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The Making of Hot Stone Therapy

September 2nd, 2013 • Posted by Lavender Spa • Permalink

Hot Stone Massage has become a popular relaxation treatment, but have you ever wondered where it came from? We perform all kinds of Hot Stone Massages now, but the use of stones in massage dates back thousands of years, with roots in Chinese, Native American and Hawaiian cultures.

History shows Chinese healers used hot stones more than four thousand years ago to promote a better flow of energy in the body. The Native Americans heated rocks with fire and used them in sweat lodge ceremonies, which were known to cast out impurities of the mind and body. Native Americans also heated rocks to treat pain, applying them to sore muscles, much like we use a heating pad today. The Hawaiian culture also embraced stone therapy early on. With an abundant supply of volcanic rocks that hold heat, Hawaiian traditions used hot rocks wrapped in leaves to exfoliate the skin.

Hot Stone Massage made a comeback in 1993, when massage therapist Mary Nelson was looking for ways to treat her shoulder pain. Through experiments and research, stone massage was reborn and is now gaining popularity in the United States and in Europe.

The premise of a Hot Stone Massage hasn't change much. We still see this massage as a mind-body treatment that promotes relaxation and can also be used to release tension in sore muscles. When you come in, you'll experience a Swedish massage first on your neck and back. Then you'll feel heated stones added to the massage technique. We use basalt stones, which are flat and smooth, because of their ability to hold heat. Stones are usually placed down your spine, hands, belly or toes, all of which are sensitive spots on the body that can promote blood flow. You'll start to feel the heat seep into your muscles after the stones have sat on your skin for about three or four minutes.

A Hot Stone Massage is often regarded as the most relaxing kind of massage. Clients have referred to it as "60 minutes in heaven," with the relaxing effects lasting long after the session ends. Heated stones are so powerful in massage that we believe one stone is the equivalent of ten massage strokes. Impressive isn't it?

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