Nothing feels better than a hot bath, or the feeling of warm sun or sand on the back. I love this feeling. There is something great about this warmth. This relaxes our muscles and feels great on the skin and bones. There is a way to have this feeling through a trained massage technician. She/he will perform a hot stone massage. I was a little nervous at first when I heard about it – not to mention surprised, but I tried it. I loved it and make one part of my weekly routine.
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.
The stones used for this are the ones used through the ages and the history of hot stone massage. They are smooth basalt stones. These retain heat very well and are believed to have energizing properties.
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 client’s legs and arms. For me, this is luxurious. I don’t 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.
Massage therapy became popular in the US in the 1800’s and grew in popularity until the 1930’s and 40’s. The development of modern medicine discounted its benefits, and use dwindled. It made a re-appearance in the 1960’s and 1970’s when nurses began to use it to alleviate pain in patients. In the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta massage was deemed a core medical service, which gave it great credibility.
Many (about 90,000) people in the United States claim massage therapy as their part-time or full-time job. Most are self-employed. A large percentage of these workers are of part-time and self-employed workers. Most states in the United States require some sort of a license to practice massage therapy. If a state does not have any massage laws, then nothing is required and a practitioner need not apply for any sort of license with the state. To train in the US where a license is required it involves 500-1000 hours in length, resulting in a certificate, diploma, or degree depending on the particular school. Go ahead and try hot stone massage. You’ll love it.
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