Few things feel more luxurious than getting massaged with hot stones! Hot stones, which are actually warmed to somewhere between 110 to 130 degrees F are used as healing tools during a hot stone massage. The benefits of adding hot stones can really amp up the therapeutic value of a massage. They provide intense relaxation while allowing the therapist to provide a deep and targeted massage. Additionally, the positive effects of a hot stone massage take place during the massage and can last hours and days beyond the massage.
Basalt, which is cooled volcanic lava, is the best rock for hot stone massage. These volcanic stones are highly regarded due to their smooth texture and unparalleled iron content. They hold their heat the longest and slowly release their therapeutic energy. Basalt stones originate in the mountains and are river rocks, which makes them smooth and feel amazing. The benefits of hot basalt stones are expanded by their energetic properties which are both calming and energizing.
Hot stones photographed with bamboo, orchids or candles have become a common image of spa tranquility in recent years. Don't let this commercial look fool you though, hot stone therapy dates back to early civilization. In China they were used to improve internal function of organs and blood flow while the ancient Romans used them in bath houses and saunas. The use of hot stones for both bodywork and ceremonial reasons can be traced to North America, South America, Africa, Europe, Egypt and India.
The techniques that are used in most hot stone massage practices are similar to those from Chinese acupuncture techniques, Hawaiian healing practices, and Native American ritual uses.
In 1993 massage therapist Mary Nelson, who was suffering from chronic shoulder and wrist pain rediscovered this ancient practice. As the story goes, she was in a sauna prior to receiving a massage and through connection to her Native spirit guides she was "called" to use the stones in her massage. She chose some of the smoother stones from the sauna and brought them to be used in the massage. It felt great for her AND her therapist! From there she developed LaStone Therapy which ignited the modern use of hot stones across the US and world.
Here at Zama we use the heated basalt stones as extensions of the therapists hands. We love bringing these therapeutic stones into our treatments because they increase the benefits of the massage. The heat from the stones opens the door for therapists to work even deeper on trigger points in really tight muscles.
The heat from the stones penetrate deep into the muscles and fascia. The therapist is then able to access deep layers of muscles and fascia, which in turn increases circulation and release and renewal in hard to reach areas. The heat from the smooth stones warms, calms and invigorates the client.
The unique properties of basalt stones are infused thermal energy and grounding power into the body. A hot stone massage will relax you at the deepest level while charging up your energy body. Energetic pathways, ie: meridians and/or chakras, are stimulated with the hot stones which connects the mind to the body. This gives you a deep sense of renewal, grounding and connection.
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Additionally, you can add hot stones to any massage treatment!