The first Hot Stones Massage treatment I ever received, I can only describe as the ultimate massage. The experience was almost meditative, such was the intensity of relaxation I reached. But what exactly is it? Surely it’s just about placing a few stones on your back?
Unfortunately, this is what some treatments out there may mainly be about, and as such Hot Stone treatments are often ignored as ‘fluffy bunny’ treatments, meant only for the world of beauty and spas. It might not be so widely recognised that Hot Stone treatment, although wonderfully beneficial for relaxation and helping to de-stress, is also a very powerful medium for decreasing pain faster, and for increasing healing time for injury. While ‘placement’ of the stones on the body can be beautifully warming and comforting, it’s the action of massaging with the stones themselves which offers the maximum benefits.
The actual stones I use in my practise are naturally formed, basalt stones, containing a high iron oxide content, which makes them efficient in retaining heat, thus enabling the body to absorb the heat from the stone during massage. So, what does the heat actually do? The basic benefit of massage is that it helps to break down muscle fibres helping them to heal. During a Hot Stones massage, the heat from the stones gets absorbed through the skin and into the underlying tissues helping to ‘melt’ the muscles, making them more pliable, enabling the therapist to work much deeper than in any normal massage, thereby encouraging a much quicker, more effective healing process.
As well as the use of Hot Stones, there is also the application of Hot and Cold Stone therapy which uses the same principles of cryotherapy in Sports massage, but with stones instead of ice packs. The idea is to treat the area with a cold stone, massaging around the area of pain or injury, encouraging all the blood and waste to move away from the area affected. It is then treated the same way but with a hot stone to replenish the area with fresh blood, ultimately encouraging it to heal faster than it would naturally. This ‘contrast bathing’ technique can be used 3-4 times during one treatment dependant on the extent of the damage or pain to the tissue. It might sound like an awful idea, having a cold stone applied to the skin, but it actually feels wonderfully soothing. True, if it’s simply relaxation and drifting off that you are looking for, then the Hot Stones alone will suit you perfectly, but if you have a need for a remedial treatment, whether it is low back pain, neck and shoulder pain, sciatica or any other condition causing you discomfort or pain, then maybe you could give the hot and Cold Stone therapy a try. Either way, I would encourage everyone to experience a Stone treatment. I can safely say that you will have never experienced a treatment like this before!
I offer both Hot Stones Massage Therapy as well as Hot & Cold Therapy in my practice. If you would like to book an appointment for either of these, or any other treatment, then please contact me on 07743 897874 or go to the Contact details page.