Don’t you love the heat? Warm sun on your back, hot sand on your legs and feet. Yes, we all love the beach. There is something very healing and relaxing about the sun. Our muscles feel great having lain in the sun for a bit. There is a way to have this feeling without being in the sand. A trained massage technician will perform a hot stone massage on you in a spa. I was a little daunted at first, but I was surprisingly impressed when I tried my first hot stone massage.
Don’t worry, it is all done by a certified massage therapist in a clinical environment and the stones are kept in sanitized water until they are needed. Then gloves or other tools are used to remove them when needed. This is to inhibit the growth of bacteria. Massage therapists are certified after a long course of training.
What type of stones are used? Well, they are basalt, smooth rocks which have been used throughout the ages, as they are believed to have energizing properties. They also retain heat very well. Other types of massage use other types of tools, as well as the hands of the therapist.
And while we’re on the subject of hands and tools, a hot stone massage is much easier on the hands of the therapist. These stones are used to apply pressure, so the massage can be customized to suit individual needs. The sanitized hot stones are laid on each side of the spine. Heat is delivered to the body. Then, other parts of the body are rubbed with oil then with hot stones. I don’t need much pressure applied as my muscles aren’t so tight, but my husband prefers a lot of pressure. This relieves tension and helps promote blood flow.
The art of massage became popular in the US in the 1800’s. It had a surge of popularity until the 1930’s and 40’s. Not only regular massage, but also hot stone massage. When modern medicine came to the forefront, the art of massage therapy became discounted as ˜lesser than” . Suddenly, it became popular again in the 1960’s and 1970’s when nurses began to use it to relieve pain in patients. It again gained credibility when, in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta it was used as core medical service. Are you convinced? Do you want what’s good enough for an Olympian?
Do you have a favorite massage therapist? Many (about 90,000) people in the United States claim this as either their part-time or full-time job. Most are self-employed. This occupation includes a large percentage of part-time and self-employed workers. In the United States there are about 90,000 massage therapists. Most states in the United States require a license to practice massage therapy. If a state does not have any massage laws, then the national certification in massage therapy is not required and a practitioner need not apply for a license with the state. Training programs in the US are typically 500-1000 hours in length, and can award a certificate, diploma, or degree depending on the particular school. If you are looking for a hot stone massage, either talk to your massage therapist. If you don’t have one, check your local spa. Check out the credentials and consult your doctor. This may even be covered by insurance in some cases. Whatever you choose to do long term, at least check into this. It works for me, it will work for you.
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