Stone therapy is a type of massage that uses either heated or chilled round, smooth stones placed on key points on the body. The practitioner uses the stones to massage the body and to transfer the heat to the client.
Stone therapy originated about 2,000 years ago from Chinese medicine. Heated stones were used to increase the performance of the internal organs. The use of heated stones can also be dated back to ancient religious rituals and cultural folklore, from areas that range from Egypt, Africa, Europe, and North America.
Mary Nelson, a massage therapist, reintroduced Stone Therapy to North America in 1993 after she discovered that hot stones can help treat repetitive strain conditions.
Stone therapy practitioners use stones in two ways during treatment.
Practitioners first transfer heat to the body by laying stones under the client or on top of the client. The client is given an egg-sized stone to hold in each hand; similar sized stones are cradled in the foot arch. Smaller stones are placed between the fingers and toes.
These stones are then placed strategically in key areas of the body, while the practitioner massages the client with other heated stones. These stones deliver both deep and superficial massage.
As the stones cool down, they are replaced with fresh stones. This ensures that continuous heat is used throughout the treatment.
Stone therapy can promote deep muscle and tissue relaxation, alleviate stress, release toxins, relieve pain, and improve circulation.
A level of training that includes every competency component needed to safely and appropriately apply the treatment.
An additional treatment that first requires the practitioners to be trained in an appropriate related discipline.