Heat loosens your body. Whether it be a hot bath, hot water bottle or sauna the heat will relax your muscles and accelerate your body’s natural cell growth.
The hot stones you see lying on someone’s back in resort brochure photos certainly feel good but used properly they can do a whole lot more than just feel nice.
When I use hot stones with my clients, I use them to induce heat into the core of the muscle tendon tissue and fix the banged up bits.
When I use hot stones I concentrate the heat where it is needed in line with the muscle fibres. I move them along the muscle lines to break down the scar tissue and get the blood flowing. Your blood carries the proteins for muscle cell growth so the faster you can restore good blood flow, the faster you can restore muscle condition and mobility.
But they aren’t always an appropriate treatment! Muscles that have suffered trauma or injury don’t want heat and they certainly don’t want to be touched, let alone massaged. They need rest, and usually ice as soon as you can after the injury. A good indication of when you can start to repair the damage with heat and massage is when the swelling has subsided. Once your body is receptive to the repair process a combination of massage and heat will help restore maximum strength and flexibility.
One of the strange things about our bodies is that we don’t have an efficient internal sequence of events for body part repair. Instead our body relies on time, ‘patchwork’ scar tissue, and the premise that some restriction or injury legacy will remain.
But we don’t want that lingering niggle and that is when hot stones and massage can be so useful in assisting us achieve a full recovery (or as close as we can get).
And, as well as all of the above, heated stones introduce heat into stiff or arthritic joints and can help improve lymphatic drainage.
Plus they feel absolutely wonderful on your body, injury or not. For this reason alone almost all my clients like my stones. I often wonder if they’d still want me without them!
Have you tried a hot stone massage?
*Image courtesy of freedigitalimages.net