At this time of year I get really busy with my favourite treatment of all – hot stone massage therapy. If you’ve never experienced one of these treatments let me tell you – it ROCKS.
Bringing Warmth to the Soul
Much as I love living by the sea, the dark and windswept days can leave the best of us feeling a bit lacklustre. We can all benefit from the muscle-melting warmth and sheer indulgence of hot stones; a powerful treatment that should leave you feeling deeply relaxed and truly pampered.
But hot stone massage is not restricted to the ‘fluff and buff’ world of luxury spa treatments. Far from it, this treatment has a very important place on the more ‘serious’ massage therapist’s couch too, used as a tool to alleviate both acute and chronic pain and effectively address injury rehabilitation.
The Healing Power of Hot and Cold
Hot and cold has been used therapeutically since time immemorial. Did your mum give you a hot water bottle for a sore tummy when you were child? Do you reach for a bag of frozen peas to help bring a bruise down?
Heat decreases muscle tightness, increases circulation (aiding tissue repair), and increases the elasticity of the connective tissue thereby improving the effectiveness of any stretching techniques (which any of my clients will know I am very keen on!). Cold applications relieve muscle soreness, calm inflammation and reduce muscle tightness. And as any sportsman or woman will tell you, alternating hot and cold is a wonderful technique to help aid the body’s healing processes.
Whether you are looking for a relaxing full body massage, or a remedial treatment to address pain and speed recovery, there is a place for stones in your treatment. A good hot stone massage can successfully bridge that gap between spa and sports treatments, restoring balance whilst also providing a luxurious experience. Working smarter needn’t mean working harder!
When searching for a treatment make sure you find a professionally qualified therapist, and research reviews left by previous clients. Do not be swayed by the appearance of high end spas as in these places you often pay for appearances – and hot stones often come at a premium. One luxury spa in London, for example, charges £185 when the therapist has had only three hours’ worth of training! Small, private practices often offer the best techniques – don’t overlook the lady who works in a small private practice on the other side of town. You may well find her ability, experience and commitment far outshine and of the swanky spas!