"Helping you look after your body"
What is hot stone massage?
Hot stone massage is a speciality therapy where I use smooth heated basalt stones as an extension of my own hands, the stones can also be placed on the body. The heat can be both deeply relaxing and help warm up tight muscles so that I can work more deeply.
The warmth from the stones helps your muscles relax, allowing me to manipulate your deep tissues more effectively. Overly tense muscles can hinder the massage procedure, so if your muscles are extremely tight or stiff, the heated stones may provide the extra relaxation you need for the massage to be beneficial in releasing tension and easing sore muscles.
Round, smooth stones are heated to a luxurious warmth. They are oiled and used in the palm of the hands to massage your body. Heat penetrates deeply, prompting profound relaxation, increased detoxification, and relief of long-standing muscular tension, stress and fatigue.
Hot Stone Massage is deeply detoxifying and profoundly relaxing. By combining massage with hot stones, the circulatory system is both stimulated and relaxed. This circulatory activity promotes the release of toxins from the muscles, assisting the body in self-healing. In addition, tense muscles are also softened and eased by the deeply penetrating heat of the stones. Pain and muscle spasms are banished and a feeling of peacefulness and spiritual well-being takes hold. The combined effect prompts a state of enhanced relaxation that washes away stress, setting the stage for re-energising and rejuvenating the body, mind and spirit.
THE BENEFITS OF HOT STONE MASSAGE
Some people find the warmth of the hot stones to be comforting and deeply relaxing. Hot stones can be used to relieve and help many conditions for example:
• Back pain
While all types of massage can help relieve pain caused by tense muscles, stiff joints or injuries, a hot stone massage may provide greater relief due to the intense nature of the massage.
Because the hot stones allow me to penetrate deeper, you may find that a hot stone massage leaves you feeling physically better than a Swedish or deep-tissue massage that does not incorporate heat.
To improve your blood circulation, I will allow the heated stones to rest on trigger points in your body before and during the actual massage. As the heat from the stones penetrates into your deeper body tissues, your blood vessels open, resulting in improved circulation. Poor circulation can lead to fatigue, which tenses the muscles, and causes a buildup of fluid and lactic acid in the muscles. Increased circulation delivers more oxygen to the muscles, which can help ease aches and pains.
Massage therapy can result in psychological benefits as well as physical ones in many people.
You may find that the relaxation afforded to you through a hot stone massage helps ease some of your mental stress and tension.
A hot stone massage may also help you combat some of the symptoms of anxiety disorders and depression.
While massage therapy is not a substitute for traditional medical or psychiatric care, it can be an integral part of your treatment plan.
Who would benefit from a hot stone massage?
Anyone who may need relief from :-
Stress and tension in muscles
My hot stone massage therapies can be used in combination with any of the other therapies I offer. For example, a client having a deep tissue and trigger point massage can also be offered hot stone therapy.
The heat from the stones will help your muscles relax, allowing me to massage and manipulate your deep tissues more effectively. Overly tense muscles can hinder the massage procedure, so if your muscles are extremely tight or stiff, the heated stones may provide the extra relaxation you need for the massage to be beneficial in releasing tension and easing sore muscles.
Release of toxins:
When muscles are massaged, toxins that have built-up within them are released. This is why it is advised that clients drink plenty of water after a session to help flush out those unhealthy and unwanted toxins.
Helps promote good circulation of blood:
Hot stone therapy helps in promoting the circulation of blood. When you apply pressure to certain points it helps in activating and opening up the flow of blood in the blood vessels present below the skin. This increase in blood flow helps almost all organs in the body regenerate and perform optimally.
Massage can facilitate easy recovery from injuries such as sprains.
Long working hours, unhealthy eating and not enough exercise can really increase your stress levels. Getting a hot stone massage is a perfect way to reduce stress in your life and to come home feeling relaxed and happy.
What to expect during a massage
Falling asleep or entering a deep meditative state of mind is a common response to receiving this kind of healing session. This can be an indicator of a number of different factors.
