The therapeutic effects of stones have been utilised in ancient healing arts for centuries. Today, there are a number of forms of stone therapy available. Developed in the USA in the early 1990s, stone therapy is a rejuvenating form of massage, during which hot and cold stones are placed on the body to help alleviate aches and pains.
In stone therapy the pressure – which in conventional massage is applied by the therapist – comes from the stones, which penetrate and stimulate the body’s physiological systems. The use of stones also symbolises a connection with the earth, and the therapy is said to promote a deep sense of spiritual harmony and well-being.
Based on the principles of thermotherapy (in which heat and cold are used for healing), cool stones reduce inflammation and swelling and are said to drive healing energy to areas affected with pain. Hot stones transfer heat to aching muscles and, when combined with the cool stones on the body, help to stimulate blood flow and lymph drainage. It also promotes a deeper form of massage than may be achieved using the therapist’s hands.
Stone therapy can help people who suffer from chronic and acute muscular problems and it can also help with respiratory, digestive, lymphatic and circulatory functions. As a form of massage, it is said to release blocked energies, enabling people who are stressed or tense to rebalance mind and body.
Stimulation to the circulation and lymph drainage improves metabolism and produces a relaxing, meditative state. As a whole experience, stone therapy creates an optimum healing environment and helps the body to rebalance and self-heal through the stimulation of neuro-chemicals. Personal testimonies often cite the long-lasting effect, which can be for days rather than hours, as another benefit.
As with any massage, stone therapy is not suitable for people who feel uncomfortable exposing their body or being touched by strangers.
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