Stone therapy is a method of lithotherapy based on reflexotherapy combined with thermal and energy effect stones have on sensitive and biologically active areas of the body.
A certain number of cold and hot stones is used in stone therapy. During a procedure hot black stones and cold white stones (sometimes of indoor temperature) are used in a successive order.
Stone therapy uses various volcanic rocks as the hot stones. For this purpose, basalts are the most common, disposable and convenient. They are good at retaining heat and, most importantly, they release it slowly.
Various soft rocks are used as the cold stones. The most common stone is marble as it gives off heat the fastest and chills the tissues.
Affecting the biologically active points of the body the stones help in the treatment of many diseases mainly associated with the nervous system disorders. Stone therapy is especially useful for people suffering from stress and depression.
Stone therapy treatment quickly relieves from muscle ache, pains in the spine, neck and legs, it speeds up metabolism and eliminates excess weight.
With sessions held regularly stone therapy improves blood flow to the sore areas of the body, stimulates cellular activity, and enriches the tissues with oxygen.
Hot stones massage is a wonderful way to achieve the neuropsychic relaxation. This procedure eliminates muscle spasms, improves blood circulation and lymphotrophy, accelerates the penetration of active ingredients into the dermis.
Cold stone massage has steady anesthetic and anti-inflammatory effect. In a two-step procedure including cold and hot stone massage it has therapeutic effect. Cooling the tissues and then heating them produces the so-called secondary blood flow.
The temperature of the stones used in stone therapy should be above or below the skin temperature by no less than 10 ‘C. The recommended temperature of the hot stones is within 43 ‘C – 55 ‘C. The temperature of the cold stones is chosen individually taking into account one’s sensitivity to cold. Depending on one’s state of health the temperature of the cold stones may vary from 25 ‘C (room temperature) to 0 ‘C. The comfort temperature of the stones for the facial and decollete area is 5-10 ‘C (the temperature in the refrigerator).
There should be no painful or uncomfortable sensations during the procedure.
Compared to other methods contrast stone therapy has unquestionable advantages:
- Contrasting water dousing doesn’t have such deep thermal effect as the cold stones do.
- Contrast compresses do not come with massage movements.
- Metal and glass massage tools change their temperature too fast, and wooden sticks are difficult to disinfect.
- Polyethylene cryobags are uneasy both for complex massage movements and disinfection; they are made of synthetic materials and are non-durable.
- Ice melts quickly, glides easily and can injure the tissues when pressed.
- Semiprecious stones need to be disinfected carefully so they don’t change their color as affected with some chemicals.
Consequently, common rocks have all the necessary properties to be used in contrast stone therapy. They are able to warm up and cool down the tissues deep, they may be smooth and rough, and be of different shapes and sizes. This enables performing various movements massaging all the body parts. Such stones are durable in use and easy to disinfect, they look aesthetically pleasing and can make any procedure beautiful.
The advantage of stonetherapy is that it has a large number of options. One can always customize the procedure depending on one’s mood, age and wish, time of day and the season, as well as medical condition.
The contraindications for using hot stones are the same as for a conventional massage and physiotherapeutic procedures involving increased blood circulation.
Cold stones must not be used in case of pregnancy, the hypertensive disease, vascular disorders, thyroid disorders, neuritis (including past neuritis), and diabetes.