As with therapies and massages that are increasing in popularity, people assume it’s just a passing trend that might leave the headlines and sink back into obscurity. It is usually because some of the latest health trends stem from inaccurate scientific data and marketing tricks are made to sell even if there’s a benefit.
However, they might not be right by assuming the same of hot stone massages.
The History Of Hot Stone Massages
Hot stone massages have existed for a very long time. It’s a practice used over 5,000 years ago in India. 3,000 years later, the Chinese adopted the same method and started using heated, shaped stones to treat certain diseases. They even use the heated stones on their abdomen to help improve their digestion.
Much later, natives of the Hawaiian islands started wrapping lava rocks in leaves and using them as pain relief. The leaves were also used in medicine alongside the rocks. Even Native Americans began using the stones in sweat lodges. They didn’t apply the stones directly to the body, but they did recognize the heat produced by the stones could help them relax.
The stones were heated with a variety of methods common to the period or region. For instance, some stones were heated in hot water from natural springs, and others were heated with fire. Nowadays, hot stone massage therapists can use everything from everyday kitchen appliances such as an electric skillet to professional appliances designed for massage therapists to heat their hot stones.
Despite being an old technique, hot stone massages have always had rules no matter where the technique originated from. One rule was never to leave a hot stone on bare skin without moving it. Leaving it on the skin for too long could cause safety concerns, and the therapist must always ensure the patient is never harmed during the massage.
Another rule was to always use a barrier between the hot stone and the skin. It allows for heat penetration but also protects the skin, so the client is not harmed during the treatment. These rules have continued up to the today and now all therapists, regardless of their variation of hot stone massage, will always follow these rules to ensure safety for their patient.
As you can see, hot stones have been used in varied ways for relaxation, pain relief and even to treat diseases. With its rich history that stretches back thousands of years, it’s clear that hot stone massages are much more than just a passing trend. It’s an ancient healing technique that has only recently been adapted for modern-day use with some heating methods, types of stone and even locations to place the stone for optimal healing and relaxation.
Today´s Hot Stone Massage Techniques
The use of hot stone massages was very frequent thousands of years ago, and it proved to be a popular form of treatment for some health conditions, but it only recently came back into the limelight. In 1993, LaStone Therapy was introduced to the world by Mary Nelson. It’s a technique that drew heavy inspiration from the original hot stone massages that were famous thousands of years ago.
It was a trademarked style of massage used both hot and chilled stones instead of just hot stones like the original ancient method. They helped to refresh the skin and made it more comfortable for the client. It helped to stimulate the circulatory and lymphatic systems, detoxify the body and also relieve pain in areas of the body where the stones were applied. It even helped to invigorate the body, giving the client more energy and refreshing their mind. However, while similar to hot stone massages, it wasn’t the same. Since it was a trademarked style of massage, it could only be performed by a certified LaStone massage therapist.
- It is what sparked the market, causing it to bloom into the multimillion-dollar industry it is today.
Nowadays, hot stone massages are available in mixed forms and styles. It’s a fast-growing industry, and hot stone massages have once again regained popularity across the entire world. Full-body hot stone massages are one of the most relaxing forms of massages available. It’s also available in many shapes and sizes, with some focusing on deep tissue-specific therapies and others designed for facials.
Because the stones are so prevalent in hot stone massages, they can also be used in types of therapy such as Reiki, a form of alternative healing medicine. There are countless types of hot stone therapy now, and they’re each able to suit various needs.
The Growth Of Hot Stone Massages
The industry continues to grow both regarding suppliers and therapists. It’s now straightforward to get a hot stone massage locally, and some tools and machines can help ease the process. With such a variety forms of hot stone massage, one therapist could use a completely different process to another, and the results could be diverse. There are various factors which could affect the results of a hot stone massage, for example, the types of stone used, where they are placed, the barrier used between the stone and the skin, and even the method used to heat the stone.
Today´s hot stone massages can meet the needs of the client, so it’s important to speak to the therapist before you book an appointment. The types of products they use, the process and their reputation can all affect the outcome and effectiveness of your hot stone massage.