If you've never experienced a hot stone massage I fear you're missing out. Since "discovering" this massage form I am totally hooked and I've never even been to a spa to receive it. Why? Because I picked up 2 bags of the stones at my local Dischem and have had my hubby do the massage for me ;) But I'll get to the whole nitty gritty of that in a moment.
How does a hot stone massage work, exactly?Well, the stones are heated (after being sanitized of course) in a water bath. These stones are usually basalt, or volcanic rock stones as they retain and absorb heat well. You then lie, face down, on a bed and the therapist will start to "warm up" your muscles with a basic Swedish massage first. The therapist will then begin to massage you with a stone and as it cools, the stone will be replaced with another one. You may also have stones placed along your spine or in between your toes and fingers or in the palms of your hands and this is to release an energy flow.
Now, since this post is mostly about having a hot stone massage at home, I'll get into the ultra basic version of it. When we bought the stones (after some persuading from my hubby) we decided to test them out (obviously taking turns, lol). I lay the stones on Z's spine (checking that they're not too hot) and let them lay there for a while. Once they were a bit cooler, I applied oil and rubbed the stones across Z's back. Then it was my turn.
I have never felt so relaxed before! The heat of the stones put me in calmest state I've ever been before! It felt like my body was melting into the bed and I was but a thought, lol. After doing some more reading, hot stone massage has a whole heap of health benefits and is used to treat many ailments such as:
- muscular aches
- back pain
- fibromyalgia (which I have)
- anxiety (check)
- insomnia (check)
- circulatory problems
Those are but a few of the ailments it can be used to treat. Some further reading brought up the following:
- alleviates stress
- releases toxins
- cams the pysche
- promotes deep tissue relaxation (i felt I was melting, so this is def true)
- improves circulation
- lymphatic drainage and cleansing
- detoxifies blood with sweating (like a sauna)
- increases range of motion in joint movement
For a mere R25 a bag at Dischem (and a willing partner) you can achieve some great results at home, doing a basic massage with little to no skill at all. I do, however, want to book myself a session at my local spa and see what sort of blissful, hot stone delight awaits me there.