Hot stone massage is a form of massage therapy that uses specialized basalt stones. Due to their contents, these strong, smooth volcanic rocks absorb heat. The stones can be of varying sizes and weights; small stones are used on the face and feet and larger rocks are used as tools to soothe and open muscles in different areas of the body. The heat and weight create the conditions for a deep tissue massage in order to work tight, knotted muscles and release tension.
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Though massage is thousands of years old and has precursors in China, Japan, India, Egypt, Greece, and Rome, it was Native Americans who supplemented this practice by first putting fire-heated basalt stones on the body to encourage healing.
First, the therapist heats the stones in a boiler of hot water to 120°F, which is a safe and effective temperature that usually keeps the stones warm throughout the massage. While the client lies on her stomach on the massage table, the therapist places the hot stones directly on the back, or sometimes on top of a towel, placing them on either side of the spinal column on acupuncture points. This warms the skin and surrounding muscles to release tension and increase blood flow. Meanwhile, instead of the therapist’s hands, smaller stones are used with oil to massage muscles and tissues. Other stones are used to apply pressure to tense areas and to knead the back, legs, feet, arms, and sometimes the face.
Placement of hot stones and using them to knead muscles helps increase an circulation and blood flow to stimulate healing to damaged or pained muscles. The Deep Tissue massage, in combination with the heat of the stones, also aids in the ability to remove toxins and waste from the body.Google+