Are you looking for a way to enhance your already fabulous massage experience? Try adding hot stones into the mix. This involves applying heated stones, also known as thermotherapy, to the body.
The stones are smooth, rounded, and heated to a very comfortable temperature. The therapist may use them in the palm of the hands to massage the body and may also place them on various parts of the body such as down the back along the spine.
Altering the temperature of the body by applying heat is a long- standing technique with many benefits. Heat promotes relaxation, relief of muscular tension and stress, as well as increased detoxification.
This type of therapy can be traced back to many ancient cultures, including Native Americans. It made a resurgence back in 1993. Mary Nelson-Hannigan formalized the technique and called it LaStone Therapy. The trend, and subtle variations, is now in wide-spread use.
Therapists may all have different approaches to how they administer the session. Having an open conversation beforehand allows the therapist to customize the session to your particular needs or concerns.
Stones are generally heated to 120-130 degrees F. They may be placed on the table covered with a towel for you to lie on while others are placed on the top of the body allowing heat to penetrate for both top and bottom. The stones can be used on all parts of the body from the face to the toes.
In addition to all the previously mentioned benefits, the heated stones and manipulations can increase joint flexibility, soften dry skin and increase circulation. The session often allows the client to center themselves and find peacefulness.
Many are surprised to find that they are able to achieve a deep meditative state or even fall asleep during the session. The combination of a calm, quiet, warm environment sets the stage for the body to go into a restorative mode.
Taking some quiet time at the end of the session, eating a healthy meal and drinking plenty of water will enhance the effects of the massage. These activities will also help with a smooth transition back to the rat-race we call everyday life.
As with any therapeutic intervention, you will want to make sure you have given complete and accurate information to your therapist. If you feel you have any type of high risk conditions, check with your primary care provider first.