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First Posted on Nov 17, 2012 by Vivienne Bartle

The main result from a hot stone massage is that Earth-Stone Therapy Balances!

If you are sluggish it invigorates, if your immune system is weak it boosts it, and it you are generally feeling down it will pick you back up. Using stones transmits energy, and when placed on the body will remove blockages, dissolve stress and bring about harmony, neutralising negative energies to balance over-stimulated areas. Areas depleted of energy can also be re-energised, increasing lymphatic flow, removing toxins and waste products.

So What is Hot Stone Massage?

Hot stone massage is a variation on the classic and traditional massage therapy. The stones are heated and placed on key energy points on the body while the massage therapist also holds and uses stones to massage certain areas of the body.

Stones have been around as long as the Earth has: hot and cold have been used alternatively in treatments – as a form of thermotherapy (dated back as early as 18th century, the ancient Greek Hippocratic belief of hot and cold bathing was an integral part of their routines – Hippocrates died 430 BC) Hot and cold stone therapy may be a newer treatment but it is grounded in some of the oldest, most valuable, and most tried and tested therapies known to us. It brings together all the extremes therefore bringing about total balance: – hot and cold, basalt and marble, black and white, relaxing and invigorating, sedating and euphoric, active and passive, vasodilation and vasoconstriction.

It was bought to the attention of the western world more recently through an Arizona massage therapist – Mary Nelson who used them in her treatments and the modern idea caught on. Most massage therapists and spas have developed their own version of hot stone massage according to their knowledge and experience.

Hot Stone Massage will melt away your tension, warming your muscles, increasing circulation and releasing your knots quicker than a normal massage. Hot Stone Massage is extremely relaxing, you will float away following a session. Treatments can be either 60, 90 or 120 minutes. We can mix Remedial Massage, Deep tissue techniques or just keep it smooth & flowing with traditional movements.

The best bit of HOT STONE MASSAGE is that DRUG FREE HIGH look on clients faces when they come out of a Massage session feeling so much better than when they walked in…. ahhhhhh bliss!

Top 5 reasons you get that SUPER dopey look after a HOT STONE MASSAGE…

#1 Increased circulation is even more so after a HOT STONE MASSAGE. The heat from our hands and massage movements along with the 50’ degree heat from the stones really gets everything moving from all soft tissues from muscles to joints, ligaments & tendons. Anything stuck and stagnant gets a nice gentle kick start again. Why would you want your circulation faster I hear you say?? Well it carries all the nutrients and oxygen around the body so you can function better. If you don’t move very much and lets face it most of us sit down at a desk or in a car most of the day we all need to give our circulatory system a jump start.
#2 Increased endorphin’s that feel good hormone that exists naturally in the body- a morphin like substance. Recent studies show that endorphins enhance the immune system, relieve pain, reduce stress, and retard the aging process. Fancy retarding your age?? haha
#3 Increased flow of Lymphatic system- similar to the circulatory system the lymphatic system becomes stagnant when we don’t move as much as we should. We just weren’t built to sit still all day. The Lymphatics are our immune system and most people would know after this flu season it is very important to keep your immunity high. A Massage is like a detox flushing out all the waste and toxins that get stuck. Giving you a super boost you will have more energy after a massage, have a regular massage and you will be bouncing off the walls!
#4 Release of knots and tension- Massage & heat especially with HOT STONES loosens the muscles releasing knots and tight spots helping you move more freely. This also helps you stand taller, improving your posture helping the rest of your body systems function better.
#5 Helps you sleep- A surprising amount of people have issues with sleep.  Regular massage definitely helps you get to sleep quicker and helps you have a longer sleep. More sleep means a more rested body,  a rested body keeps you sane, reduces anxiety & depression ….oh my the list is endless with the importance of sleep!

Health Fund Rebates available with these sessions.

So What Do We Do with a Hot Stone Massage?

The application of heat acts as a vasodilator, increasing circulation; increasing metabolism; increasing the inflammatory response (including a rise in leukocyte migration to the area); decreasing pain; decreasing muscle spasm; softening the tissues; raising body temperature; relaxing the muscle and the complete body.

The application of cold acts as a vasoconstrictor. The immediate short-term effect of cold is stimulating. The prolonged use of the cold decreases metabolism; decreases inflammation; decreases pain; decreases muscle spasm; increases muscle tone and has an analgesic effect. Cold applications can increase or decrease circulation depending upon the specific temperature and the colder the temperature, the greater the decrease in circulation.

Contrasting heat (thermotherapy) and cold (cryotherapy) causes blood vessels to alternate between dilation and constriction. The overall effect is a dramatic increase in circulation. The stones can be used for a full body massage or for spot work in certain areas of the body. Using essential oils at the same time as using hot stones can produce a deep and penetrating relaxation and well-being.

