Everything old is new again.  This phrase can be applied to virtually every facet of our lives.  Past trends in fashion and music have reappeared.  Generations-old recipes have reappeared as today’s “comfort foods”.  Automotive makers have breathed new life into popular hot rod and muscle car models of old.  And even the health industry, despite the staggering advances in medical knowledge, has resurrected ancient techniques to provide comfort and relief to those suffering from stress and pain.

Massage with heated stones is a technique that can be traced to the ancient native civilizations.  Experts claim that these heated stones, when applied to the body through touch, can pose a number of health-related benefits to the receiver.  These stones are considered to be ideal for their soothing properties, because they possess the smallest amount of vibration of any facet on the planet.

Heated stone massage, also known as “La Stone” massage, is widely accepted and appreciated by both healthcare and bodywork industries.  Many progressive clinics, spas, fitness centers and other healthcare establishments have incorporated massage with heated stones in their regular massage therapy regime.  This “new” technique is performed and enjoyed around the world.

History of Heated Stone Massage

There is not a great deal of written history about heated stone massage, but researchers have suggested that this type of therapy originated from the ancient healing techniques of the Native Americans.  There is evidence indicating that the origins can be traced back to Japanese therapeutic traditions, while others believe that is was a part of the Eastern Indian philosophy.

Despite the variances in the roots of performing massage with heated stones, one undisputed fact remains; heated stone massage is considered to be one of the most effective and widely recognized forms of healing therapy.

Benefits of Massage with Heated Stones

Aside from the overall “feel good” benefits of heated stone massage, this type of therapy can also provide relief for many health concerns:

* Promotes deeper relaxation
* Reduces stress and tension
* Provides soothing relief to stiff muscles
* Loosens tightened joints
* Calms the nervous system
* Boosts the metabolic rate
* Enhances circulation
* Eases bloating caused by PMS
* Relieves chronic neck and back pain
* Frees blocked energies in the body

Massage Procedure

Stones of all shapes and sizes are used in performing heated stone massage.  Before you arrive for your massage treatment, the stones are heated to varying temperatures, usually ranging from 0- to 140- degrees Fahrenheit.  Prior to receiving your massage with heated stones, you will be treated to an application of aromatherapy oils.  This full-body application helps to set the mood and bring you to a relaxed state.

The massage therapist applies traditional Swedish strokes while holding a heated stone.  As each stone cools, it is replaced with a new heated stone.  Some stones are left in place on certain parts of the body, usually along the spine.  You may have heated stones placed on your hands or between your toes to enhance your body’s natural flow of energy.  Cold stones may also be used, depending upon your particular condition.

It’s interesting to note that during the heated stone massage procedure, you and your massage therapist may notice certain physiological changes, including body temperature, heart rate and breathing rate.  Your breathing and heart rates will rise and drop, as will the temperature of your body.  This should not concern you, as massage with heated stones is used to indicate such changes.  The therapist may use this information to determine the flow of the blood, as well as the exchange of blood and oxygen in your body.  The end result is an overall sense of health and well being.

While you may have heard of this “new” health procedure, massage with heated stones is certainly no fad.  This type of therapy has been used to calm, soothe and pamper the body for centuries.  It’s an ancient treatment that can make you feel like new again.

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