Manual Therapy for the Body and the Mind

Hot Stone Massage: Ancient Healing Technique Stands The Test of Time

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Natick Hot Stone Massage | Wellesley Hot Stone Massage | Turtle Dance BodyworkWhile its exact origins are a little fuzzy, there is no doubt that Stone Therapy has been a part of human healing for centuries. Evidence shows that as early as 2600 BC, river stones were used in India and China, warmed in the sun and applied to the body along specific lines to balance energy flow with positive effect. Some regions used a combination of hot and cold stones, activating slow regions with heat, and slowing overactive ones with cold. In Hawaii, lava rocks with their natural, rough surface were used to exfoliate, while others were polished smooth, heated and applied in specific patterns to increase circulation. Native Americans have for centuries incorporated stones in their sweat lodges during sacred ceremonies, heating them over the fire and passing them around to rub on areas of the body that need attention.

In the early 1990’s, Mary Nelson introduced hot stones into her massage practice in Arizona, developing a program called LaStone Therapy. It is arguably the first introduction to hot stones in the United States, and has become the standard for hot stone application in this country. Since that time, the growing popularity of this type of technique has brought it to the menus of most spas and many private massage practices.

At our office, we provide a treatment based on LaStone. All our stones are  polished basalt (lava) rock, heated in a vat of water to a temperature that is significantly warmer than body temperature, yet not hot enough to burn the skin. During the treatment, a combination of stone placement and rubbing are used.  Energy points along the spine, along the front of the body, in the hands and feet and at various locations on the body are energized with static placement, while larger stones apply increased heat while rubbing, softening tense muscle and relaxing the nervous system.

The experience is unique, and well worth a try for bodywork enthusiasts and newcomers alike. It leaves the recipient feeling completely relaxed, floaty, transporting them to another mental state. At the same time, it energizes the body, so that when you come down from the clouds, you are ready for anything.

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