Cast The First Stone
What is Hot Stone Massage?
Hot Stone Massage is far more than a massage with hot stones; it is a multidimensional treatment that reaches the very soul.
Hot stone massage combines the benefits of or thermotherapy, the use of heat applications, with the strokes of massage using stones to create a deep, relaxing and healing treatment. The heat of the stones warms the skin, which allows for the absorption of moisturizing and therapeutic oils or lotion, while simultaneously preparing the musculature of the body so the therapist can work into the deeper muscle layers.
Hot stone massage uses water-heated basalt lava stones (heated between 120 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit) of varying sizes in combination with traditional massage techniques. The heated stones create a feeling of continuous heat throughout the body, which can make you more physically and emotionally receptive to the therapeutic benefits of the massage and bring fresh blood to the tissues. The heat of the stones is also supposed to relieve tension and nervous fatigue, while the placing of different sized stones on the body’s chakra points is meant to create a more balanced flow of energy.
The stones are smooth basalt stones with a high iron content, which enables them to retain heat. The stones are applied at varying degrees of heat, onto an oiled body, and the effect is similar to a combination of sauna and massage, without having to breathe in steam. The practitioner will massage with some stones and lay others on the body at particular strategic places on your body, such as your spine, neck, knees ankles, thighs, and between your toes, while others are used at chakra points for energy balancing.
Hot Stone Therapy can be combined with Aromatherapy. The hot stones work perfectly as little burners, infusing the air with the healing powers of pure essential oils. The heat from the stones also aids the body’s uptake of the essential oils during the treatment.
Some Hot Stone Massages also incorporate cold marble stones which help to relieve muscular injury or inflammation. The cold stones encourage an influx of fresh oxygenated blood and the release of toxins. This constant dance between temperatures affects the blood and lymph and triggers the body’s innate healing mechanisms. Often hot and cold stones when used together stimulate the flow of lymph and move waste through the body at an increased rate. This process occurs because the hot stones make the blood vessels expand, pushing the blood along, while the cold stones cause the blood vessels to constrict, stimulating the nervous system and drawing blood and waste products along the body. This ensures that every cell in the body receives more oxygen and nutrients while at the same time waste material is removed more effectively through the corresponding increase in lymph flow.