A hot stones massage is a form of massage therapy where either heated or cooled stones are placed on the body for the purpose of pain relief, relaxation and therapy.
Dating back to ancient civilizations, hot stone massages were considered a form of healing therapy to provide physical and spiritual ease. Having evolved over time, the stone massage emerged in the late 1900s and quickly became one of the most popular massage techniques of the modern world.
But what does it entail, and why has this massage therapy become so important to our health, reaping many benefits?
The Massage Techniques
The hot stones massage incorporates techniques of a more regular massage alongside the heated stones. By resting these hot stones on top of your body, therapists can open up the muscles and work into the tissue to remove any tension.
In comparison to a deep tissue massage, through long strokes and circular motions, hot stones subsequently provide a deeper, more relaxing massage experience, with each stone known to pass on its unique energy to you.
The stones used for this massage are usually basalt stones. This is a smooth black rock or river rock made out of iron, helping it retain heat. These hot stones are then placed on different areas of the body, including your spine, stomach, chest, face, palms, feet, and toes.
The therapist will then use Swedish massage techniques to gently rub these stones into your body, subsequently creating what we know as a hot stone massage.
The Health Benefits of a Hot Stone Massage
There are an overwhelming number of benefits that make hot stone therapy one of the most relaxing of its kind. Although it calms the muscles, this massage therapy takes us far beyond the spa and uncovers many numerous health benefits. Such benefits include:
Reduction of Stress and Anxiety
Through a hot stone massage, stress, and anxiety - especially among those with cardiovascular problems - is known to be improved as it is the ultimate relaxation massage. A study from 2001 showed that a ten-minute hot stones massage improved cardiovascular responses such as stroke volume, which is usually provoked by stress.
Relieves Muscle Tension and Pain
Hot stones therapy is also known to assist with pain, especially with patients experiencing autoimmune diseases. This is because it relaxes the body, reducing muscle tension and spasms. As the stones help to remove tension around the body, the blood flow and circulation further improve, there assisting with previous tension and pain.
It seems strange to think that a stone massage can help to improve immunity but it’s proven to be true. With its clear signs of increasing blood flow and stress reduction, a hot stones massage can further increase immunity levels; therefore helping your body fight off any diseases. In fact, according to a 2010 study, a single session of Swedish massage therapy had a positive and acute impact on immunity.
Reduce Cancer Symptoms
A study published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management examined how stones massage affected pain, fatigue, stress and anxiety, nausea, and depression in 1,290 people with cancer. In many cases, hot stones massage therapy provides cancer patients with some sort of comfort during their medical treatment, decreasing anxiety, and depression, and promoting sleep.
Encourage Better Sleep
Body massages are known to promote more restorative sleep. However, a hot stone massage has been even more helpful in promoting this, especially amongst the older generations and those suffering more serious sleep disorders. Through experiencing a hot stones massage, not only will patients be able to sleep better, but the quality of sleep will also increase. This allows patients to wake up feeling more restored and fully energised.
Enjoy a Hot Stone Massage in Malta
With all these benefits to experience, there is no better reason to enjoy a hot stones massage today. Sink your body into relaxation and indulge in a Hot Stone Massage at Carisma Spa.
Looking to pamper yourself even further? For a fully indulgent and luxury experience, we recommend you combine your Hot Stones Massage with our exclusive Indian Head Massage for a complete soothing treatment.
Following these two calming treatments, you will leave the spa feeling fresh and fully revitalized inside and out - and ready to face whatever 2020 has left to throw at you.
Book your Hot Stone Massage in Malta Today.
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Thai Massage is a traditional healing system that combines assisted yoga postures with acupressure and Indian Ayurvedic principles to relax the body. It is an ancient form of healing that has been practised alongside other traditional medicines in Thailand for thousands of years. Its origin can be traced to oriental medicine and yoga.
Thai massage therapy is based on the concept of an invisible energy body surrounding every human being. An individual’s energy body consists of over 72,000 individual energy lines. This energy body is divided into ten main energy lines called Sen that supply the organs with vital energy, the life force. Traditional Thai Massage focuses on manipulating the energy on the ten main Sen Lines.”
Getting a massage, especially for the first time, can be intimidating and raise questions like; Is this going to hurt? Do I keep my underwear on or go buff? But even for those familiar with other types of massage, a Thai massage is completely unique.
The technique that Thai massage therapists use is very different from what people are used to. Unlike hot stone or deep tissue massages, where a person passively lies on a bed, the client lies on the floor and participates more actively in the massage. Thai Massage is known to relax the whole body. It helps relieve pain by increasing relaxation response and reducing defence arousal response. It is famous not only in Thailand but in other countries as it promotes relaxation, reduces stress, and increases parasympathetic activity in patients with back pain. It also increases blood circulation, decreases blood pressure and heart rate, reduces pain, and promotes relaxation. Unless you try it yourself, you will not understand why it’s arguably the most approachable of the types of massages. Here are 5 significant things you need to know before your Thai massage therapy.
