If you’re anything like me, you’ve been fascinated by the idea of the hot stone massage. It’s seen everywhere, most spa’s have photo advertising of it in brochures and on their websites and it seems that every time someone in a movie goes to a day spa they get a hot stone massage.
It’s one of those things that even though you see it everywhere and you’d like to try you always stick to the classic version. Don’t worry you’re not the only one. The truth is that, despite seeing evidence of hot stone massage everywhere, it isn’t as popular as its classic counterpart, mostly because people don’t know much about it.
So, lets see what all the fuss is about this mysterious form of massage.
If you don’t know what happens during a stone massage, it’s very simple. It’s a variation on classic massage therapy where the therapist places heated smooth, flat stones on key points on the body. Sometimes the therapist will use the hot rocks to massage certain areas of the body as well.
The history of this style of massage dates back to ancient times and has been seen and used in cultures such as ancient Native American culture, Hawaiian culture and Asian culture. In Native American cultures the hot stones were used in conjunction with sweat lodge ceremonies, hence we see the correlation with massage and sauna use.
When Arizona massage therapist, Mary Nelson, introduced her hot stone massage technique, called LaStone Therapy, it popularized hot stone massage in the west.
So how does it work you ask?
Special heat retaining stones (usually basalt) are heated to the desired temperature using water. The stones are then placed at specific points on the back, in the palms of the hand, or between the toes.
The heat of the stones warm and relax the muscles, which allows the therapist to apply deeper pressure than in a normal massage. This is also suited for people who have muscle tension, but prefer a lighter massage. The way the heat relaxes muscles, allows the therapist to work the muscles without using deep pressure if this is requested.
The warmth of the hot stones also improves circulation and calms the nervous system thus, a lot people use hot stone massage for comfort and relaxation. This is well suited for people with a tendency to feel chilly or often have cold hands and feet – it’s a great winter warmer!
A heated stone massage is believed to have numerous healing properties and has been said to be more beneficial than a traditional massage in many cases of
- Back pain and aches
- Poor circulation
- Osteoarthritis and arthritis pain
- Stress, anxiety and tension
So, now that you know what the hype is about, you no longer have to query this ancient relaxation and health remedy. Why not try it to warm up those chilly hands and feet as the winter weather gets closer. Or, use it to relax and soothe those aches and pains.
The Alpine Springs Day Spa offers hot stone massage as one of our specialized massage therapies. So, if you are a local or in Tekapo on holiday, pop on in and let one of our therapists hot stone massage away your worries, aches and pains.
For more information or to book, contact the Day Spa through our website.