The 7 Best Hot Stone Massage Kits
A Brief History Of Hot Stone Massage
There are few pleasures in life that can rival the feeling of relaxation you get during a hot stone massage. As you might expect, then, this is something that people have known about for thousands of years, as our ancestors were putting hot rocks on their bodies as early as 3000 B.C.E.
The practice originated in India, where it was designed to relieve stress and reduce muscle pain, as it was believed that the stones radiated at a frequency that calmed your tissues.
The Chinese adopted the practice some three millennia later, largely to improve the function of internal organs. The most common use was to place hot rocks, called bian, on the abdomen to improve digestion. They combined this with a sort of ancient aromatherapy, often burning an aromatic plant called "mugwort" at the same time.
The ancient Greeks also found uses for hot rocks, alternating their use in baths with lying on cool marble and taking dips in cold pools. Women also clutched them to help deal with the pain of childbirth, and midwives used them to slow bleeding after the baby was born.
In Hawaii, shamans would wrap lava rocks in leaves and use them for pain relief. Meanwhile, on the mainland, Native Americans found a different use for heated stones, using them in sweat lodges instead of applying them directly to the body.
The practice began to enter the modern Western consciousness around 1993, when Mary Nelson created LaStone Therapy, which paired traditional hot stone use with deep tissue massage. Today, stones are used in conjunction with all manner of other treatments, such as acupuncture, Reiki, reflexology, and even as part of pedicures and manicures.
Hot stone massage shows no signs of slowing down, and why would it? It feels fantastic, and could offer a whole host of health benefits.
Benefits Tf Hot Stone Massage
Getting a hot stone massage feels good enough that you don't need any other reason to justify it to yourself. Nevertheless, there are many health reasons why you should treat yourself from time to time.
It's fantastic for pain relief, so anyone who suffers from a chronic illness like fibromyalgia should consider adding it to their healthcare regimen. It's believed that the heat helps increase blood flow to the affected area, while also helping to work out stiffness in ligaments and joints.
As you might expect, when you feel better, your stress levels go down, and so anxiety sufferers may find relief during a session. Studies have shown that massage is a better stress reliever than simply taking a break, so talk to your boss about providing an on-site masseuse, and if she agrees to it, be sure to let us know if the company's hiring.
Insomniacs should definitely consider a rubdown, as it's also been demonstrated to improve sleep quality. It works even better when paired with a cool room, a steady sleep pattern, and a comfortable light-blocking mask.
There are other claims that proponents make about hot stone therapy that are less proven, such as that it can help with cancer symptoms or boost immunity. These may or may not be true, but the beauty of massage therapy is that it can't hurt (unless your masseuse finds a knot, of course), so you have nothing to lose by giving it a shot.
So, go ahead and treat yourself. It's for your health, after all.
How To Give A Hot Stone Massage
While nothing can beat the decadence of a professional rubdown, they can be expensive, and many people blanch at the thought of a stranger touching their naked body. For those people, a home massage can be just what the doctor ordered, so show this guide to a loved one and tell them to get to work.
As you might expect, you need to start a hot stone massage off by heating up your stones. Do this about an hour before the massage is set to begin, and warm your water up to about 140°F, as the stones will lose a little heat when they're removed.
Dry the water off, then lather the stones up with some massage oil. It's believed that the heat of the rocks helps your skin better absorb the oil, so try to find one that has some healing properties of its own.
Lie down on a flat surface — you may want to put some towels down first — and have your practitioner start placing stones on your skin. They should place a couple on your face, around the cheeks, forehead, and chin, and then gently rub the area around them, paying special attention to the temples and sinus pressure points.
Set some larger stones elsewhere on the body, such as the arms, collarbones, and thighs. These should be working their magic on the larger muscle groups while your masseuse focuses on your face, so that any tension is already on the way out by the time the therapist's hands get there.
Use the rocks to gently trace the long cords of muscle in the arms and legs, taking the time to delicately work out any knots encountered along the way. Once the front is finished, flip over and repeat the process on the back.
You should have used all the stones in your kit by the time you're done — but more importantly, you should feel much better and more relaxed.