1. The History of the Thai Massage
Thai massage was developed by monks centuries ago. It is said to have been founded by Chiwaka Komaraphat who is said to have been the Buddha's physician over 2,500 years ago. He was known to have extraordinary medical skills and extensive knowledge of herbal medicine.
Among the towering spires and ceramic inlaid stupas of Bangkok’s Wat Pho temple are a group of inscriptions from the 19th Century. Shaded by the wooden eaves, these large marble plaques, known as the Epigraphic Archives of Wat Pho, divulge the secrets of the Thai way of life and are one of the earliest recordings of the techniques of Nuad Thai (Thai massage).
“Unlike more “Western” massage styles, Thai massage’s rich history has been passed down for generations. As a result, Thai massage has been developed over time and its benefits well researched.”
While you might not believe in the energy lines that Thai massage therapists believe circulate throughout the body, you will certainly benefit from the years of experience that has gone into their techniques.
2. Thai massage techniques
Thai Massage techniques are based on the belief that tight muscles diminish the flow of energy. When your body’s energy is immobile, its stiffness and inflexibility create discomfort and pain. This practice lends itself to be sustainable for both giver and receiver, and is often described as “Thai Yoga Massage” and the “Lazy Yoga.” Traditional Thai Massage uses two major techniques. They include:
The Royal Thai Massage Technique (“rajasamnak”)
The Royal Thai massage technique affects the deep organs and tissues by increasing circulation of blood and increasing nerve function. Massage therapists must have the anatomical knowledge and a wealth of experience to be able to perform this type of massage correctly. This technique requires the use of only hands and fingertips for acupressure the whole time without exhaling over the patient. For this massage treatment, the patient will either lay on their back, their sides or sit-up. There is no laying face down like the common Thai massage technique.
The Common Thai Massage Technique (“chalosiak”)
The Common Thai massage technique helps to relieve overall muscle strain, tightness, and tension. It stimulates blood and energy flow throughout the body. This technique requires the use of hands, feet, knees, elbows, etc. If the therapist does not have the expertise it can cause the loss of bone joints or is likely to cause bruising of the muscles or capillaries, so it is important to go to a spa that has skilled & experienced therapists.
3. Proven Health Benefits of Thai Massage
Thai massage benefits your mental and physical health in numerous ways. It stimulates all organs of your body and balances all systems of the body, making it a powerful therapy for your physical and emotional problems. During a traditional Thai massage, gentle pressure is applied to the internal organs of the abdomen with the different Yoga postures and the abdomen-massage.
Studies done on these Hatha Yoga positions have shown the stimulation to cause the internal organs to begin functioning at their highest capacity. This improves digestion, nutrient absorption, waste elimination, and the circulation of blood and lymph.
"Thai massage benefits are not only backed by scientific studies. They also give you an experience of another level
of Thai culture and a whole depth of relaxation"
The 6 proven health benefits of Thai massage include:
4. Side Effects of Thai Massage
All types of massage, including Thai massage, can help people relax, temporarily relieve muscle pain, and boost a person's mood. While it has many health benefits, Thai massage also has its side effects.
“Although a person of any age can get a Thai massage, it is not appropriate for everybody”. Thai massage may not be safe for someone with the following health conditions:
You should not get a Thai massage if you are pregnant or have just undergone surgery, as the technique could pose health risks. The physical intensity of this massage technique could lead to health complications or worsen pre-existing injuries.
If you're considering trying Thai massage but are concerned with your medical history, it's a good idea to check with your health care provider first before getting massage treatment.
5. What Happens at The Spa During a Thai Massage
The Thai massage treatment unlike other types of massages requires you keep your clothes on throughout the massage. You can either wear your own loose-fitting clothes, or your therapist may have you change into scrub-like garments — a loose cotton top and drawstring pants.
You will lie on a mat or massage mattress on the floor whilst your massage therapist slowly moves your body through multiple stretches, using the weight and pressure of their body to assist you. Unlike Swedish massage, oil isn’t used and your muscles typically aren’t kneaded. Instead, your therapist will use their hands, thumbs, elbows, and knees to stretch and pull different parts of your body. Through this stretching, you’ll relieve muscle tension, increase muscle flexibility, add to your muscle tone, and improve joint mobility.
Some of these stretches may involve going through yoga-like movements with your therapist holding or pulling you to maintain a pose. As the therapist draws attention to each part of your body, you will recognize previously ignored sources of tension and can release them. “Thai massage keeps you more present within your body throughout the process, so you’ll discover that you’re better able to identify those sources of tension following the massage and prevent them from coming back, rather than simply being relieved that they’re gone”.
If your muscles are sore or tense, you may feel some discomfort. If you do, let your therapist know so the pressure and stretching can be reduced. Also, if you have an injury, or if some part of your body is sensitive to pain, let your therapist know before they start the massage session.
