It’s fast becoming one of the most popular massage treatments, partly because it feels so unique and partly because the varying temperatures of the stones can be used to treat a number of common complaints. For example, if you suffer from muscular aches, rheumatism, arthritic pain, stress or insomnia then a stone massage could help to put the spring back in your step. You may never look at your rockery in the same way again.
How does it work?
So here’s the science bit: the hot stones are used to expand your blood vessels and to relax your muscles, while the cold stones are used to stimulate your nervous system and increase the lymph flow of waste materials around your body. Cold stones can also be used to help control muscular inflammation after injury (a more elegant version of the bag of frozen peas trick).
If you’ve ever had acupuncture or an acupressure massage, you’ll be familiar with the idea of meridian points. These are the points on your body that are thought to affect the flow of chi (or your lifeforce). Stones are placed on these meridian points and left to rest there while the heat and pressure relaxes your muscles and gets that chi on the go.
Your therapist won’t be using just any old bits of rubble, the stones are carefully selected for their size, shape, weight and the smooth texture of their surface. During the treatment, your therapist will use the stones in a combination of resting pressure and active massage with oil, gliding the stones over your body. A typical treatment will last around 30 to 90 minutes.
Is it for me?
Stone massage therapy is a great pick-me-up if you’re feeling stressed, over-tired, anxious or depressed. It’s deeply relaxing and by boosting your circulation it’ll leave you feeling refreshed and ready for anything.
It’s also thought to be helpful in treating specific muscular injuries, aches, insomnia and can even benefit people who suffer from multiple sclerosis or fibromyalgia.