What is Hot and Cold Stone Massage Therapy?
Stone therapy is a remarkable treatment that helps to relax the body and mind. The heat from the stones penetrates deep into the muscles causing them to relax and allowing for bodywork to be carried out deeper into the tissue. This is particularly helpful when working to relieve tight muscles and great for those who desire a deeper massage whilst preferring a more gentle touch.
The stones used in the treatment are basalt stones. These are a type of volcanic stone with a composition of high silica and iron content that helps them absorb and retain heat for longer. The stones are never too hot or cold to cause discomfort. The stones are heated in a specifically made stone heater regulated with a thermometer. When using the stones cold they are placed in a bowl of cold water. Cold stones are usually used in conjunction with hot stones on the face. Alternating between the hot and the cold leaves the face feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Cold stones are also great for working congested sinuses, soothing puffy eyes and easing headaches.
Stone therapy is excellent for melting away tension, reducing stiffness in the body and improving circulation. The warmth of the treatment is very comforting and extremely relaxing.
The effects and benefits of Hot Stone Massage Therapy
Hot stone therapy causes vasodilation. This is a widening of the blood vessels due to increased circulation, decreasing blood pressure. This may help reduce pain and relieve cramping or aching muscles. Hot Stone Therapy may be helpful for the following:
● Stress relief
● Pain relief
● Reduction in muscle tension and tightness
● Deeper tissue work due to the penetration of heat into the tissues
● Stimulation of blood and lymph circulation
● Improved sleep
● Easing of tired, sore muscles
● General feeling of improved wellbeing
● Reduction in stiffness in the body
● Relieving muscle spasms and cramps
Cold Stone Massage Therapy
Although most people associate stone massage therapy with hot stones, cold stones are also an effective way to rejuvenate the body and mind. Cold stones can be used by themselves for a refreshing, revitalising treatment or in conjunction with hot stones. The use of hot and cold is referred to as contrast therapy. It can help to reduce inflammation and stimulate circulation, reducing pain in the body.
Effects and Benefits of Cold Stone Massage Therapy
Cold stone therapy causes vasoconstriction (narrowing of the blood vessels) causing the muscles to contract, lowering inflammation and reducing pain signals. It may be helpful for the following:
● Reducing inflammation
● Reducing swelling
● Boosting energy and leaving you feeling rejuvenated
● Relieving congested sinuses
● Reducing puffiness under eyes
● Pain relief (particularly for sprains and strains)
● Aching joints
● Repetitive strain injuries (eg, tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow)
What happens during a treatment?
Prior to your arrival, the stones will be sanitised and placed in a stone heater to warm up. If cold stones are also to be used they will be placed in a bowl of cold water to keep them cool.
Before the stones are used on the body, the areas to be worked on are massaged with oil after which they will be massaged with the stones. As the stones start to cool down they will be replaced with freshly warmed ones. Some stones may be placed on the body to create deeper relaxation whilst other areas are being massaged.
Who can have Hot and Cold Stone Massage Therapy?
Before we begin your treatment we will have a consultation with you to ensure the therapy is suitable for you. In some circumstances Hot and Cold Stone Massage Therapy is not appropriate. For example, if you have a heart condition, peripheral neuropathy, easily inflamed skin, etc. If you have a recent injury it is best to wait at least 3 days before having a treatment especially if the area is still red, hot or swollen as the heat can aggravate inflammation in an acute injury.