Hot stone massage is the kind of massage that includes the usage of smooth, heated stones being placed by a massage therapist along your spine or on other parts of the body that are believed to be associated to energy centers or the chakras.
Massage therapists often place the stones in the palm of their hands while massaging your body. By doing this, they combine the warmth from the stones with the relaxing feel they bring about and the pressure of physical touch. The penetrating weight and heat you get from the stones will relax and warm tense muscles so that the therapist is able to work deeply and more efficiently in order to promote rapid relaxation.
The Difference of Using Hot Stone Massage
Usually, most massages tend to rely on the therapists touch. However, hot stone massage will include the use of smooth heated river stones to provide you with additional pressure and warmth. Made of basalt, the stones which are rich from iron are good at retaining heat, making them the best to be used in a massage. River rocks are often used because of their smooth nature which has improved over time.
In order to prepare for a hot stone treatment session, using an electric heater, the therapist is required to heat the stones in water until they reach a given temperature range (between 120° and 130° F). The therapist will then proceed to place the stones on given points on your back that are aligned to the pressure points and the points believed to be associated with chakras or energy centers.
Alongside the charkas points, the heated stones are going to be placed on both sides of your spine, on the palms of your hands and between your toes. This is done to encourage relaxation and to maximize on the efficiency of the heat opening blood vessels.
The heat will then warm and relax your muscles, enabling the therapist to apply further pressure using their hands. Normally the therapist uses the grounding in anatomy for guidance through the exact placement of the stones. They also consult with the client on their health issues and other existing conditions.
The use of hot stone massage dates back to the era when the Native American people used to heat stones in fire and the introduction of sauna, which they used to ease pain and aches as well as repair damaged muscles gotten from hunting or battles. Credit is given to the contemporary massage therapist from Arizona, Mary Nelson for designing and implementing the first hot stone massage. However, hot stone massage is still an evolving practice where therapists are always searching for new ways of maximizing the effectiveness of the treatment.