bigstock-Massage-1742384Hot Stone Massage

Vessy Massage offer a visiting massage service covering all of central London and some outer areas (if in doubt, please contact us to find out if we cover your area).  Our team are experienced professionals and offer salon quality massage in the comfort of your home – at cheaper prices than many salons.

Are you new to massage?  Call us with any questions that you have on 0207 175 0081. Massage is an investment in your mental well being.  A regular massage can help prevent burn out and subsequent minor health difficulties caused by stress and working to hard.  So call now to book a massage today.

About Hot Stone Massage

Hot stone massage, also called hot rocks massage and Hahana stone massage, is a massage practice using heated stones to rub and massage the body.  And then laying those stones on your body to allow the heat to diffuse into you.  It produces a sensation that is part massage, part sauna and wholly relaxing and enjoyable.

Hot stone massage is growing in popularity in the UK as regular massage customers seek to try new things.  Many having tried it once find that it is their new favourite massage, some people like to alternate it with a deep tissue or Swedish massage and even the people that don’t like it are normally pleased to have experienced it.  Hot stone massage is generally more popular in the winter as an antidote to the cold British weather.

Read on to find out the history of hot stone massage, what to expect when you have the massage, how it works, how to prepare for the massage and what medical conditions could prevent you from having this massage.

The History of Hot Stone Massage

Hot stone massage has an ancient history.  Chinese practitioners used various shaped and sometimes sharpened stones called Bian stone tools to try to treat disease.  They burned the herb Mugwort to add heat to the treatment.  The Native Americans had a Sweat Lodges (similar to modern day Saunas) where they heated stones and placed them on their abdomen hoping to relieve cramps.

The Hawaiians, however, were the most biggest users of hot stones.  They wrapped hot stones in in leaves and placed them on sore muscles to relieve pain like a modern day heat pack – a practice they called Hahana Stone Massage.  They also dug slight holes, filled them with hot stones, covered the stones with leaves and then lay on top of them to enjoy the heat sensation.  Much of current hot stone practice is owed to the Hawaiians.

In a traditional Chinese treatment called Moxibustion a small cone of Mugwort is placed on your skin at an ‘acupuncture point’ set alight and left to burn until the skin blisters.  In ancient times it was believed to induce a ‘smoother’ flow of blood and ‘qi’ (pronounced chi).  Nowadays it is only practiced by the scientifically challenged.

Hot Stone Massage was ‘re-discovered’ by Mary Nelson a masseuse from  America.  The story she tells is that she was in a Sauna with her niece and felt called to the stones.  She picked them up and began to massage her niece.  They both enjoyed the sensation so much that she decided to introduce it to her regular clients.  Mary Nelson founded a hot stone massage business in 1993 called LaStone.  Since then hot stone massage has taken off across the world.  Now virtually every spa in Europe and America has a version of the technique on their books.

How Should I Prepare my Home or Office Before my Masseuse Arrives?

Before your massage you should make sure that you have an area prepared to have your massage.  In your home this could be a bed, sofa, or floor.  In your office it might be a sofa or the floor.  You should lay out some towels on top of the area.  You may also wish to dim any bright lights and put on some music.

What Type of Stones are Used for Hot Stone Massage?

Basalt Stones at Giants Causeway - image by Peter BrotzWhen volcanoes erupt their molten lava flows to along the surface.  When it cools much of it will form the grey/black rock Basalt.  This is the stone that we will use in your hot stone massage.  We use Basalt in hot stone massage because of it’s great heat retention.  It holds heat longer than other stones which heat up quickly and then cool down just as quick.  We use the smoothest Basalt stones we can find.  Normally a semi-irregular oval shape.  The stones are cleaned between every use.

The Giants Causeway in Country Antrim is formed from Basalt.  It was created by intense volcanic activity around 60 million years ago.

Application of the Hot Stones

The masseuse will prepare the hot stones in her hot stone heater.  She will start your massage with just her hands will the stones are heated.  She will remove the stones briefly before using them and test them all on the small of her wrist (where the skin is the most sensitive) to make sure they are not too hot to use on your body.  However, she will still ask you to tell her if they are too hot as everybody’s sensitivity is different.  Don’t be afraid to let your masseuse know if the heat is uncomfortable!

The masseuse will put some massage oil on the stone and will then begin to massage your body with the stone.  They will use circular smooth strokes.  Let your masseuse know if you want more or less pressure.  When she has finished that, she will place the stone on your body and move onto the next stone.

The masseuse may place the stones on the small of your back, your chest, in your hands, on your legs or on your face.  There are different sizes of stones and generally the larger ones will be used on your back and chest, the smallest ones on your face and the medium size stones on your hands and upper body.  The stones may be replaced as they lose heat, depending on the length of the massage you are having.

If there is anywhere you don’t want a stone placed or if anywhere feels uncomfortably hot then let your masseuse know.  We can’t stress enough that we are here to make you comfortable so if there is anything you want just let us know.

What are the Benefits of a Hot Stone Massage?

The benefits of hot stone massage are similar to the benefits of a regular massage: relaxation, relieving mental stresses and relieving muscles soreness and pain.  There are no specific medical benefits to hot stone massage that are not shared with regular massage however many people find hot stone massage more enjoyable and more mentally cleansing than regular massage.

When Should You Not Have a Hot Stone Massage?

Please inform us if you have any of the following conditions:

– Any condition where you have a loss of sensation including Peripheral Neuropathy, Diabetes, Peripheral Vascular Disorder or trauma where nerves have been affected or being post-surgery.
– Pregnancy
– People with a depressed immune system, such as people with Lupus, Epstein Barr, Mononucleosis, Aids, or Cancer.
– Cardiac patients
– Anyone on medicine which reacts to heat.
– People having radiation or chemotherapy treatment
– Anyone with burns, Psoriasis, Skin Cancer, Eczema, Acne, Shingles, Herpes or any acute skin condition, please point out to your therapist the affected area.
– Any condition where massage in general is not advised.

In some of these cases it is not a good idea to massage you, in some it won’t be a problem, in some you can have a regular massage instead and in some you should speak to a Doctor first.  In any case if you have ANY of these conditions please tell us over the phone before booking your massage and we can give you more advice.

Booking your Home Massage with us

If you have not had a hot stone massage before you may have some questions about the treatment.  If you do have questions about anything that isn’t covered here please give us a call on 0207 175 0081.  We’re happy to answer any questions about the technique in general or the way we practice it.

Remember we charge the same low price for hot stone massage as we do for regular massage, just £49 for an hour.  Many spas and salons charge a premium for this service but we don’t. So why not take advantage of that?  A massage is a brilliant way to reward yourself for all the work and stress you take on.  You’ve done the work so now enjoy the reward.

Unlike a traditional massage salon you don’t have to go on a mission to get to us.  There’s no searching through Google Maps, long journey on the train or tube, getting changed in a changing room and being forced to have a shower afterwards before going back underground and getting on a noisy tube train pressed up against other people.  With our service you don’t have to go anywhere to have your massage.  Once you’re done, you don’t even have to get up.  Your masseuse can just let herself out and you can go to sleep.  You can then have a shower in the morning or whenever you want at your own leisure.

There really is no alternative as good as our Vessy Massage – call to book your next Hot Stone Massage now on 0207 175 0081.

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