A hot stone massage uses smooth, flat, and heated rocks placed at key points on the body to relax and rejuvenate. Basalt rocks are often used in a hot stone massage. Basalt is a large, smooth, black rock with high heat retention qualities. River rocks can also be used because they have been worn smooth by the water, but know that some retain heat better than others. The weight, color, and texture of the rocks are factors in achieving a unique experience.
Stones are placed in a bowl of hot water for several minutes and then quickly patted dry with a towel before being placed on specific points on the back and body. If your body is tight from the cold weather or the holiday stress, this treatment is a wonderful way to release tension from your body and relax your muscles and mind.
Hot stone massages are believed to balance and ground the body. The weight of the stones focus the body and mind on the massage, allowing you to be truly present throughout the experience, with a focus on your body and breath. Stones can be placed on chakras along the body, including the brow (third eye), throat, heart, solar plexus, sacral, and root chakras. Very soothing effects can also be achieved by placing rocks on other parts of the body, such as between the toes or in the palms of the hands.
Many practitioners of hot stone massage believe that properties of different stones give different health benefits. Hot stone massage can be used as a preventative form of healthcare to relax and renew, and can also be used as part of a complete treatment plan for a number of other health conditions, including muscular pains, arthritis, circulatory problems, insomnia, and depression. This ancient technique can be performed by professionals in a spa (for best therapeutic results), or by a loved one in the comfort of your own home (for great romantic results).
The sense of smell also has a powerful ability to create calming sensations that ripple throughout our bodies. Pumpkin pie, hot cocoa, and pine needles are wonderful winter aromas. Scent invokes memories and can bring feelings of joy and relaxation to any room.
Aromatherapy uses plant-derived essential oils that are used for their soothing properties. Adding aromatherapy to a massage can create a well-rounded therapeutic experience. Soothing scents for winter include lavender, thyme, eucalyptus, cypress, and jasmine.
Get yourself some romantic pleasures this winter season. Spoil yourself with a hot stone massage or warm oil treatment with the works—feed your mind, body, and soul a dose of healthy satisfaction.
by Alysse Robin
Mid Hudson Valley Spas
Appearance Day Spa
2585 South Road Poughkeepsie, NY 12601 845-473-4404
Body of Truth Holistic Spa