Hot Stones Massage is not only a truly nourishing treatment, it is also able to penetrate the muscles a lot more deeply and quickly then when hands alone are used. Of course hands are also fantastic for enabling a deeply relaxing and rejuvenating massage and are one of the oldest forms of healing via touch. Coupling touch with the use of heated stones take things one step further and the heat that transfers through the skin into the muscles via the body oil used, is a truly replenishing experience.
A potted history of Hot Stones...
It is said that the Chinese used hot stones more than 2,000 years ago for healing work, as well as being used in Europe, Egypt, Hawaii and Africa. Native Americans used hot stones in their sweat lodges and traditional Ayuvedic techniques in India have also incorporated heated stones for healing.
The iron rich basalt stones that I use in my Hot Stones treatments are naturally smoothed by river water. These flat igneous stones have been picked for their size, shape and suitability to be the best possible tools for a Hot Stones treatment. The stones are heated to a safe temperature within water and the basalt helps to retain the heat. This coupled with the pressure from the stone massage helps to improve blood and lymph circulation and release toxins from the muscles, whilst allowing fresh oxygen and blood to flow to the area.
Further Benefits of Hot Stones Massage
Hot Stones Massage may also help with the following:
Hot Stones can be used as part of a massage technique directly onto the skin, with the massage oil applied first. The stones can also be placed on areas of the body on top of a towel or sheet to correlate with specific regions such as the Chakras, which represent energy centres in the body. Benefits of heat from placement and pressure on other areas simultaneously can then be combined. In my Hot Stones treatments I like to fuse hand, stones and stone placement for an integrative healing experience.
If you've not had a Hot Stones treatment before, try it out and be amazed at the sense of deep relaxation that you are likely to feel afterwards. Imagine the effects of having a massage and a sauna combined..
Sarah Holloway offers Hot Stones Massage at The Open Door Complementary Health Centre in Lewes, East Sussex. She also gives Hot Stones treatments at Yoga retreats in the south east of England - if you'd like her to give treatments at your Retreat Centre she'd love to hear from you, so please get in touch.
As we emerge into Spring after a long, cold Winter, our bodies are often crying out for attention to help aching muscles feel more supple. Massage can really help assist with this. Whatever kind of massage you choose, whether it be a Holistic Massage with a beautifully crafted plant oil or a Hot Stones Massage to benefit from the penetrating warmth of basalt stones; the main aim in common could be one or all of the following:
These examples are of course just a part of the picture. Diet, exercise, sleep and lifestyle all play their part too. However, the benefits of massage are not to be underestimated and we can all too easily neglect our bodies in this fast paced, busy world. A regular massage or even a one off every now and then, are all going to be beneficial to help us feel replenished. Think of massage as an MOT for the body, mind and spirit. Whilst massage can help support with certain health conditions, it can also help to prevent dis - ease in the first place. Massage is time for you to tune into what your body needs and to actually stop. That wonderful sense of rejuvenation after a massage is hugely beneficial for helping us to feel more at one with ourselves and the world. A stitch in time...
Giving Holistic Massage and Aromatherapy Massage at Yoga Retreats this summer is a real treat for me, as I get to work at the lovely Tilton House in Firle again. This week I was lucky enough to spend a day massaging students of the Creative Writing & Yoga Retreat, with Yoga teacher Sevda Mustafa who has teamed up with Chris Difford, from Squeeze! I used to love their music (& still do!) and have been singing ''Cool for Cats'' to myself all week!
Everyone at Tilton House is always really friendly and appreciative. Coupled with working in a beautiful space, it is very nourishing for me to be there, as well as for the clients that come for a treatment (they have a B & B there too & guests can book a treatment).
Some of the essential oils I've been using this week are organic Rosemary, Geranium and Ylang Ylang. Rosemary is great for helping to ease muscular aches and pains, as well as aiding mental clarity; a perfect complement to a Yoga & Writing retreat. Geranium assists with hormonal balancing, as well as helping to reduce inflammation and is fantastic for the skin (see my May 2015 Blog). Ylang Ylang has antidepressant properties and is known for supporting issues of anxiety and stress, as well as smelling gorgeous.
Combined with a base oil (in this case organic Almond oil), the oils are absorbed into the bloodstream & then into the muscles and organs of the body. Additionally they awaken the sense of smell via the limbic system, helping to give us emotional support. See my Treatments page for more information.
I am also enjoying the first steps of my new adventure practising Holistic Massage & Hot Stones at A.S Apothecary in Lewes, where they distill and make ''natural scents, creams, aromatic waters and balms'' from organic plants. I use their own beautiful distilled oil for massaging from their relaxing & peaceful therapy room, where just walking through their welcoming shop is a heavenly experience. There are such an array of uplifting aromas from their plant preparations, as they make many of their products at the premises. It's a sensual & visual feast just to be there.
Here I will write occasional articles within the realm of Holistic Massage, Aromatherapy & Hot Stones Massage, as well as Starflower Massage updates. I'd love to hear any comments that you have. Thank-you for reading...