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History and theory behind Zen Spiritual Stone Therapy

November 3rd, 2012

Winter is coming!

And we at Rikyu always find that our Zen Spiritual Stone Therapy treatment becomes very popular at this time of year!

It’s a full-body luxury treatment in which we use smooth hot Basalt and cold Marble stones, to warm up your body and soothe away tension. It’s a great way to rejuvenate and unwind in the winter months!

Let me explain the history and theory behind this treatment.

Stone massage itself dates back over 3000 years in ancient India and China, and more recently to the North American Indians. The unshaped ancient pebbles used for the treatment are believed to contain natural healing gifts from Mother Earth, helping clear away negativity and creating balance and harmony on a physical, emotional and spiritual level.

Stone therapy, however, has not only the benefits of the spiritual aspect, but also a  scientific basis. Geo-thermotherapy is the theory behind the treatment. The application of alternating heated or chilled stones changes the physiological response within the body to enhance the healing process.


Hot basalt stones


The use of hot Basalt stones improves circulation and metabolism and eases stiffness, resulting in the body warming up and a feeling of deep relaxation! However, if only the heated stones alone were to be used in the treatment, it would act on the circulatory system in a depressive way. This is because continued application of heat over a long period of time will cause extreme tiredness in the body. It’s a bit like physically exerting yourself at the height of summer! The body needs to cool down to maintain optimum homeostasis (a self-regulating body system).


Cold marble stones

So, cold Marble stones are applied to aid with inflammation and tone up the body. The short-term application of these cold stones serves to narrow the blood vessels, restricting the blood supply. However, due to homeostasis, the prolonged application on the skin of cold stones is like having a heat treatment, encouraging the flow of large amounts of blood to a cold area of the skin to warm it up.

In this way the blood flows even better, flushing congestion and blockages out of the body. The long term application of cold stones uses the same principle of ice baths for professional atheletes, where they rapidly remove lactic acids (body waste) after training to keep the muscle conditions at the optimum level.

Going back to geo-thermotherapy, the alternating use of heated and chilled stones creates a perfect balance of body, mind and spirit, helps to release the stiff muscles and allowing the natural energy flow to proceed unimpeded!