Sports Massage using Hot and Cold Stones

Warm and chilled stones are becoming more popularized and used for massage treatments within many clinics and spas.  Stone massage has been influenced by Ancient cultures that incorporated stones and heat within their healing practices ie Chinese, Native American, Hawaiians, Egyptian, Ayurvedic and other civilizations.  In 1993 Mary Nelson from the USA has been instrumental in the modern day development of hot and cold stone massage.

Hot stones is a therapy that combines the Geo-thermotherapy (the use of heat application) with massage strokes and oil in an effort to warm the muscles.  Cold stones used for Cryotherapy can be simplified to the heat exchange whereby the cold stone is placed directly on the skin which is warm and the cool stone absorbs the heat in an effort to bring about balance.  This is especially beneficial for an inflamed or injured area of the body by cooling and soothing it.  The therapist will always be mindful to check the temperature of the stones with the client and adapt treatment to their requirements.  The hot stones are generally made of basalt and the cold stones from marble.  Both mediums hold heat or cold very well allowing several strokes to be applied before therapist is required to exchange for another stone.  Often hot stones once they have been used are placed on or around client because they are still warm.

Hot and cold stones can be beneficial for sports massage to enhance healing.  Whether the muscles are feeling fatigued or injured temperature will be very helpful for you.  Although a full consultation and health assessment is always taken prior to any massage treatment.  Whilst the hot stone helps to soften, and warm the muscle.  Also reduce muscle contraction and pain, promote relaxation and movement.  A cold stone will help to bring fresh blood, decrease inflammation, swelling and pain.

The role of hot and cold stones is not just to bring about relaxation but also for therapeutic effects.  The stones can be applied to provide a deep tissue style massage, for soft tissue or to release trigger points.  A cold stone can bring relief for sore muscles for example neck strain and soothing for headaches.  Whereas a warm stone used on tight muscles ie hamstrings or quadriceps can alleviate and ease the restricted area.  Ice and heat is already well known to speed up the recovery process for sore muscles or injuries.  Often heat and ice therapy is already being used during the treatment by sports therapist or prescribed to the client ie R.I.C.E.  Whereby the client as part of aftercare is advised to rest, use ice, compression and elevate for an injury.

The combination of warm and chilled stones helps to get rid of toxins and increase elimination this will help with any muscular aches and tension.  To increase blood flow and healing to the body which aids recovery especially after sporting activities. The Sports person is not only impacted physically but also psychologically.  There can be anxious feelings prior to a run or activity.  They may suffer other related issues that may impact them mentally ie over-training, exhaustion and ongoing injuries whereby they have to accept that they need to rest and be inactive.  There may be concerns ie old scar tissue, wear and tear on joints and repetitive strain injuries and possible ongoing operations.  The sports person may have to face a wide variety of issues.  When treating any potential client there is always a holistic approach.  The overall relaxing effects of a hot and cold stone treatment will also be welcomed by all.  After a massage it is always advisable to drink more water and rest.

Conditions that can benefit from Hot and Cold stone massage:-

·        Insomnia

·        Stress

·        Depression

·        Tension

·        Anxiety, 

·        Headaches/Migraines

·        Pain Relief

·        Poor Circulation

·        Back Pain

·        Muscle Pain, 

·        Sports Injuries

·        Work Related Injuries

·        P M T

·        Exhaustion

·        Arthritis/Rheumatism

·        R .S. I

·        Stiffness

·        Asthma, 

·        Menopause

·        M S

·        Fibromyalgia