In year 2000 Ingrid explored and trained deep tissue and relaxation application of massage with hot stones in original La Stone Therapy from Arizona U.S.A.
Later, she further refined this technique by combining it with her training in Deep Tissue/Myofascial Release Techniques, knowledge of Acupuncture & Meridien Points, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupressure/ Shiatsu, Reflexology and Chakra Release through”Stone clan people” using stones more metaphysical components.
As history reveals, we can find records of application with hot stones to human body for healing purposes through many cultures since ancient times. The physiological benefits of alternating hot and cold to the body, have long been scientifically and medically proven.
The Hot Stone massage therapy techniques as we know them today in North America, and from this technique as spreading through spas and therapeutic clinics around the world, originates from use in Traditional Native American healing medicine arts practices.
From this native source it was first adopted in 1993 into use in modern massage techniques by innovative Arizona’s massage therapist Marry Nelson from Tuscon in Arizona, USA. through development of her famous La Stone Therapy techniques, practice and school, later teaching these wonderful techniques to other therapists.
Over time there was many talented therapists who refined and custom tailored La Stone Therapy to their own special practice.
Today, we can see, application of the Hot Stone Therapy being divided into several styles joined with many interesting concepts and enriched with individual talents of each therapist. The only boundaries to application of hot stones are its contradictions and an imagination of the therapist.
There are three major applications using Hot Stones:
- Placement stones – Positioning stones on key points and large muscle groups to heat and relax entire regions of the body for 5-25 minutes.
- Effleurage stones – Used for broad relaxing strokes to heat and relax large muscle groups and their specific muscles.
- Tooling stones – Performing Fullage- deep tissue knitting or pointing pressure, creating benefit of extended thumb to sent heat /pressure into muscles to release knots and adhesion.
Chilled marble stones are normally not used during Hot Stone sessions. If they are requested, It would be at the end of session or as a ending peace on specific muscle group, using broad draining strokes to promote increase of client’s circulation and boosting immune system or for inflammation. Cold is very invigorating and will alert person especially if need to go back to work after application of extremely relaxing heat session.
Probably the most known style of Hot Stone massage comes from application in Spa environment treatments, utilizing it’s amazing ability to induce deep relaxation through combination of pressure, heat and use of natural healing energy emitting from these beautiful Basalt lava minerals, rich in iron which explain their excellent heat retaining and conducting properties, strategically positioned on important energetic places of the human body.
The other less known or associated with application comes from use for or can be added to any deep tissue sports type of injury treatment’s. Here hot stones unable therapist introduce combination of several techniques at once, using smaller more pointed stones to apply deeper pressure then just with fingers while same time relaxing the soft and nerves tissue and distracting client from pain with directing heat and natural healing energy radiating from the stone into Trigger Points, Acupuncture Points, draining and softening connective tissue, application in conjunction with Myofascial Release and much more….
It is a very effective and pleasant way you can release spasmed soft tissue, increase circulation and detoxify, especially when contrasted with closing application of cold marble stones, even perceived by some as shocking at first, this contrast therapy can incredibly invigorate you, especially after feeling sleepy from the heat.
Typical Hot Stone massage therapy session:
It is a bit more costly then regular therapeutic massage session due to very important component of this treatment- there is simply more time needed for proper maintaining and sterilization of the equipment, before and after treatment. Due to this fact, it may be consideration from where one purchase this treatment and how trained and rushed their therapists are. Eg. Discounted day spas act….!
We use Basalt stones heated to 50-53 degree Celsius (122-127 degree Fahrenheit’s). Before we apply the Hot Stones, we worm up the tissue with light massage-broad strokes to spread the oils and promote the relaxation in client. We take hot stones from the heater, apply oil and perform broad strokes on large muscle groups, possibly leaving stones as a placement stones on key spots, or reheating them for further use. We can use some of the stones as a placement stones eg. client can hold them in hands if they tend to have them cold, while massaging with other stones on other parts of the body. Or use only placement stones putting large stone on sacrum and smaller stones along the spine muscles, any wear from 5-25 min., promoting start of meditative relaxation. If we are in need of deep tissue techniques during the session, to release knots and adhesions, we can incorporate use of more pointed, slimmer tooling stones, as a extension of our fingers, sanding wonderful heat deep through the muscles and their trigger points, creating faster and more effective, less pressure and pain experienced release of the soft tissue blockages. Normally not used, we can also incorporate chilled cold stones which are taken out of freezer and kept during session in the ball of ice water or cool box and can be used for inflammation or invigoration treatment at the end of session, as hot stones application will make you very relax and sleepy.
Who should not take hot stone massage/ Contraindications/ Red flags/ Consideration for local application:
- 1st three month of pregnancy (possibly through)
- Increased blood pressure, some heart conditions
- Diabetics (especially on parts with compromised circulatory system)
- Alceres, skin conditions, open wounds, hernias, Veracious veins
- People on blood thinners or with blood clot
- Flare up of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Immediately after surgery, Cancer, Chemotherapy, Radiation
This list is not exhaustive, massage therapist needs to take clients fool history as presented during the intake into account before performing hot and cold stone massage. In some of these conditions we can still treat parts of the body, while careful not to overheat. You can always check with your doctor and of course you can ask the therapist to stop at any times if you don’t like how it feels – listen to your body and speak up!
Indications for hot/cold stone massage:
Chronic tension, stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, headache, detox, balancing, pain, sprain, strain, acute/chronic inflammation, tennis/golfers elbow, atrophied muscles, poor circulation, arthritis, osteoarthritis, digestive disturbances, constipation, Temporomandibular joint dysfunction, fascial muscle relaxation, for people who do not tolerate deep pressure – have low pain threshold – the nature of hot stone allow therapist trigger dramatic body fluid movement, effecting soft tissue deeper and faster with less pressure.
There is nothing better then worming, nurturing and soothing hot volcanic rock treatment in times of prolong cold seasons, which we are so familiar with here in Canada.
Surprisingly we can see people requesting hot stone treatments even during warmer seasons because it can be very beneficial for some who enjoy heat or people with depleted, stressed out, tired energy, who can have sometimes hard time worm up them selves, or for people who prefer lighter massage – heat can relax muscles without deep pressure.
Everybody who is interested In soft tissue therapeutic techniques, and does not have any major contraindications, should invest in trying this amazing, unique, earthly, deeply relaxing, almost spiritual experience.
Enjoy the heat!
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