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October 27, 2009

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Getting stoned with hot rock autumn massage Massage

WITH smooth hot stones along energy meridians is a good way to get your qi (energy) flowing, relax your muscles and expel toxins. Fei Lai rocks out. Autumn is a season for harvest and storing, a time to get rid of toxins, absorb energy and nourish the body.

Hot stone massage, especially recommended in this season, is a highly detoxifying massage that uses smooth heated stones - it's warming, penetrating and very relaxing. Think how good it feels outdoors when you lie on a warm flat rock.

"Hot stone massage gives a special connection with nature, says Rita Cheng, a therapist at Green Massage's new Shanghai Center branch. "It feels amazing."

The heat of the stones helps muscles relax more quickly than traditional massage.

"It's deeply therapeutic and comforting. The healing experience can release tight muscles, allow the toxins to come up to the surface of the skin, improve circulation and promote deep relaxation," says Cheng.

The stones are usually basalt, a smooth black volcanic rock that absorbs and retains heat for a long time. The stones are rich in micro-elements and the invisible holes in its surface can store heat.Around 30 stones of different sizes are used in a session, placed as needed on back, neck, legs and belly. A session lasts 105 minutes at Green Massage.

The therapist first removes some stones from a sterilized hot water container where they are heated. Then they are cooled to 55-60 degrees Celsius. Essential oil is applied so the stones glide over the skin.

"As a therapist, I roll them in my hands for a while, letting the heat pass to my hands first," Cheng says. She also makes sure the client's body is well-oiled.

Aroma lymphatic massage's technique can also be used, stroking in the direction of lymph flow and stimulating natural cleansing and detoxification by flushing toxins from the body.

(Since major lymph nodes are located in the groin and near the breast in the armpit, female therapists do not perform such massage for men in most massage centers.)

Heated stones are placed in specific points along spine, in the palms of the hands, on the belly or even between toes to open up the energy merdians and improve the flow of energy.

"Maintaining smooth energy circulation is important for health and is simple to achieve with stimulation at key points," Cheng says.

"There are certain points on the soles of the feet that connect with the organ system running throughout the whole body. When the stones work on the feet, complete relaxation will be achieved," she adds.

Clients can request the stones be cooler and ask for light, medium or deep pressure.

The massage ends with a foot scrub, which especially feels great after a hard week at work.

The use of stones has an ancient recorded history, going back thousands of years in China, India and the Americas. Native Americans said it merged human beings and nature, according to Cheng.

In addition to relaxation, rejuvenation and stimulating circulation, hot stone massage can also benefit those with ovary and uterine conditions, says Cheng.

"Women with irregular periods can benefit greatly," she says.

Men also benefit from hot stone massage.

Green Massage Shanghai Center Branch

Address: 202 West Retail Plaza, Shanghai Center, 1376 Nanjing Rd W.

Tel: 6289-7776


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