The ancient healing art of stone therapy using various massage techniques & warm stones relaxes the body at its deepest level and is effective in creating harmony and balance. The subtle energies of stones introduced into a treatment calm the senses, relax muscle tension and promote a meditative state.
The heat from the stones penetrates to a deeper level, bringing about physiological changes as well as influencing the body’s internal energy flow; therefore bringing a balance to both body and mind. Massage is a perfect way to nurture our bodies and ourselves. Incorporating stones into a treatment can enhance the power of this contact.
The heat from the stone is transferred to the body by means of conduction. Penetration may reach up to 1.5″ into the superficial layer of muscle. Following exposure to heat, the surrounding tissue may become hyperaemic, due to increased blood flow caused by vasodilatation.
Application of the stones produce an increase of capillary blood pressure as blood leaves congested areas. This assists the treatment of weakened conditions by stimulation and detoxification.
The stones used in thermal stone therapy are known as basalt, which is igneous (porous) and is a product of volcanic/sedimentary action. Its composition chiefly consists of olivine and iron magnesium silicate.
Due to the sedimentary action coupled with it’s chemical composition, it is a very dense stone. On Moh’s hardness scale of 1-10 basalt is rated 7 (diamond being 10!). Since it has been washed along the seashores and riverbeds for thousands of years, it is very smooth, naturally tumbled stone. Basalt is, due to its density, smoothness and dark hue, predisposed to retaining heat for long periods of time.
Mythology : Like many rocks and crystals, basalt has been imbued with energetic and healing attributes from various sources, e.g. Provides the strength required to continue through difficult times, produces solidarity (hence its numerological vibrational affinity with No.1), helps diminish the negative and enhance the positive personality traits within the individual.
Increases heart rate, respiration and vasodilatation of the capillaries
Promotes the release of tension in connective tissue
Increases circulation and elimination of waste products
Increased action of leukocytes (fights infection)
Improvement in circulation and lymphatic function
Reduces muscle spasticity – heat application relaxes muscle to the extent that we can work further/deeper with muscle fibre. If muscle relaxes and recovers, repair can take place more efficiently.
Client becomes more receptive to massage in areas of tension.
Soothing, nurturing, feeling of being in touch, grounding, feeling of blissfulness, tranquillising, comforting, feeling of security and safety, release of tension and anxiety.
Cold stones are excellent to ease decongestion e.g. Deep tissue or sinus. They also soothe irritation.
Causes vasoconstriction, especially good in areas of inflammation, as blood flow is discouraged.
Analgesic into muscle when cold is applied, which is effective for treating muscle cramp and tension.
Inhibits release of necrosin (natural chemical released, which causes tissue deterioration). It is useful as an application immediately after muscle damage occurs, to inhibit further damage.
Reduces inflammation and build up scar tissue in over worked muscle groups.
Incorporating stone massage into other treatments can be highly effective in enhancing the effects. Treatments where stone massage may be introduced are:
Indian Head Massage
Hopi Ear Candling