The use of materials of different temperatures on the body to bring about healing is an ancient technique. Stone massage as we know it today, is a form of bodywork that involves the application of heated or cooled stones to the body during deep tissue massage. In many ways a stone massage session is similar to any other type of massage.
The most common form of stone massage uses hot stones. They are used in combination with hot oils to massage the body gently and smoothly to bring about a deep state of relaxation. The heat from the stones penetrates the muscles, helping to ease tension, soothe inflammation, stimulate the circulatory system and assist the body in self-healing. When appropriate, cold stones are alternated with hot stones.
The stone massage that I offer also helps to harmonize the chakras and benefits all levels of healing by balancing the emotional, mental and physical energies.
Benefits of Hot Stone Massage
Stone therapy has benefits for both the client and the massage therapist. For the client the application of heat and cold on the body:
- Stimulates the circulatory system and promotes self-healing.
- Softens and relaxes the muscles.
- Helps to release toxins from the muscles.
- Induces a state of deep relaxation that alleviates stress.
- Helps relieve pain and muscle spasms.
- Creates a feeling of peacefulness and spiritual well-being.
Stone therapy also benefits the therapist. It reduces stress and strain on the therapist’s hands, wrists, and arms so that the therapist can work longer and more efficiently. The stones do the heavy work, so that the possibility of repetitive stress injuries to the therapist’s thumbs and wrists is decreased.
What to expect
A regular session lasts anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes; the first session is usually longer since a case history questionnaire is completed with the client. This interview takes about 15 to 20 minutes depending on the client’s condition and the indications for massage. The information from the interview is used to tailor each session to the client’s individual needs.
Since Stone massage calls for the use of oil, the client is unclothed, to their comfort level, and during the massage the areas not being worked on are always covered. As a certified Aromatherapist, I also incorporate the use of essential oils in the massage session. The temperature in my treatment room is kept at the client’s comfort level.