Hot Stone

Another effective method of pain relief is using hot therapy. One particularly lovely way to do this is through Stone Massage. A stone massage is exactly what it sounds like: massage stones combined with swedish and deep tissue techniques. A hot stone is typically made of Basalt, which is rich in iron and helps retain heat. Hot stones are effective in loosening tight muscles.

Every stone massage therapist has a different method of working with the stones, but they are generally used in two ways. One is to place the stone directly on one spot (often a sheet or towel is used as a barrier between the rock and skin) and leave it for several minutes while massage is rendered elsewhere. Sometimes several stones are layed out over a muscle group at a time, which has a pleasant and relaxing effect. The other way to use a stone is as a massage tool, with the therapist holding it in their hand.

Hot Stone

I use a set of volcanic basalt stones, which are rich in iron so they retain heat.  They are also non-porous, making them easy to sanitize.  They are heated in a unit designed to warm them safely, and are carefully monitored throughout the session.

Benefits:

Hot stones are useful because they help the muscle tissue to relax quickly, allowing the therapist to work deeper. The heat encourages blood circulation by opening blood vessels, increasing the amount of oxygen to the muscle tissue.  More oxygen in the muscle eases fatigue and soothes aches and pains.  Hot Stone Massage results in profound relaxation. 

It is perfect for people who suffer from stress, depression, anxiety or insomnia.  

Contraindications:

You should not recieve hot stone therapy if you have a fever, if you are pregnant, menopausal, or diabetic.  It is also not recommended for people with high blood pressure, or loss of nerve sensation.  Hot stones are never applied to burns, varicose veins or areas of inflammation.  It is important to communicate with the therapist if the stones being used are not a comfortable temperature.



One important aspect of stone massage, and all of the therapies described here is the issue of nudity. While this topic often causes anxiety and confusion, it’s important to know that your therapist is never going to actually see you naked. After your initial intake, the massage therapist will leave the room and give you time to undress and get under the sheets. While it’s important to only remove as much clothing as you feel comfortable with, remember that garments such as shorts and bras can prevent the therapist from being able to get to areas you may want work on. Rest assured that your therapist will only expose the area they are working on. However, not all types of massage require disrobing.

 

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