An exploration of tantric massage and hot stone therapy
Hot stone massage is an intensely relaxing treatment that was used by communities as early as the Native Americans. It involves using heated basalt stones carefully placed on the bare body to draw stress and tension out of the body. The gentle heat is very therapeutic and encourages muscles to release their tensions and overall make the body feel less tight and wound up. A hot stone massage works to release physical tension a lot quicker than a traditional massage and is particularly effective for soothing muscle aches, back pain, stress, insomnia and even depression.
It’s typically incorporated as part of a treatment plan and paired with other therapies. Despite its name, a hot stone massage isn’t actually a ‘massage’. The therapist doesn’t actually physically manipulate the client’s body the way a typical masseuse would. Instead, the hot stones do all of the work to release tension from the body. A hot stone session is usually used to complement a body massage session.
How similar is hot stone therapy to tantra?
Tantra is a meditative therapy that dates back to 5AD. Originating from Ancient India, this ritual is arguably one of the most disused branches despite the fact there are a huge number of texts written about this practice. It came about as a type of meditation that was practised by monks. Its aim was to maintain a tranquil state of mind and encourage sensuality as a way of reaching new levels of spiritual consciousness.
The word ‘tantra’ is a fusion of the words ‘tattva’ and ‘mantra’, so in its simplest terms, it means it is a practice that uses the truth of reality and repeating that to focus the mind towards a higher level of awareness.
In the past, tantra was seen as a sort of witchcraft and black magic. The practice was very taboo and in some ways, this attitude still exists today. Tantric massage is a branch of tantra and blends sensual massage techniques with meditation to create a pleasurable state of relaxation. It was born as a physical variation of the originally meditative tantra and uses manual therapy to relax the body and mind. It’s very popular in Asia and is becoming increasingly in demand across Europe and America too. Tantra isn’t seen as black magic anymore, but it’s now ‘taboo’ because of its seemingly sexual nature.
The meditative nature of tantra is quite similar to hot stone therapy. Like hot stone therapy, tantric massage uses pressure points. Both therapies believe the body can be mapped into pressure points and carefully applying pressure to these areas can do wonders for the body. Hot stone massage uses stones to draw tension out, but tantric massage uses specially adapted techniques to press and coax the tension out.
What’s the point of a tantric massage?
Tantric massage is a very erotic and sensual style of massage that taps into the brain’s pleasure centre. It involves on massage movements and breathing rituals to hone the mind’s ability to focus. Because pleasure is one of the main emotions that tends to send the mind into overdrive and lose control over the body, tantric massage works to reverse that. It uses a variety of traditional and sensual massage techniques to simultaneously relax the muscles, soothe the stressed mind and invoke deep pleasure. It stimulates the whole body, including the sexual areas, which inevitably causes arousal. However this arousal is kept on the backburner, extending throughout the session and incorporating itself with the relaxing sensations. Ultimately, a tantric masseuse will really work your brain’s control centre, forcing you to delay your orgasm yet still feel intense pleasure. By the time you do orgasm, it will be a huge release of tension that blasts the stress and negative energy right out of your body and leaves you feeling relaxed for days.
The focus on energy
Tantric massage theory is based on energy. Tantric practitioners believe that the body contains energy which flows through internal ducts (meridians) and keeps us feeling alive and motivated. Occasionally, these energies may build up and cause blockage in the meridians or inefficient flow. Because the flow isn’t as effectual, not all of the body can receive its energising elements. This is why we become stressed. We may even become more susceptible to illness. Tantric massage works to combat this and re-establish efficient flow by releasing the blocked energies either outwardly (as an orgasm) or re-distributing it throughout the body. Pleasure and arousal play a big role here because they can balance the energies and reconnect the mind, body and spirit.
The primary focus of a tantric massage is to form and maintain the balance between male and female energies. It’s no secret that men and women are very different — books, films and music are just some of the medias supporting this fact. Sometimes they’re so different, it feels like they exist on different planets. This is because their energies work in different ways and are not always in sync. This is why sex often leads to satisfaction for one partner but not the other. Tantric massage works to connect the two partners and encourage their energies to entwine.
A hot stone massage also considers energy transfer and redistribution, although it’s arguably less sexual in nature than tantric massage. The therapy involves basalt stones, which have been heated in water and then placed strategically on various pressure points on the body. The warmth of the stones feels extremely therapeutic and soothing, so promotes relaxation. They work to open up the meridians (the energy ducts) and encourage energy to resume efficient flow and redistribution. The heat also encourages blocked energies to rise to the surface of the skin and be released through the pores. As a result, you’re left with supple muscles and feeling very relaxed and tranquil.