At Cinergee we mainly concentrate on the use of thermotherapy, which means the therapeutic use of heat to alleviate pain, promote an increase of circulation with blood and lymph, influence collagen fibres, muscles, tendons, increase flexibility and range of muscle movement, decrease joint stiffness, relieve muscle spasm. Hot stones alse increase cellular metabolism allowing oxygen rich blood and nutrition to be delivered faster and more efficiently to where the body needs it. Endorphins are released during and after hot stone massage bringing about a deeper state of physical, mental and emotional relaxation far beyond the normal relaxation massage as it is warming and nurturing to the inner core.

However, in saying that, should your consultation identify the need to use chilled stones due to the above effects we will incorporate this into the treatment for a more personalised and therapeutic effect.

Contra-indications

Heat is not suitable for the following conditions:

  • Acute injury or inflammation (within 24 hours)
  • Sprains
  • Bruises
  • Skin Disease
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis
  • Varicose Veins
  • Heart Conditions
  • Open Wounds
  • Skin or Cognitive Impaired Clients (some Diabetes and Dementia)

These are the main stones we use at Cinergee:

Basalt Stones

At Cinergee our main stone set is basalt and most hot stones generally are. Basalt is a type of rock that is usually made up of polycrystalline olivine, an iron-magnesium silicate. Being rich in iron, it retains the heat well, and magnesium has beneficial benefits for muscle relaxation. Natural stones have been formed from both volcanic and sedimentary action and due to the stones being washed along a river bottom or ocean shore they end up with their smooth potato-like shape and size.

The long understood healing properties of basalt stones are stability and strength, clarity in difficult times, easing anger and promoting understanding in such situations. It has also been said to enhance the reproductive system and increases fertility.

Jade Stones

This is the stone of Heaven. We incorporate jade into our “Rock Your World” massage treatment.

Jade is sometimes called “the dream stone” for its ability top help one access the non-physical spirit realms. It is a protective stone, and acts as a ward against negative energies. Jade facilitates peach and harmony between the mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional aspects of your life. This stone can help you attain your goals, installing resourcefulness, and allowing you to see past your limitations and manifest your ideas in the physical world. Jade encourages confidence, self-reliance and self sufficiency. It is considered to be a lucky stone. It is said to promote courage, justice, compassion, humility, generosity, wealth, and longevity. Its use can lead to a richer, more fulfilling life, this is why the Chinese have revered and worshipped jade as the centre of their civilization for over 5000 years.

Rose Quartz

Rose quartz is a type of quartz that exhibits a pale pink to rose red hue. The color is usually considered to be due to trace amounts of titanium, iron, or manganese.

Rose quartz is pink quartz that is often called the “Love Stone.” It is a stone of unconditional love that opens the heart chakra to all forms of love: self-love, family love, platonic love, and romantic love. The high energy of quartz gives rose quartz the property of enhancing love in virtually any situation. In turn, this lowers stress. All in all it is a very soothing and happy stone.

Emotionally rose quartz brings gentleness, forgiveness, compassion, kindness and tolerance. It raises one’s self-esteem and sense of self-worth. It helps balance emotions and heal emotional wounds and traumas, even grief, bringing peace and calm. Rose quartz removes fears, resentments and anger. It can also heal and release childhood traumas, neglect, and lack of love, in part by enhancing inner awareness. It can help with reconciliation with family and others. Overwhelming or unreasonable guilt is eased by rose quartz.

Physically rose quartz is used in crystal healing to benefit the heart, the circulatory system, fertility, headaches, kidney disease, migraines, sexual dysfunction, sinus problems, throat problems, depression, addictions, ear aches, slowing signs of aging, reducing wrinkles, spleen problems, fibromyalgia, and reaching one’s ideal weight / weight loss. Rose quartz is also helpful and protective during pregnancy and with childbirth. It is also sometimes said that rose quartz is helpful for supporting brain functions and increasing intellect.

Rose quartz is associated with the heart chakra and infused into the “Rock Your World” massage.

Choosing Your Day Spa

Due to the cost of purchasing a stone set, a lot of business’s will go and pick up stones from a river bed or sea shore, however their are risks of having treatments with these establisments. Although the hardness of basalt is 7 on the Mohs’ Scale of 1 -10 (diamond being 10), it still has small pores where, when massaged on the skin there is the likihood of skin cells being trapped particularly if the stone is a little rougher. Not usually a problem though, unless the business you are having the treatment with, is not meticulous with their stone cleaning.

At Cinergee we use polished and carved stones purchased from the UK, which reduce the risk of cross infection along with meticulous cleaning rituals. We heat our stones in an electrical heating unit with only low temperatures to remove the risk of burning. This water bath is divided into three sections to divide the stones up into three to make the treatment flow smoother – placement stones, working stones and smaller stones. This means there is less clanging happening, as the therapist searches for the right stone at the bottom of their heater. Be wary of any business who uses towel warmers, crock pots, frying pans etc as these do not have a correct temperature setting low enough to be consistent which can lead to burning.

On a practical level, a hot stone treatment adds a lot of set up and clean up time to a treatment. Does the business you are looking at attending, thoroughly clean the stones between each treatment or only at the end of the day? Something to ask when you book…….