Hot stone massage is a special massage technique that involves placing heated, smooth basalt stones on certain points on the body in order to open up the energy channels. Hot stone massage was introduced by Mary Hannigan in 1993 and she called it as “LaStone Therapy“.
Many massage therapists and spas have developed their own versions of hot stone massage, which they implement in their spas. The hot basalt stones used in hot stone massage are rich in iron, because of which they can absorb and retain heat. The stones used are smooth and flat.
How is Hot Stone Massage Performed?
Prior to a massage, massage therapist will immerse stones in water and heat them in an electrical heating unit for certain temperature. Before placing them on your body, he will hold the stones and conform that they are not too hot.
You will be asked to remove all the clothes and lay down on your back. Oil will be applied on your body so that the hot stones glide smoothly along the muscles. You are asked to lie face down. The massage therapist will then hold hot stones in his hands and apply gentle strokes to massage your back. When the stones cool down, he replaces it with other hot stones.
When the therapist feels that the muscles are relaxed, he may keep the stones aside and massage the body directly with the hands. He may then place the hot stones on certain points on the back and leave it for some time.
You will then be asked to lie down on your back and small hot stones may be placed between the toes or on the palm. A typical hot stone massage session lasts for about 60 to 90 minutes.
How does the Hot Stone Massage Therapy Work?
The hot stones used in this therapy warm and relax the muscles. They also help in improving blood circulation and calming the nervous system. The placement of hot stones on certain points called energy centers rebalances the body and mind. Balancing of energy centers helps in healing many diseases.