Slow and steady: the importance of savouring the moment
A tantric massage is extremely slow. Unlike many of its erotic and happy ending massage siblings, it follows a precise ritual that cannot be rushed. The massage has the ability to teach people how to access different areas of their brain and experience various states of orgasmic pleasure. For men in particular, a tantric massage can show them how to maintain a heightened state of arousal for a prolonged period of time and experience various climatic stages without actually ejaculating.
How much control do you think you have over your sexual organs? You might scoff and think, “Well I have complete control, of course.” But how many times have you become aroused when you know you shouldn’t have or didn’t want to? How many times have you climaxed before you actually wanted to? For many people, a tantric massage is a spiritual journey that teaches you how to fully control your sexuality. For men, this means total control over your lingam (penis). When you’ve mastered your orgasms, you can experience multi-orgasmic states. Not only will you last longer in the bedroom, but you’ll form a stronger emotional bond with your partner. This means greater intimacy, consistent sexual gratification and satisfaction in life. Overall, a tantric massage can teach you to become a better lover.
A hot stone massage is very slow and ritualistic as well. Although it doesn’t involve sensual techniques, there is a focus on gradual energy build-up. The hot stones are placed and kept on the body for around 30 minutes. This allows the heat to gently arouse the sluggish energies to rise up and re-circulate throughout the body.
Neither of these massage therapies are rushed. Rushing would mean less delicacy and less chance that the relaxation will fully spread throughout the body. Their gradual nature encourages energy to slowly circulate through the meridians and continue their positive work even after the session has ended.
A typical tantric massage session
It may seem as though a tantric massage is quite similar to the happy ending massage that’s so popular in red light districts. However erotic and sensual massages focus more on the sexual side of things, working to directly stimulate the sexual parts while a tantric massage exercises the mind and promotes relaxation. It’s common to become aroused during a tantric massage but the main focus isn’t on orgasms. Instead, an orgasm is a by-product — welcomed but not necessary. A tantric massage is mainly about slowing it down and easing the tension away.
The exact experience may vary from session to session and therapist to therapist, because they may have been taught a different variation of tantra (for example, East Asian tantra is slightly different to Central Asian tantra, as is South East Asian tantra). But a tantric session usually opens with a chanting of mantras, deep breathing (usually the aim is to synchronise your breathing with the masseuse’s) and holding of hands to encourage the formation of bonds. After this, a relaxing full body massage will begin. This helps to calm the atmosphere and the client, readying their mind and body for the tantric examination. The masseuse will work slowly up and down their body, back then front, slowing gaging which areas cause what reactions and which are holding the most stress. The therapist will vary speeds, pressures and areas of the hand (for example, fingers, palms, thumbs, backs of the hand) to keep the client’s mind entirely focused on the massage. The build-up will be slow but by the time you do finish, it’ll be a very satisfying sensation.
A typical hot stone massage session
Before you arrive, the therapist will sanitise and heat the stones in a bath of 120–150 degree water. The stones are smooth rocks that retain heat well, such as basalt. You will start face down so the therapist can work on your back first. They may warm up your muscles by giving you a traditional Swedish massage to relax your tight tissues and rubbing a heated stone over your body. Then, they will begin placing the heated stones over the various pressure points on your body. Different sized stones will be used — big ones on the big muscles and small ones on the smaller ones. As the stones cool, they will be replaced with newly heated ones. You may even have stones placed down your spine, in the palms of your hand or even between your toes. This is to improve the flow of energy throughout your body. The stones are said to have an energetic charge, so for best effects, some therapist place them in a specific spiral pattern.
A hot stone massage should feel very relaxing and therapeutic — and for most people, it does. However some people may not like the sensations, particularly the heat or the way the stones feel. If this is the case, just let the therapist know and they can adjust or stop. Lava shells and steamed towels are another way to incorporate heat into a massage session.
How about a tantric hot stone massage?
If you want to try something quite unusual, try a tantric hot stone massage! This is a perfect blend of the slow, energetic build-up of pleasure of a tantric massage and the soothing sensations of a hot stone session. From £120 incall and £140 outcall, we offer a range of professional tantric massages in London. Click here for more information.
Thank you Asian Tantric Massage London for help with the post and providing all information.