Unit 2 - Lesson 10: Short and Long Term Applications in Stone Massage

Learn about the short and long term application for massage stone therapy

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Now, while we understand acute and chronic conditions, let’s understand about massaging with a hot stone for short-term and long-term and stone placement with hot and cold stones, okay?


Short-term hot lasts about 5 to 15 seconds and you get about 30 to 35, 40 seconds out of a hot stone when it’s moving on the body. So you don’t get a whole lot of time with that hot stone, to the point where the body has to respond. The stone, once it becomes warm, it’s just a warming stone. It’s not chemically changing the fluids that are in the peripheral of that body. So, but first 5 to 15 seconds allows that body to respond with that sympathetic response. It vassal dilates and the brain has to decide if it’s at threat or not.


Long-term hot lasts about up to 20 seconds and after that your stone’s no longer hot enough to create a chemical response for the system. It becomes warm. With a stone massage, when it’s moving, you can only have about 20 to 30 seconds of getting the body to pull, pool or pull the local blood in the region to the surface and then it’s a done deal. You have to have to put that stone, you either tuck it or you put it back in your roaster and get another stone to continue the response.


With cold stones you can actually keep the body in short-term response for five to ten minutes depending on how much inflammation is there. It’s all about how blocked it is, how much blockage of fluid, of how much inflammation, lymphatic fluid or blood or even like edema. How much is there. So it depends on how much is there as to how long you can keep them in to short response.


Short-term cold response is that vassal constriction. That’s when the body responds sympathetically and that’s when all the fluids run away from the peripheral. When you get to long-term response, that’s when that blood comes from the heart and from the lungs and oxygenates the peripheral and the tissue.


So you want to be able to use multiple stones. A hot stone you’re going to do it in one or two stones. A cold stone for a short-term it’s going to take four, six, eight or ten stones. You can keep that body that’s having that problem in that long of a time and need that many cold stones to keep it vassal constricting. Once you get that chemical change like we spoke about over here in the chronic, once you see tissue change, temperature changes the tissue, respiration change, pliability of the muscle, then you’ve reached long term and you can keep the body in long-term for maybe ten minutes. Then it’s time to go back to that hot application so you can get that change to go back and forth, vassal constriction, vassal dilation. That’s when you’re massaging.


When you have stones inside a pillowcase then your time is going to be different. It’s going to change because you have thickness of material. Now, depending on the level of thickness of the material will depend on how long it takes the temperature to go through the material to the skin. So a pillowcase is what you use for a cold stones. You don’t want to put a hot stone in a pillowcase. It’s not thick enough. You can put a warm stone in a pillowcase, but not a hot stone. And you’re going to be able to get a few seconds out of that. It’s not going to stimulate the system like moving that stone on bare skin. It’s going to encourage the fluids in the local area to possibly change, but not as dramatically as if you moved it. It still will do some vassal constriction for the cold and some vassal dilation for the heat, but not as on bare skin. It’s more gentle so that’s more for the acute conditions. You want to be more gentle when it’s acute.


When you’re putting it through a towel it’s going to take a lot longer for that stone’s temperature to go through that level of material. By the time it actually gets all the way through the level of material it’s going to be a cool and a warm stone. It’s not going to be a hot stone or a cold stone. So you’re really not going to get that thermal response that you would if it was through a pillowcase or through bare skin. So you want to understand why would I choose that towel versus the pillowcase or the bare skin?


These are the charts that would help you understand that in your book.