Okay – I’ll be the first to admit that I thought that Hot Stone Massage was for relaxation only. A treatment that really had no business in the practise of a serious remedial massage therapist like me! However, I cannot describe to you how good it feels to be wrong on this one. Luckily for me, (and my clients) I was able to learn from some incredible international teachers that Hot Stone Massage applied in a remedial style holds outstanding benefits for both therapists and clients.
Physiotherapists and Osteopaths have known about the effective use of hot and cold in the treatment of chronic pain for many years. As do lots of your clients who tell us that a hot shower helps alleviate that sore shoulder or dull ache in their neck after a day at their desk in front of the computer or a wheat pack helps reduce the pain they feel in their low back after a standing all day in the classroom. Think about the last time you used a hot water to ease a sore stomach or ice to dull the ache of an overworked forearm.
My hot stone journey began ten years ago in the UK. The power of Hot stones as a remedial treatment tool became apparent after completed my training and began to add hot and cold stone techniques into all of my massages. In no time at all I was achieving measurable results in the treatment of chronic pain, delivering results faster than any other technique at my disposal. My Clients loved the treatments not only because it delivered the results they were looking for but the stones delivered it in a way that felt fantastic! They loved the Stones and couldn’t wait to come back for more! An unexpected added bonus was I didn’t have to work as hard to deliver the treatments leaving me with more energy at the end of the day.
For example one of my clients has had ongoing neck pain issues after falling off of a horse 15years ago. She was hesitant to let anyone massage her neck until I treated her with the hot stones. It was as if she could finally relax and let me in to work the neck muscles – she now has no pain.
Feedback from another Client, who is a runner, expressed her surprise at the effectiveness of the treatment when she exclaimed “ I thought the hot stones were a gimmick! But they really worked to get deep and reach the sore spots- my legs feel ready for action!”
And even for people who have experienced relaxation style Hot stones treatment they find that remedial Hot Stones is a whole new level this is a comment I received recently “I’ve been spoilt! – the hot stone massage I had on a recent cruise just didn’t live up to the standard I usually get from Christine couldn’t wait to come home to book back in”
Results like these are common for me now.
Effective and efficient use of stones gives therapists a powerful tool that will help you to:
- Alleviate Acute and Chronic Pain
- Enhance injury Rehab
- Save your hands
- Work deeply in an intelligent and gentle way
- Your clients will LOVE it
- You can charge more for Hot Stones
So why does the heat significantly enhance your chance of successfully treating chronic musculoskeletal pain?
Chronic pain is a stubborn it has been present beyond the expected healing time. It feels dull, achey and persistent. As massage therapists our clinics are full of chronic pain cases which include low back pain, shoulder, hip pain, plantar fasciitis, neck pain and RSI’s- to name a few. The positive effects of using heat for chronic pain:
Psychological Effects –heat makes us feel relaxed, nurtured and cared for.
- Heat is thought to decrease the firing of muscle spindles thereby reducing tightness and the activity of trigger points.
- Heat can increase the metabolic rate positively influencing the rate at which we heal.
- Heat increases the pliability of fascia helping to improve the viscoelasticity of the fascia allowing us to move more freely.
- Heat and cold both decrease the perception of pain.
So as you can see there are many ways that hot and cold stone massage can benefit to your massage practise. I just love using hot stones and love sharing this technique with other therapists.
As I travel around Australia training Therapists in the use remedial hot and cold stone massage, I have noticed there are a few common mistakes and learning gaps that can occur. It is with this in mind that I urge you to seek out professional training prior to embarking on your own hot stone journey. Training in hot and cold stones gives you the confidence to ensure safe and appropriate treatment for your clients in a way that is easy on your body – prolonging your career by avoiding habits that can lead to injury.
Over time I have invented and created new ways of using the stones in my practice. I now incorporate them from Myofascial, Remedial and Sports perspectives.
If you want to reignite or start a powerful love affair with your Hot Stones, I am running workshops on the Gold Coast at Firm n Fold in February 2019.