Hot Stone therapy involves the use of both hot and cold stones placed both on the body, under the body, and for massage to create balance and healing. The stones can be used in a combination of ways for various therapeutic reasons: hot only, cold only or a combination of both.
The stones that are heated and used as hot stones are wonderfully smooth and rounded basalt stones formed from volcanic rock. The effect of heat and massage allows deeper relaxation of both mind and muscles, and therefore helps with stress symptoms such as insomnia and nervous tension, as well as conditions of muscular pain including fibromyalgia. The effect of the heat also results in increased circulation and therefore results in more removal of toxins from the system and stimulation of the immune system than by massage alone.
Cold stones are marble or sedimentary stones called marine stones and these are cooled before use. They can be used in massage on a hot day or where there is congestion in the body such as in sinusitis (a cold stone facial) or as part of a cold compress to alleviate sprains, swelling and inflammation (this can be included in the massage), or laid on varicose veins during the massage.
Couch and stone placements can be placed either under or onto the client for additional benefits; the stones prepare the body for massage and continue the treatment after that part of the body has been massaged. These will be either hot or cold to bring balance to the body.
A chakra layout can consist of hot and cold stones, or appropriate gem stones can be placed on the chakras to help balance the mind, body and spirit.
As an Aromatherapist, I choose appropriate essential oils to add to the massage oil for added benefits.