Health & Beauty | April 2009
|To Your Health: Hot Stone Therapy|
Marla Hoover - PVNN
One of the “hottest” trends in spa modalities is Hot Stone Therapy. It is a style of massage that uses volcanic rocks such as basalt and basinite, which are believed to not only promote deep relaxation but also to remove negative energy from body, mind and soul. Hot stone therapy is considered a more gentle approach to massage as the practitioner uses the stone instead of their hands to massage. Yet in doing so the therapist is able to facilitate a much deeper and intense massage for the client with less wear on themselves. First the stones are heated in water to 120 – 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Stones in various sizes, shapes and weight are used on different areas of the body.
|Locally, the beautiful Terra Noble Spa offers a delicious Hot Stone Therapy that is a blissful journey for body, mind and soul. See TerraNoble.com for more information.|
Benefits of hot stone therapy massage include; muscle relaxation, easing stress and recharge your energy levels, releases toxins, improves blood circulation. It is also said to improve health conditions such as: muscle and back pain, arthritis, stress, anxiety, insomnia, and help alleviate depression.
Different cultures have used stone massage for many years. Native Peoples used rocks from river beds and warmed them in hot coals or hot water and placed them on cloth on the body to relieve pain. The Japanese wore warm stones around their stomach to warm there abdomens to aid digestion. Native American Indian women used stones for monthly pain treatment by placing one warmed stone on the stomach and another at the feed to the patient. Chinese also used hot stones to relieve muscular pain.
Mary Nelson, a native of Tucson Arizona is generally credited with the resurgence of hot stone therapy. She trade marked her particular style, called La Stone Therapy. She is quoted as saying that the idea of using hot stones came to her in a vision when contemplating how to continue her own career as a body worker while dealing with a shoulder injury that prevented her from working. From that she developed the modality that is widely used in spas worldwide.
During a Hot Stone Therapy treatment oil is applied to the skin and hot stones are glided across the body’s meridian lines, which are defined as channels of living magnetic energy in the body. These lines can be associated with the functioning of the internal organs, thus by stimulating points on the skin with the hot stones the therapy helps the functioning of the internal organs.
With the client lying prone under a thick towel, the treatment starts at the foot. The practitioner glides the stones in a ceremonial manner, slowly moving up the legs to the side of the torso where stones are left on the thigh and calf. Great care is given to the shoulder and back areas where stones are also placed on the chakra points of the body along the spine. These points are the body’s energy center. It is believed to vitalize the physical body. By stimulating them with the hot rocks, it balances the energy flow throughout the body, balancing chief energy centers that benefit the whole body not just specific areas. The arms and hands are then massaged where upon small warm flat stones are left in palms, curling the fingers around them.
The chest and shoulders then receive the same mindful practice. As well as the forehead where again small stones remain to ease what is left of a busy brain into the present. Finally, working back down the supine body to the feet, warmed coin sized stones is sweetly placed between the toes.
Locally the beautiful Terra Noble Spa offers a delicious Hot Stone Therapy where after just one self-caring treatment the client will feel not only at peace with his or herself but a general sense of wellbeing that spreads outwards to his or her environment. Their Hot Stone therapy is a healing blissful journey for body, mind and soul. See TerraNoble.com for more information.
Marla Hoover is a practicing yogini, a registered RN, a Puerto Vallarta Real Estate professional and an accomplished journalist with over 300 published articles in both international and local print and online publications.
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