Stone Therapy

This is a massage using hot and cold stones. Heated stones were used before the Shang Dynasty in China (2000-1500BC) to help relieve tired muscles.

Today we are very familiar with the use of spas which are often associated with being a luxurious method of relaxation, but they are not a new concept. In fact spas were common in Roman times and were used to improve health and well-being. Spas were about getting better, and the hot pools, cold dips, plunge pools, saunas and steam rooms were designed to balance the body so that it could heal itself.

Over 10,000 years ago the ancestors of native American tribes began offering stones to the body for wellness. Stone Medicine is an American Indian Healing Art which incorporates both massage techniques and the natural healing energies of warm and cool stones. The modern term for this type of massage treatment is Geothermal Therapy. This process is known by Native Americans as Inyan Pejuta which is a Lakota word for Stone Medicine.

I use hot and cold stones during a stone therapy massage.

Basalt stones, which have been formed by the cooling of volcanic lava are commonly used in hot stone massage today. The stones are dense and, due to their volcanic origin are able to retain their heat for a long time, releasing it slowly. They also have energy and healing properties including stability, strength and clarity in difficult times.

To provide the cooled application I use marble stones which have been specially hand crafted to specific sizes and shapes which make them especially effective for massage.

The short term effects of heat on the body are

  • Increases circulation – floods the body with oxygenated blood

  • Causes widening of the blood vessels, increasing blood supply

  • Reduces muscular spasms which reduces tension

  • Relaxes the muscle response and the client, allowing the therapist to get deeper into the muscle with less discomfort

  • Increases the pulse rate, improves circulation and helps the heart to pump efficiently

  • Increases lymph function

  • Increases metabolism

  • Stimulates the nervous system initially. Long term heat is sedating to the body

  • Warms the tissues, helping to prepare for deeper work.

The short term effects of cold on the body

  • Narrowing of blood vessels, restricting blood supply to different areas of the body

  • Analgesic effect. The body releases a natural pain relief substance, which helps the therapist to work deeper with less pain

  • Reduces histamine – an irritant present in stressed muscles, which results in the relaxation of the muscles

The uses of both hot and cold stones causes a contrast bathing effect which can be very effective, as it causes a flushing and cleansing effect. This is a very useful process for clients with sluggish circulation and sports injuries.

Psychological effects of stone therapy Massage may include

  • Relaxation

  • Relief from tension and stress

  • Sense of well-being

  • Invigoration

This therapy will take at least half an hour for a back massage and from one hour to one and a half hours for a full body massage.


Because my aim is to provide the best treatment that I possibly can, I have just completed a two day VTCT course in stone therapy (30th June and 1st July 2012). This is in addition to the course I did in 2008. I am also booked on an advanced course in November 2012.