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  Spa & Therapy

July 2012
THE MAGIC OF HOT STONES
Prarthna Tiga
 
A kind of massage performed with smooth hot stones is known as the Hot Stone Therapy. Typically, hot basalt and cold marble stones are used for the purpose. They are placed at pressure points such as the neck, shoulders and spine to achieve balance of energy.

Before starting with the massage, the stones are preheated for better response and to achieve the goal of relaxing. Cool stones such as marble are used alternatively in case of injuries. They help reduce pain and inflammation. Their unique cooling temperature strikes a balance with the hot stones and achieves maximum health benefits.

Hot stone therapy as a massage technique dates back to almost 3,000 years. It is easily integrated with a complete wellness and/or pain management programme. Sometimes, essential oils are also used during the massage. Hot stone therapy comes into play in the treatment and management of arthritis, back pain, depression, insomnia, anxiety and stress. It is also beneficial in the treatment of problems in blood circulation.

How Does It Work?
  • Polished and hardened lava stones and basalt stones are used in a hot massage.
  • The hot basalt stones are laden with unique properties. They stimulate and calm the body on emotional, mental and spiritual levels.
  • These stones are heated in an electric roaster with water.
  • The heated stones are then placed at specific points on the back, in the palms of the hand or between the toes.
  • Heat from the stones relaxes the muscles and increases blood flow to the neighbouring tissues, thereby accelerating the healing process.
  • Pressure applied on the various muscle groups helps relieve congestion and promotes circulation at the joints and tissues.
  • Placing heated stones along specific energy centres is also said to open the ‘chakras’ or energy pathways, relieving tension in the muscles.
  • Essential or organic oils and creams selected according to the individual skin type and requirement are vital tools for the massage that follows.
  • It has a meditative effect. This is where the therapist works deeper into the muscles to achieve mental relaxation.
Rock Solid Facts
  • Increases local circulation.
  • Improves blood flow to various tissues.
  • Rids the body of toxins.
  • Reenergizes and rejuvenates the skin and muscles.
  • Relieves pain, sore and aching muscles.
  • Used alternatively with hot stones, chilled marble stones decongest and push out fluid from the inflamed and tensed muscular tissues.
  • Boosts immunity
Hot stone therapy is known to help in the management of diseases like multiple sclerosis and arthritis. The only risk associated with it is burns that can be caused by the overheated stones if the masseurs are slack. Hence, masseurs must be careful about the temperature of the heated stones. They should be able to hold them comfortably in their hands before placing them on the client’s body.

Stoned By Heat!
Basalt is an igneous rock produced under conditions of intense heat. It is also known to help dissipate anger. Traditional therapy entailed the use of hot stones wrapped in a cloth, much like the hot water bag today, for relief from menstrual cramps while cold massage stones were used for inhibiting blood flow after child birth.

    
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