Hot Stone Massage

Where did it come from and what it is?

Like many (if not all) therapies hot stone massage has ancient roots, which many can put a claim to. The Japanese use stones to warm their abdomens to aid digestion and the Chinese have been using hot stones to relieve muscular pain for some 4,000 years. So, we know that there is a lot of history behind the technique. I would say, especially in ancient Native American culture. In this culture hot rock massages were used during sweat lodge ceremonies. As the people were sweating out their physical and spiritual impurities, the hot rocks were used to aid relaxation even further. They worked so effectively, they became known as “grandfather stones.”

In Hawaii, stone massages were used for similar purposes. But the manner of stone was different, since Hawaiians had access to pohaku, (or lava stones).Thus, in Hawaii, the hot rock massage is known as ‘pohaku’.

The basalt stone massage was also prevalent in Asia. Here, it was used more for therapeutic reasons. It offered an excellent way of putting the physical body at ease. They did this by warming river stones in hot coals or hot water. By placing the hot stones on cloth on the body and arranging them along the energy centres of the body, a healing process was said to occur. This warming process, like with massage, heats the body making the blood flow increase. This means that every cell in the body receives more oxygen and nutrients, whilst at the same time increasing lymph flow, ensuring that waste material is removed more effectively. The hot stones are also thought to connect the flow, paths or (as I like to call them) rivers of energy together in order to rebalance the body and mind.

Hot stone Massage can benefit the following
—Muscular aches, pains, sprains, and strains
—Poor circulation
—Rheumatic and arthritic conditions
—Back pain
—Stress, anxiety and tension

The Treatment

The hot stone Massage is, in my opinion, one of the most relaxing treatments. It makes the receiver feel “spoilt.” The closest to a “wag” many of us will ever get to. The client lays face down on the couch. The hot stones are placed, over a towel, down the ‘Chakra’ points of the back and down the back of one leg (again over a towel). The other leg and foot is then massaged with a base oil. The therapist will then warm their hands with the stones and massage the leg again. The leg is then massaged with the basalt stones.

The stones, whilst they are at the high temperature, are continually moved. The sensation is difficult to imagine (until you have had the treatment). It is somewhat like having warm oil drizzled over you. Once this leg has been massaged a towel is put over it and hot stones placed on top. The other leg and foot is treated in the same manner. After the back of the legs have been treated, the therapist moves to the back. At this stage the hot stones will have warmed the muscles of the back making it easier to work more deeply. After this, the client is asked to lay on their back. Hot stones are then placed on a towel over one leg and warm stones are placed under the shoulder blades and in-between the toes. The remaining leg is then massaged as previously done with the back of the legs. The arms and top of the chest are also treated. Finally the face is treated with cool stones to refresh the client.


Hot Stone Massage (1 hour 30 minutes)