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We all know that massages are theultimate in relaxation. In aprevious blog, experts from the Beauty Academy examined the benefits of massageand why it can be so good for your health. Now we’re taking a look at the HotStone Massage – a therapy that melts awaytension, eases muscle stiffness and increases circulation. So where exactly didit come from and how does it work?

A hot stone massage is a deeply relaxingtreatment which works on a mental, physical and spiritual level. The therapyuses water-heated stones, placed on key points of the body, to promote deeprelaxation. It’s the combination of heat and deep pressure which results inrelief of muscular tension.

Where did it originate?

The hotstone massage is based on ancient techniques. History shows us that as far backas 2,000 years ago, the Chinese would make use of hot stones to help improvethe function of internal organs and for ‘healing’ purposes.

Hot stoneswere also used by Native Americans to help ease aching muscles and they placed thestones on the lower abdomen to relieve cramps.

Then, in1993, Mary Nelson – a massage therapist from Tuscon, Arizona – developed theconcept of incorporating heated stones into a massage treatment. The use of hotstones was then reborn into Nelson’s concept of LaStone therapy – and it becamea worldwide form of massage used in spas and by therapists.

What it is good for

Hot stonetreatments alternate warmth and cold, which is a technique used to help soothean aching body. The combination of relaxing warmth with refreshing coolnessencourages the body to detox and heal.

The hotstones also expand blood vessels, which encourages blood flowthroughout the body. This increases lymph flow and helps to flush out waste.

A hotstone massage can help to do the following:

  • -Boost your circulation
  • -Relax you
  • -Release stored tension
  • -Recharge your energy levels

A hotstone massage is also especially good for increasing your sense of relaxationand calm. The stones are coated in fragrant oil which is smoothed gently ontoyour body and can create a sense of deep relaxation.

How to prepare

It’s advised thatyou shouldn’t eat anything too heavy or drink excessively before a hot stonetreatment, so that you can enjoy the treatment in the best way.

It’s alsorecommended to have the massage on a day where you don’t have to rush back towork or have a busy diary. Hot stones is a deeply relaxing massage, so you’llwant to enjoy the after effects!

Before yourtreatment, always tell your therapist about any medical conditions that you mayhave. You must also tell your therapist if you are pregnant.

Also – don’t beafraid to tell your therapist if the stones are too hot! The treatment is to beenjoyed, not endured.

What to expect

The warm stonesare typically placed on multiple acupressure points around your body – includingthe back, hamstrings, arms and between thetoes. These acupressure points are locations on the body that release the flowof energy and promote the body’s own healing process.

The heat of the stones thenpenetrates the skin to promote better blood flow, release toxins and createdeeper muscle relaxation than a standard massage.

Hot stonemassage employs a variety of strokes and techniques using the stones and hands,working over any kinks in your muscles. Once placed on the body, the stones can thenbe used to knead the muscles by your therapist moving the stones gently overtense and sore areas.

You will befeeling pretty tranquil by this point, and possibly in a dream-like statebecause your muscles will be so relaxed by the warmth of the stones. This meansthat you are unlikely to feel any intensity too heavily. When you arelearning about hot stone massage, knowing how to apply the right amount ofpressure is essential for a satisfying experience.

Your therapistmay alternate between hot basalt stones and much colder, marble stones – butyou could be so relaxed that you won’t notice any major changes in temperature.This alternation in temperature can help provide relief from painfulinflammation – so if you have recently suffered any injuries, it can beincredibly soothing for painful swelling.

A hot stonemassage is meant to induce a deeply relaxed and meditative state. So when yourtreatment is over, make sure you float gently back to the real world and enjoythe afterglow!

Things to keep in mind

Whether you areperforming a hot stone massage yourself, or hiring a massage therapist for the job,it is vital that the hot stone massage techniques are performed correctly tohelp reap the rewards.

At The BeautyAcademy, we offer a variety of massage training courses. You will first need tocomplete the Body Massage course and then you will be eligible to complete thecourse in Hot Stone Therapy.

The one day Stone Therapy Course covers the below:

Using a range of hot volcanic basalt stones, youwill learn how to provide a deeply relaxing treatment which works on a mental,physical and spiritual level.

The combination of heat and deep pressure resultsin relief of muscular tension with minimal effort from the therapist.

Stone Therapy Massage Course will cover:

History and benefits of hot stone massage

Physical effects of the treatment

Massage mediums

Massage movements

Practical tuition on performing Stone TherapyMassage

Cleansing and re-energising the stones

For more information, take a look at the coursehere: http://www.thebeautyacademy.org/stone-therapy-massage-course/


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