Hot Stone Massage
Hot Stone massage is common overseas and is now catching on in New Zealand. So please come and enjoy this mode of massage.
First the myth; ever seen pictures of hot stones lying on a person's bare back? Well, that is NOT hot stone massage. It may be a form of hot stone therapy, but not hot stone massage.
Hot stone massage means the stones are used to massage the body instead of the hands. The idea is to allow the heat to penetrate your muscles and care is taken not to harm your skin in any way. Therefore, the stones are kept gliding smoothly over your body with an appropriate oil of your choice.
Hot stones are never left idle directly against your skin except as a secondary treatment when the stone has lost half its heat or when using very thin stones between the toes. However, stones may be left idle when a towel is placed between you and the stones, and usually in that case you would be lying on the stones, not the other way round.
Is hot stone massage much different to regular massage? Yes, the movement of the stones over the body is faster than hands over the body. Regular massage has several kinds of strokes such as kneading and tapotement that are not used in hot stone massage. For hot stone massage, the sequence of body areas covered tends to be the head to feet when face down and then feet to head when you are lying face up, and includes the arms following the back massage.
How hot are the stones? As a rule of thumb, 65c. However, the temperature is regulated by your body type and how much heat you would like. The idea is to have a wonderful, relaxing, pleasant experience, enjoying deep heat soaked into the muscles. The stones are always held in the therapist bare hands, so the therapist is constantly aware of the heat being applied.
Why would I chose a hot stone massage over regular massage? Your preference really, particularly if you like heat, even if it's just one part of your body you would like deep heat penetration. But you won't know it if you haven't tried it!
How are the stones used? First, they are used similarly to hands, with the flat of the stone used to massage larger areas of the body. But for some areas, such as around the knees, the edge of the stone is used to penetrate the muscle in a more focused way. The stones are NOT pushed heavily into the body.
What lubricant is used? I like to use coconut oil because it goes well even with a certain amount of moisture due to the stones being wet from the water heater. However, other lubricants can be used if you desire, such as macadamia nut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, or sunflower seed oil. Other choices are possible if you don't like any of these.
Are hands used at all? Yes, to apply the lubricant prior to the stones being used on that part of your body.
Are the stones special? Yes, they are basalt river stones from South America, which hold their heat well. They are not shiny polished stones as you might have seen on the cover of a book, but remain in their natural condition to retain desirable friction. Shiny, highly polished or tumbled stones would prove just too smooth and slippery when lubricant is applied.
Are the stones always the same temperature? No, once a stone is reduced in heat, it may be used as a stationary stone to hold in the palm of your hand. Cold, white stones are placed on the forehead if desired as a contrast to the hot, black, green or grey stones.
How are the stones heated? They are heated in water in a specially designed electric stone heater, which is located nearby the massage table.
Why does hot stone massage cost more than regular massage? The extra cost covers the therapist's time in preparing the heated stones and the time taken to wash and disinfect the stones after every client.
Are the stones different shapes and sizes? Yes. Larger stones are used for larger areas of your body such as your back. Medium sized stones are used for your arms. Very small, thin stones are left idle between your toes.
What areas of the body are massaged with stones? Almost all areas as in a regular massage. The key areas NOT massaged with moving stones would be the scalp and face.
Further questions? Feel free to email me using the contact page.