Unit 2 - Lesson 8: Chronic and Acute Conditions for Stone Massage

Learn how to treat chronic and acute conditions with temperature for massage stone therapy

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Hi. In this video we’re going to talk about chronic and acute conditions, well not the actual condition itself, but how to treat those two conditions with temperature. And then we’re also going to talk a little bit about would you choose to move that stone on the body or would you choose to do stone placement with those conditions.


Acute is normally considered 72 hours or less, but not always. Somebody can be chronic, have a condition that’s been going on for years due to an injury or an accident, and yet also be acute. Acute has to do with the level of inflammation within the tissue.


A lot of times when somebody is in that chronic position where every day they are achy but then one day they wake up and it’s more so, then that’s become acute because it has additional inflammation blocked in the area and the fluid is not moving. And through temperature you can move fluid. You can encourage that lymphatic fluid, that inflammation that’s from an injury, or chronic conditions, or blood to move by adding temperature, hot and cold, in a certain system that will make that fluid move.


So we’re going to talk about acute, whether it’s a brand new injury and/or whether it’s inflammation built up within the tissue and we ‘re going to talk about chronic, chronic meaning older than 72 hours. Somebody could have an injury and four days later, after the third day, on that fourth day it could become acute. It could become chronic but still be acute. So you’ll want to work them differently.


Now if it’s a new injury and it’s truly acute, it’s less than 72 hours old, you’re only going to do stone placement. You’re not going to apply any type of technique that you already know how to do. It doesn’t matter if it’s a subtle technique or not. About the only two treatments I would say safe would be to do for acute would be energy work and temperature or cranial sacral work and temperature. So deep tissue work is not appropriate for a brand new injury, Swedish massage isn’t, Shiatsu isn’t, on that specific isolated area.   So you want to pack the body in with stones and again you are going to use pillowcases for the cold and for the hot you can use those pockets, the heating pockets that we have that wrap around the body. But a pillowcase, you’ll want very thin material between them and the bare skin. Just enough to not shock them too badly. And the pillowcase also lets you to wrap it around that hip or around that leg or arm.


It’s going to take about 2-4 stones packed in to that isolated area, because we’re talking about a small part of the body, not the whole body. You’re going to leave it there for about 5-7 minutes. Then you’re going to go and take that away and take your thermal pockets and put your hot stones in it and pack those in there and that will take another 5-7 minutes. Ten minutes would be your maxed out. Then you’re going to go back to cold and pack in cold along that area that’s hurting. Then you’ll go back to hot again and, using the appropriate thickness of material.


It’s so important that you’re using the right thickness of material for your hot and cold. It’s not equal because it’s not equal the way the body would respond to that excitement of the temperature and you don’t want to burn the epidermis when it’s just resting. The stone moving on the body is very different than the stone resting so you must have the adequate layers of material. You go to hot and you end with cold. You will always end with cold application for the acute person, for the acute isolated area because it’s that vassal constriction and vassal dilation. Remember we spoke about vassal constriction initially with that cold and then it vassal dilates if you do it long enough. And you want to have that action happening, that blood running away from the peripheral and the oxygenated blood coming from the heart to feed that tissue and you want to end it like that. So it’s always best to end acute cold.


Now let’s talk about chronic for a minute. One moment, just to reiterate, on acute (72 hours or less) there’s no massages/no technique, it’s just stone placement and the proper layers of material. Now with chronic though, we get to move a stone. So over here we’re going to actually massage with the stone or you can do different types of techniques that you know and be able to get the tissue to change, including deep tissue work on chronic, as long as it’s not 72 hours or less and acute.


So again, we’re going to go back and forth with hot and cold stones. Remember the hot stone is going to vassal dilate. It’s going to only ask for the local blood to come to the peripheral and to respond to the temperature. The heart doesn’t have to respond at all. The nervous system does because it is sympathetic response initially for the first five seconds or less, but then it’s going to respond for like five, six, seven minutes with the hot stones and bringing that oxygenated blood to the peripheral and softening the tissue and getting those muscles to respond to the temperature and getting warmed up. Getting the respiration to slow down in the breath and the client to relax more.


