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.
The hands are the other tools used when giving a hot stone massage. It is much easier on the hands of the therapist than regular massage, as he/she doesn’t have to use his/her hands to apply pressure – rather the stones and pressing on them cause pressure. The sanitized warm stones are laid on either side of the spine, while other stones are covered with warm oil and rubbed on the clients legs and arms. For me, this is luxurious. I dont require much pressure, but my husband, whose muscles have deep ache, requires as much pressure as is possible. This is why this type of massage suits him. Nothing like a customized massage.
In the early 1800s, massage therapy became very popular and this increased until the 1930s and 40s. As modern medicine developed, the benefits of massage therapy were discounted. It was used less and less. In the 1960s and 1970s nurses began to use it to alleviate pain in patients. Again, its popularity grew until finally in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta massage was deemed a core medical service, which gave it great credibility.
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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