this purpose because of its greater capacity to retain heat energy. It is placed in water and heated to attain a certain temperature range; then it is placed at specific points (generally the back or other parts like palm of hand and legs) of the body. The heat energy transferred to the body generates great benefits to the body.
Hot stone massage is known to have several benefits some of which are:
Muscle Relaxation: The heat from the stone causes greater relaxation of the muscles. This helps the therapist to manipulate the inner tissues more effectively. Some athletes have particularly tense muscles which make regular massage a challenge; these stones provide the energy required to soften them before the therapist continuous with deeper massage.
Improved Circulation: The therapists generally allow the stones to lie on the body parts for a while before starting the massage. The energy absorbed by the body tissues penetrates deep and causes the widening of blood vessels and the result is a more fluent circulation of blood round the body. This is important for an improved state of health.
Pain killer: All other methods of massage can help relieve pain generally caused by injuries, stiff joints or tense muscles. However, heated stone massage is more effective because of the intense nature of the massage. A heated stone massage leaves a better feeling because it permits the therapist to perform a deeper massage effectively as compared to other methods. Many times, pain is stress related and nothing eases stress as effectively as a heated stone massage.
Mental benefits: The relaxation gained from a warm stone massage helps ease mental stress and tension. Hot stone massage has been used in a complimentary way to traditional medical therapy and has many times been incorporated into the treatment plan of a patient. It is not a substitute for professional care but it is a great enhancer.
Wellness: Warm stone therapy is also used to achieve wellness as it is associated with balance and harmony. Hot stone massages have been known to cure insomnia and depression. Since they are used to release deadly toxins from the body, they naturally augment the curing of whatever condition was tied to those toxins.
The benefits of heated stone massage cannot be over emphasized; it promotes a feeling of peace and harmony and eases tension in a stress-filled world.