Most of us do not get enough rest, and the act of lying down for even short periods of time can prompt a state of deep relaxation. Add to that the penetrating warmth of the hot stones, the relaxation created by the massage, and the stage is set for the body to go into a restorative mode. Sleeping through a treatment is absolutely natural.
Once the massage is complete, I will invite you to take a few minutes to absorb and integrate the work before beginning to sit up.
It is common to experience a deep sense of peace and relaxation following a treatment. At least an hour of free time is recommended following the appointment to allow for full receipt of the benefits and a gradual reentry into the world. Drinking lots of water to re-hydrate the body, eating a healthy meal, taking a leisurely walk, or sitting quietly are activities which often serve as a good transition to resuming whatever is planned for the rest of the day.
When Not To Have Hot Stone Massage
As a general rule, Hot Stone Massage should not be given to anyone who cannot or should not receive standard massage therapy.
The following conditions may need doctor's clearance before proceeding with any massage therapy:
• Blood clots, thrombosis
• After recent surgery
• Acute inflammation
• Directly after trauma - whiplash, fractures, sprains etc.
• Cancers - still undergoing treatment
• Directly over varicose veins
• Skin conditions - sores, psoriasis, eczema, burns (risk of infections)
Care should be taken with the following conditions:
• Stroke or heart conditions
• Multiple Sclerosis
• Hyper mobile joints and joint replacements
Contraindications particular to Hot Stone Massage:
• Any condition where the client has a loss of sensation, including Neuropathy, Diabetes, Peripheral Vascular Disorder
• Injury or trauma where nerves have been affected
• Throughout pregnancy
• Any dysfunction of the nervous system
• Anyone with depressed immune system, including Lupus, Epstein Barr, Mononucleosis, HIV/AIDS, Cancer; anyone on Chemotherapy or Radiation treatments
• Sunburn, Psoriasis, Skin Cancer, Burns, Dermatitis, Eczema, Acne, Shingles, Herpes, or any acute inflamed skin condition.
If you are in any doubt, please consult your GP before starting massage therapy. I can provide you with a GP/Specialist Practitioner referral letter to take along with you to your appointment, he/she then can sign relevant section and you can return it to me.
I use basalt stones in my work; Basalt is a type of igneous rock which forms from the hot lava of an erupting volcano. It hardens and then weathers in the open. Depending upon the type of climate and degree of weathering, basalt stones can be black, grey or green. I use basalt stones that are flat and smooth so that they lie on the body correctly. Once the basalt heats, it will remain hot for a long time, which is ideal for my type of massage helping melt away those aches and pains.
Basalt stones are warmed and coated with oils. The treatment involves firm and rhythmic massage to relieve tense and tired muscles and to loosen the adhesions in the back, neck and shoulder area. Stone massage improves the circulation and calms the nervous system.
The prone portion of the session includes working with the legs, buttocks, back, neck and shoulders. Hot stones are used to massage these areas, melting away stress and tension, increasing joint flexibility and softening dry, damaged skin. Heated stones are placed over the covers along the base of the spine, and on either side of the spine, radiating heat into these areas. Warm stones are also cupped in the palms to increase the sense of penetrating heat as the last portion of the session progresses.
I massage the lower leg and foot using both heated stones and Swedish massage moves to create a unique treatment. The stones allow me to work deeper into the muscle fibres without it being as painful as a deep tissue massage. It allow the muscles to relax into their natural resting position allowing free movement, less pain and better flexibility in that area.
This treatment is fantastic for anyone who suffers from leg cramps or stands all day for a living and it is also fabulous for new mums to help reduce swelling and aching lower legs. Using the stones will help boost circulation in the area, ease out any tight muscle fibres and reduce any pain held in the calf.
When you consider the complexity of the human foot, which contains more than 100 tendons and has 33 joints and 26 bones, it’s no wonder that feet suffer from daily wear and tear! Problems with your feet may contribute to other health problems too. Using hot stones for your feet is one way to help maintain foot health, and it can help you relax, too. So many people hold tension in the heel or ball of the foot and this can actually be why they get cramps in the calf, as these little muscles on the feet become tight.