Fusing Eastern medicine principles, Swedish massage approaches and effective heat therapy applications into one stress-melting experience, Himalayan hot stone massage helps release emotional strain, improves blood flow, offers the recipient an improved sense of wellbeing and much more. In this post, we are going to take a deeper dive into Himalayan hot stone massage to better understand its origins and to cast a brighter spotlight on those aforementioned benefits.
Elemental Beginnings of Hot Stones
Hot stone massage essentially describes the process of heating smooth stones and arranging them, during a massage, on various areas of the body. They can either be used by hand to assist with relaxing and heating sore muscles or left on tense spots – but regardless of method, patients often describe the experience as “nothing short of amazing.”
The earliest use of hot stones to improve relaxation and health dates back 5,000 years to the Hindus in India, where the practice was called Ayurveda and encompassed the positioning of stones on the body to relieve related pain and relax tense muscles. Fast-forward 3,000 years, and it was the Chinese who were using shaped stones called Bian while burning mugwort as disease treatment; additionally, they positioned stones atop the abdomen for digestion improvement.
Later, natives of the Sandwich Islands – the Pacific Ocean region now known as Hawaii – stumbled upon the process of wrapping heated lava rocks in leaves to be applied to the body, an approach that yielded pain relief. The leaves went on to be administered by medicine shamans known as Kahunas, and this set the precedent for heated stones finding their way to Native American sweat lodges.
While the natives’ techniques didn’t involve the stones being applied to the body, the populous realized that the heat given off by them tended to ease tense muscles while bringing whole-body relaxation.
Into the Modern World
Today, the application of hot stone massage – particularly Himalayan approaches – varies depending on patient need. Usually, hot water is used to heat the stones, which are replaced as they cool, though they may also be chilled and alternated with the heated stones, a tactic that increases circulation to the muscles being targeted.
In the event the stone itself is used by a therapist to activate the massage, it may be used over a sheet or coated in oil to facilitate a smooth glide across the skin.
Benefits of Himalayan Hot Stones as Massage Therapy: What You Need to Know
Beyond the benefits we mentioned at the beginning of the blog – releasing emotional strain, improving blood flow, enhancing wellbeing – Himalayan hot stone massage also provides:
• Counteraction to Artificial Wavelengths Emitted by Electronics – On the surface, this may sound silly, but take into consideration all the mobile electronics we use today; indeed, a Himalayan hot stone massage can actually “zero out” the body’s electromagnetic field, being that everyday electronic items like computers and cell phones can disrupt natural energy flow.
• Detoxification of the Body – The minerals in these stones also assist in the massage’s detoxification process, moving the blood and lymph around the body and helping to circulate toxins out.
• Restoration of Balance – As we touched on above, Himalayan stones emit negative ions, assisting with the process of neutralizing positively-charged free radicals that often yield chronic inflammation in the body. An excess of free radicals in the body has been linked to cell membrane and DNA damage, leading to disease and inflammation.
• Gentle Exfoliation of the Skin – The texture and minerals of the stones also result in a gentle skin exfoliation effect, rendering it soft and smooth immediately following a massage session.
Book a massage with Qi Massage & Natural Healing Spa today and discover the soothing magic of massage therapy.