Herbal leaves and roots are boiled and the steam passed through the body for a prescribed period of time. Indications - obesity, joint pains.
The oldest know medical system, Ayurveda, considered sweating so important to health that it prescribed the sweat bath and thirteen other methods of inducing sweat. Swedhana, or steam therapy is part of Ayurvedic seasonal recommendation for detoxification, Panchakarma.
Aroma Therapy is a system of health emphasizing relaxation and stress management. Essential oils, extracts, herbs or decoctions may be placed directly in the water so it is an ideal therapy paired with steam. Steams are infused with essential oils and herbs according to Ayurvedic tradition. Particular blends soothe and enrich the skin while their aromas promote deep relaxation, stress reduction, vitality and emotional balance.
Sweating and steam therapy have a number of beneficial physiological effects. Circulatory changes produced by vasodilation increase blood flow to the skin and decrease blood flow to internal organs. This helps to bring vital nutrients to the skin and subcutaneous tissue stimulating cellular activity. Any increase in the metabolic rate also burns calories, improves circulation, promotes water-weight loss and beautifies skin.
The skin is sometimes referred to as the “third kidney.” The heat of a steam bath speeds up the chemical processes in the body, making steam therapy one of the simplest and most comfortable ways to rid the body of toxins. As the pores open, millions of sweat glands start to excrete and the body rids itself of waste products.
I have created a Swedana Session that true to the basic teachings of Ayurveda, but I have incorporated the use of cold marble stones on a marma massage to the head. Let's just say that client's experience something "beyond relaxation and detoxification." It is an "out of this world" treatment.
Hot Stone Therapy
came from healers using rocks from the river beds and warming them either in hot coals or hot water. By placing the stones on cloth on the body and arranging them along the energy centers, a healing process would occur. The hot stones relax the muscles helping to “draw out” pain and discomfort. They connect the flow of energy in order to rebalance the physical body, emotional mind and spirit as one.
As you relax on the table, the energy of the stones begin to balance the body’s internal flow. They assists to integrate energy and nurture spirit. There are so many useful benefits to "stonework" that it has been used for centuries by many cultures including the Japanese, Native Americans and Russians to name a few. The stones bring the energy of the "earth" to healing. They help to ground us and stimulate our connection with the planet.
A session begins with a stimulating Ayurvedic brushing to prepare the system to accept the heated stones. Stones and are then placed along marma points on the body. They are slowly moved along the body to balance the system and focused attention is paid to areas of pain/blockage to create "release."
If you’re a regular reader of women’s magazines or you like to keep up with what’s new in the world of health and beauty, chances are you’ve come across the buzz surrounding Hot Stone Massage. Even though this treatment, designed to promote fantastic wellbeing and therapeutic results, has quite recently caught on and is now being offered in salons and spas across the globe, you’d be wrong to think that today’s beauty experts are its founders. In fact, stone therapy goes back to ancient times where many cultures were practicing it as early as 1,000 years ago – from the Japanese women who wore warmed stones around their stomachs to aid digestion, to the Romans who would bath in hot water before lying on cold stone slabs to stimulate circulation and re-energise their minds. For a treatment that spans so many years and gains new fans every day, there’s no denying that Hot Stone Massage is HOT!
Stone Therapy – Hot Stone Massage
There are numerous versions of Hot Stone Massage, but many top salons and spas such as the Buty Salon in Hammersmith and Fulham, offer a more spiritual or metaphysical method with LaStone Therapy. This is a trademarked style of massage developed in 1993 by Mary Nelson, a massage therapist from Tucson who began to get visions and verbal guidance from her Native American Spirit guide. “With each day’s work, I was intuitively led to use more stones, and developed a method of progressively opening up the energy channels (chakras) of the body,” she says.
Why use stones?
The stones used for treatments are specifically chosen for their therapeutic properties such as basalt (for heating) which has been polished and shaped flat and smooth by rivers and oceans and marble(for cooling) which stays cold and absorbs body heat. Stone therapists believe that the natural stones that they use contain the earth’s healing energy and due to their varying weight, size and temperature, have the added benefit of enabling easy relaxation of the muscles, allowing the therapist to apply deeper pressure, if desired, with little manual effort.
What can I expect during Stone Therapy?
The massage therapist often begins by applying oil to the body which allows the hot stones to glide smoothly along the muscles and helps warm them up. While you’re sitting, the therapist places two rows of warm stones on the treatment table in alignment with both sides of your spine before covering them with a soft towel to protect you from the heat. You will then be assisted to lay back down on the stones. The therapist will then place stones of varying weights on your body’s key energy channels, including the seven main chakras. Smaller sized pebbles are then placed between your toes with flat stones in your palms while the therapist then uses both hot and cool stones as an extension of her hand while massaging your body. The physiological benefits of alternating between hot and cold to the body have long been scientifically and medically proven and while the hot stones help improve circulation and calm the nervous system to aid deep relaxation, the cold stones increase the lymph flow of waste materials around the body causing a detoxifying effect. This, along with the sedative effect that the Stone Therapy has on the mind, means the whole body and mind becomes rebalanced, energised and calm.
Who would benefit from Stone Therapy?
This treatment can be isolated to specific areas of injury or full body to experience the total mind, body and spiritual benefits. It is ideal for people who feel anxious or stressed or those who want to unknot muscles that have tightened through exercise or work and it is a fabulous way to give comfort to those suffering from back pain, poor circulation, osteoarthritis, insomnia and depression.
When should you not have a Stone therapy?
The therapist will not treat those with infectious skin disease, rash or open wounds, immediately after surgery, radiation or chemotherapy - unless recommended by your doctor. It is also not advisable for people prone to blood clots as there’s a risk of blood clots being dislodged. If you have heart disease or are pregnant, check with your doctor first. LaStone Therapy should not be carried out directly over bruises, inflamed, unhealed wounds, tumors, abdominal hernia or areas of recent fracture.