Conclusion and Closing Thoughts
Without using oil, this vigorous massage is orientated around energy flows and points on the body. It is an energetic technique that triggers well-being while relieving tension and stiffness. Enjoy a relaxing Thai Massage Experience at the best massage spa in Malta.
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Lomi Lomi massage, also known as loving hands massage, is a traditional Hawaiian massage that combines massage techniques, nut oils, breathing and dance to soothe the body. It is based on the Huna philosophy and how it is related to our bodies work and its healing process.
“Lomi is a Hawaiian name. It means to knead, rub, soothe, and work in and out like the paws of a contented cat. Repeating the word "Lomi" for emphasis shows how special it is.”
Lomi Lomi massage was made famous around the world by Hawaiian tourism. The massage is like a dance around the patient and its technique is different from other types of massage. Practitioners make use of their palms, fingers, knuckles, elbows, knees, and feet during the massage to make broad, flowing strokes.
It is more than just a physical massage; it is a healing experience that harmonizes the body, mind and spirit. It has a positive effect on all body systems. It improves flexibility, reduces stress, balances the body and mind, and helps you reach clarity and relaxation. Once you experience it, you might not want to try any other traditional massage again. Find out what to expect at a Lomi Lomi Massage:
History of Lomi Lomi Massage
To understand the modern practice of the Lomi Lomi massage, you must understand its origin.
The Lomi Lomi massage was brought to Hawaii by early Polynesians. The Hawaiians then created their unique style. It was a practice that spiritual healers, Kahuna and Shama, used to exorcise spirits. It evolved for over a 100 year in an isolated valley throughout the Island chain with different approaches and techniques.
Traditionally, the Hawaiian lomilomi massage was practised in four contexts:
“People who performed lomilomi were called Ka po’ e Lomi Lomi (the massage people) or Kanaka lomilomi. Kauka Lomi Lomi was later coined in 1920, to describe osteopathic physicians”.
It was banned in the 19 century (1820) by colonial masters who saw the massage as heathen practice. But Lomi Lomi Massage as a restorative massage remained popular not only among natives of Hawaii but among foreign residents. In 2001, the law was revised and amended to ensure only native practitioners certified by the Hawaiian medical board could perform this massage.
The structured technique taught and practised today was created by Hawaiian Massage masters, Abraham Kawaii and Magaret Machado. Instead of prayer and chants, Lomi Lomi massage therapists were asked to offer calm mental space and nurturing touch to their clients. This adaptation has helped Lomi Lomi Massage gain worldwide popularity.
What To Expect from a Lomi Lomi Massage Session
As Margaret Machado said, the difference between Lomi Lomi massage and Swedish massage is the"loving touch". Its holistic approach creates a connection between your mind, body, emotion and spirit.
The massage therapist begins the Lomi Lomi massage session by placing their hands gently on the client and staying still for a while. They might also ask you to take deep breaths to help you relax. Traditional Lomi Lomi practitioners might add music and chanting of prayers.
Unlike the Thai or deep tissue massage, during the Lomi Lomi massage more of your body is uncovered. This is because the massage therapists move in long flowing motions rather than working on one body part at a time. Some therapists use massage sheets, exposing larger areas of your body at once.
The massage therapist makes use of the forearms and the hands in a fluid, rhythmic motion, massaging different parts of the body at the same time. This helps the client relax as the brain can't focus on two different areas at once. By not working on areas in isolation, a deep sense of stability and peace is achieved. Traditional Lomi Lomi massage technique includes abdominal massage as this is traditionally considered the colon part of a person's soul or heart.
If you wish to discover the benefits of the Lomi Lomi massage for yourself, you can book a Lomi Lomi Massage session here
Benefits of Lomi Lomi Massage
Lomilomi massage therapy has many health benefits. It can cure a wide range of health conditions and imbalance. The fluid-like movements of the hands and attention around the joints helps break down any blocked energy that you may be experiencing physically or mentally. This massage therapy has proven to be beneficial for:
The Lomi Lomi massage therapy takes you to a state of relaxation and stillness that frees your mind from blockage and stabilizes the mind to face new possibilities. A cleansing process also takes place, releasing toxins, cleaning up the body, releasing body tension, healing pain and boosting the immune system.
Conclusion and Closing Thoughts
One of the secrets of the Lomi massage is the joyful sharing of life energy in the present. It has the power to create an altered state of consciousness and sacred experience for the giver and receiver. Its potential for reconnecting with the body, mind and soul is endless.
If you wish to discover the benefits of the Lomi Lomi massage for yourself, you can book a Lomi Lomi Massage session here
Carisma Spa & Wellness International has been offering a superior service in 5-star hotels, and holiday resorts along the Aegean and the Mediterranean coast of Turkey and Malta since 1990.