Hot stone massage (sometimes called “hot rocks massage”) is a wonderful treatment using around 48 warm basalt stones heated in water. Basalt stones have their own healing properties and, when used with relaxing aromatherapy oils, combine to make a serene experience. They are chosen due to their heat retaining properties and longevity. Basalt is an aphanitic igneous rock, comprising less than 20% quartz. The basalt stones are placed on the body, mainly on the chakras (energy systems within the body) and also used within the massage to ease tension from tired muscles. The muscles relax much more easily when heat is placed on them, so the massage is very effective.
This is an ancient massage technique – the Chinese have been using hot stones for over 2,000 years! They were used in ancient times (as we do now) to heal ailments and relax the body. Like us, our ancestors used stones for jewelry. Hot stone massage came to the Western world in 1993.
I use the stones to effectively work on the neck, shoulders and lower back in particular, soothing away tensions and stresses and also working on small crystals that build up in our bodies. The massage also includes lymphatic drainage, which is important for eliminating toxins from our bodies which build up over time. The stones ease into tired muscles and restore vitality to our bodies.
Leg muscles can become very tense, particularly in clients who exercise regularly. Massage is great for relieving this tension.
It is important to rid the body of toxins regularly to reduce the build-up in our bodies which can make us ill. Massage also increases blood flow throughout the body and helps maintain optimum health.
My clients often report an excellent night’s sleep for several nights after a treatment. This often happens when the body is allowed to let go at a very deep level (often although we sleep at night we aren’t totally relaxed and can awake in the morning unrefreshed). We can be unaware of how stressed our bodies are until we unwind deeply!
Massage (with healing) helps to release any energy blockages and allows the energy to freely flow throughout the body. I also work with the chakras within the massage.
I include facial massage within the treatment (unless clients prefer not to have this). Facial massage is wonderfully relaxing. I focus on pressure points and ease away tension and stress from the body. There are some great de-stressing points on the face and body which allow the body and mind to sink into tranquillity.
Hot stone massage is effective on an emotional level too, as the mind will often focus where the stones are placed and the relaxed feelings these bring to that part of the body. This is excellent for taking our awareness away from our stresses and tensions and allows the body to sink into deep relaxation. When the mind relaxes, the body will often follow.
Soothing music also aids tranquillity, many of the music tracks I use work on subtle levels to relax the mind including sacred chants. The wood burner heats the client room and the crackling of the fire can induce relaxation, along with a luxurious heated massage couch.
Relaxation is important as long-term stress can bring dramatic and long-term problems to the body. Our bodies are pretty resilient but, when subjected to long periods of tension (and poor diet), they can often become unable to cope and disease may become an issue. Regular meditation, exercise, massage, yoga etc are all immensely beneficial to the body. It is important for the mind to slow down regularly too, our minds can then focus more easily, when needed, and are much more productive. Stress has been proven to be a large cause of many of the health problems seen today. Often we then use alcohol, smoking, shopping or another addiction to try to desensitise body. Far better is to relax and admit what is stressing us. Acceptance is a key to relaxation.
It is important after any massage treatment (or reflexology, healing etc) to rest and to eat only a light meal for 1 – 2 hours afterwards. The body continues to heal and restore itself after a treatment and needs this time to allow this to happen. Drinking plenty of water or herbal tea is strongly recommended after a massage to allow the body to easily eliminate the toxins released during the massage. Avoiding toxins for 24 hours is good, again to allow the body to continue to heal.
Immediately after a massage, the body can feel quite tired. This is the body’s way of asking for some rest! It’s a good idea to allow this and then feel the wonderful benefits of your treatment.
If you have any particular health concerns or areas which need more attention than others, please do let me know and I can work carefully to relax them. Often pain is transferred to other areas within the body, so I look at this as well. Ie knee pain can result if the hip(s) are out of alignment.