Hot Stone Massage Therapy is a concept that has seemed to come into popularity within the last 5-10 years. Even within the last four years, it has become the rage at Spas and Therapeutic Centers all over the world. Contrary to popular belief, Hot Stone Therapy was NOT first discovered in the desert of Arizona or by massage therapists’ visions of saints.
This is an age old therapy dating back 5000 years to India and most certainly even the Mayan culture. Ayurveda, the ancient healing tradition of India , spoke of a universal source of all life. The energy called “prana” is the energy, or the breath of life which moves through all forms to give them life. Yogis work with this energy with breathing techniques, meditation, physical exercise and massage to produce altered states of consciousness, healing and longevity. They would not only use their hands for manipulation and healing but also utilize “tools” the earth would provide such as herbs, flowers, crystals and stones.
Stone Massage Therapy came from the healers using rocks from the river beds and warming them either in hot coals or hot water. By placing the hot stones on cloth on the body and arranging them along the energy centers of the body, a healing process would occur. The hot stones have a tendency to relax the muscles and “draw out” muscle pain and discomfort.
As in Reflexology, the entire body can be seen “reflected” in the feet. Hot stone Therapy works with tiny River Rocks between the toes to de-stress and stimulate the nerve endings in the feet. At the end, the healer would massage the feet and body with the stones and scented oil. Cool stones could then be placed on the pulse points for revitalizing and rejuvenating. Stone Therapy was utilized by many cultures across Europe and within the Mezo-American and Native American tribes as well.