What is Hot Stone massage?
Traditional Hot Stone massage involves the therapist placing warm stones under and/or on top of the body that correspond to the body’s primary energy points.
Hot Stones placed on the primary energy points of the body serve to clear the body’s energy meridians (energy pathways) allowing for a more complete flow of chi to all cells of the body.
After the stones are placed, you are left to enjoy the warmth of the stones for a set period of time.
However, at New Life we do our Hot Stone massage in a slightly less traditional manner but, in our opinion, it is more effective. Since hot stones help to warm the fascia and the surrounding tissue fluids (interstitial fluid), using them to massage, in addition to stone placement, adds to its overall ability to relax tight, sore muscles.
Hot stones, besides being very calming, have an added advantage of warming the body’s fascia. When tight, fascia can restrict the movements of muscles, tendons, and joints. Fascia is a tissue of the body that binds skin, muscle and bones together.
When the fascia is opened muscles can then go back to their original resting shape and length allowing muscle fibers to move smoothly over each other easing soreness and pain.
It is especially comforting to those suffering from high levels of stress, anxiety, and grief. It is also wonderful for those with circulatory issues such as Reynauds.
What can I expect from a Hot Stone massage?
At New Life, black river rock stones are heated to a comfortable 110′ F. The client is then draped and warm stones placed strategically on the table such that when the client lies back the table the stones line either side of the spine.
Then stones are place on the chest and abdomen in areas that correspond to the chakra centers (primary energy points) of the body.
Then, as an extension of his/her own hands, the therapist uses the stones to massage the neck, shoulders, back, arms, legs, hands, and feet.
The warmth of the black rock infuses interstitial fluid surrounding the connective tissue with heat and aids in releasing tight, sore muscles, ligaments and tendons. This allows for a gentle and deeper manipulation of tissue.
Those who have had Hot Stone massage report:
- Better Circulation
- Decreased Pain
- Deepened sense of peace and well being
- More free movements of muscles and joints
- More energy
- Improved sleep patterns
A Little History
Almost every ancient culture from China and Japan to the Kahuna healers of Hawaii to our our Native American tribes have used heated stones in various ways to heal the body. Most recent has been the re-introduction of Hot Stone therapy to Western cultures by Mary Nelson. Mary Nelson Founded LaStone Therapy in 1993 and the use of stone to relieve pain and anxiety once again swept across the globe.