Stone Therapy: What’s this?
Stone therapy can be defined as special massage, which makes use of warmed stones of basalt lava or chilled marble stones. In this case, massage movements of the Swedish style are used. The heat of the basalt stones gives a number of positive effects – these stones relax the muscles and increase the blood flow. Undoubtedly, this gives an extremely positive effect on the body. The cold stones are utilized too – they help to relax and fight inflammation.
Indications and contra-indications
The initial purpose of this massage was to solve problems closely connected with pain in joints and muscles. Really, in this regard it really works. Furthermore, in addition to the treatment of chronic inflammation or injury, stone therapy efficiently copes with muscle atrophy, enabling muscles to regain their tone. Stone therapy is a great fat burner. It also improves lymph and blood circulation, helps the body to get rid of toxins and strengthens the immune system.
Apart from the positive effects on the body, stone therapy has a good impact on the nervous system. Respectively, it’s good at fighting depression, apathy, stress, chronic fatigue syndrome, not to mention sleep disorders.
Despite unique healing properties, the use of stone therapy has certain limitations. So, you shouldn’t opt for stone therapy if you’ve got:
- skin diseases
- high blood pressure
- sores or open wounds
Hot and Cold Stones: What’s the Difference?
Massage with hot stones is effective against rheumatism, muscle pains, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, back pain and insomnia. It also improves blood circulation, reduces anxiety, stress, tension and depression. Hot stones dilate blood vessels and relax the nervous system.
Cold stones will help if you have inflammations or muscle injuries. These stones stimulate the nervous system, thus making blood vessels to contract, which positively affects lymphatic flow and eliminates toxins. If you don’t have any contra-indications, you can combine both hot and cold stones – it will perfectly tone your body.
It’s crucial not to eat greasy food, drink alcohol, coffee or smoke cigarettes before and after the procedure. Just drink plenty of clean water. In order to get the maximum effect of stone therapy, keep to the diet mentioned above a day after the procedure.
Stones for Massage
There’re two major types of stones for stone therapy. Hot massage needs basalt, while marble is used for cold procedures. Basalt is perfectly heated and this warmth is preserved for a long time. Marble remains cool long enough. For this massage pebbles polished naturally in the water reservoirs would be an ideal choice. They have a convenient oval shape. However, manually polished pebbles can be purchased too. A good stone for the massage should have the size of a palm – that’s the most common size.
Jadeite and jade can are also used in stone therapy, while other semi-precious stones can be utilized for facial massage due to their extra healing properties.
Can I Use This Method at Home?
Stone therapy in home conditions is quite possible. Certainly, the overall quality of the procedure can’t be compared with the massage carried out by a true professional. You shouldn’t try to cure a serious illness this way by yourself. On the other hand home stone therapy will give you an excellent opportunity to relax. Fortunately, special sets for stone therapy are available in many stores. A typical set includes several stones of the same type. For the procedure, you’ll also require a pan with hot water or a special heater, towels and massage oil.
Your amateur massage needs at least eight stones. Heat them in the water and then place one stone on each feet and palm. Two stones should be wrapped in a towel, so they could keep warmth. The remaining two will be your massage instrument. Start your massage movements from the bottom and then move back to the shoulders.
Avoid massaging the spine. The temperature of the stones shouldn’t be less than ten degrees above the body temperature. Sure, they shouldn’t give you burns. Don’t heat pebbles to more than 55 °C (131 °F.) Once you’ve finished the back, go to your back collar zone. Then get down to massaging your hands gently, but don’t forget to take the pebbles out there. Once it’s over, remove the pebbles from your feet and perform massage using stones that were wrapped in the towel. Don’t forget to lubricate your hands with massage oil from time to time.
Let’s Choose Stones for Massage
When choosing a set for stone therapy, you should pay attention to such characteristics of stones as their size, shape and smoothness. They need to be oval, without sharp edges and burrs. When placed in the palm the pebbles shouldn’t cause discomfort. The vast majority of massage stones should have the size of your hand. Smaller and larger stones may be required in some cases. For instance, they can be positioned at the sacral area during the hot massage. They can be also utilized when dealing with toes. Of course, these are optional things.
The surface of these stones should be smooth and nice. Avoid stones with holes, cracks and roughness – you don’t need this quality. Professional stone therapy needs stones with different shapes, sizes and textures. Don’t forget that even properly chosen stones should be utilized only after appropriate training.