It’s going to take anywhere from 2-6 stones, sometimes as many as eight. If somebody is dealing with a chronic condition that they’ve been dealing with for ten years it may take them a while to really relax in to your technique that you’re offering with the stones. So you have to get them really relaxed and watch that respiration and make sure the client has become sedated by it.


Once you get that client and that tissue nice and warm and relaxed you’re going to come in with cold stones. Now, I have up here two, four and six stones. How would you know, would I use two stones or four stones? You’re going to know by how the body responds. What’s happening with the tissue? Can I feel a change in the constitution of that fiber? Can I tell if the muscle is changing its thickness, its pliability? Is the client breathing differently? So you have to have a change happen. Did the tissue become cooler? So you want to do cold long enough that you create a change. You need to do cold long enough to go from vassal constriction, which dumps the fluid away, that’s the inflammation fluid away, the blood away and the lymph away, and doing cold long enough that you get to that secondary response where you’ve brought the blood from the heart, from the lungs to the peripheral to save the attack so they don’t get frostbite.


When that happens, when that change takes place, sometimes you see it in a breath, sometimes you feel it in the tissue. Then you go back to hot. And now we take all that oxygenated blood that you’ve brought from the lungs and the heart and the hot stones are going to stir it up and it’s going to warm that tissue up more. Your going to keep doing two, four and possibly six stones to get that tissue really warm again because the warmer we get that tissue, the more technique we can offer to that fascia. The more we can do with that muscle region. And again remember, all of this is isolated work. We’re not doing full body at the moment.


So as soon as we see a change, the moment you see the body change, that tissue becomes more pliable, the shoulder relax, the hip opens up, their breath changes, their skin becomes warm, maybe even a little redder, then you go back to cold. And again, how much cold am I going to need? You’re going to need enough cold to make a chemical change. You want to go from vassal constriction to vassal dilation. It’s going to take at least two stones to do that, if not more. The level of inflammation is going to determine how many stones you need. You have to pay attention. Is that muscle becoming more pliable? Can I now separate fascia? Can I get the shoulder to rotate better? Is the client’s breath relaxing in with the threat of thermal exposure to the cold stones?


Then when you get that change, you go back to hot. It’s going to take less and less stones as you come down this ladder, as you go between hot and cold, it’ll take less and less to get a reaction. The body will react quicker to it. You get that muscle nice and warm. You get that tissue nice and warm. That body opens up and expands more for you.


You’re going to end with cold, just like you did for acute. Always end with cold. When you need change within the chemical constitution of the tissue, whether it’s acute or chronic, you’ve got to end cold because that’s an internal heating response, because that brought that blood from the heart. It didn’t just use local blood where the hot stones do. So you want to end with bringing that fresh oxygenated blood, that thrombo blast, that amino acids and the minerals all the way from the internal core and system to that peripheral because that’s where you have that true nutrition and that ability to heal that tissue.


So to reiterate between acute and chronic, someone who’s a chronic can actually have acute conditions and acute can actually be just an endry and not be chronic. Acute, you’re going to do stone placement, making sure you’re using the right levels of material between cold and hot.   Hot needs thicker and cold needs thinner. You must use thinner to get the cold to be a threat to the tissue so change happens and you must be thicker on the hot to protect the body from burning it.


Then with chronic, you’re going to be massaging the body with it using the techniques that you’ve chosen to use. Whether that’s deep tissue work or whether it’s effleurage type work, Swedish type work, Lomi Lomi, you’re going to be moving that stone on that tissue area and working between those hot and cold stones getting those chemical responses that you’re asking the body to do. And then always with both, you’ll end cold. Always. Okay.