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LaStone, Massage types

What is LaStone Therapy

sardonyx heart-stoneLaStone Therapy is the original hot and cold stone massage. It is a massage and therapy form that includes the use of hot and cold stones, both passively and actively. Some stones are placed to heat and cool muscles, while other stones are used as a massage tool instead of the hands. The stones do a lot of the work, which can give a very deep and profound massage.

The therapy was created by Mary Nelson in 1993 where she started to implement hot and cold stones into her massages and it quickly grew from there as it was shown to be very effective. Not only did the clients experience increased benefits, the therapists did too. Their hands and fingers were spared during massages and work related injuries drastically reduced.

Hot basalt rocks are heated in water, normally to a temperature between 52-55 degrees Celsius. The cold marble stones are normally kept on ice. For more deep tissue and therapeutic work, more extreme temperatures are often used, especially colder stones. Sardonyx can also used as cold stones which can be very beautiful.

LaStone is not a routine or specific way of massaging, but rather an implementation of hot and cold stone routines into any massage given. This makes LaStone a very broad and varied massage form, which can be tailored to any need a client has; therapeutic, sports massage, well-being and relaxation. There’s room for a tender, nurturing touch, emotions and energetic work that revives and revitalises you.

A typical 50 minutes Lastone spa routine will include both active and passive work with the stones. First you’ll be asked to undress and lie on the table, draped under a towel. You sit up with the sheet and towel around you and the therapist places hot and cold stones which will lie under your back while your legs and arms are massaged. More stones are placed on your stomach and chest, which aids you in relaxing completely.

As you lie there on and under hot and cold stones, your legs are massaged with hot stones, which can work deeply into the muscles. Cold stones can be used as well, which makes the experience invigorating and refreshing. Once the legs are covered again, your arms will get their turn. Again, using the hot to make your muscles relax completely, and the cold stone to draw out the excess heat and energizing you. During a 50 minutes treatment there’s not much time for a face massage, which then generally is saved for the 1h20m massage.

When the front side is completed, you’re asked to turn around the stones you lay on are removed. A new hot or cold stone is placed under your belly and you’re asked to adjust it so it’s comfortable. It might sound hard, but is actually very pleasant. You remain draped, only moving the towel aside as the therapist begins to massage your legs and back with hot stones, finishing with a cold stone. Your neck and shoulders also get a treatment before you’re covered up again and asked to turn around.

Finishing the massage your face receives a brief cold caress which serves to energize you and freshen you so you don’t feel all tired and drowsy after the massage, but instead rather ready to face the day and able to function as normal.

The longer LaStone Therapy includes more targeted and in depth work, as well as massage of the face and neck. For those interested, energy work can be implemented, making it a complete treatment of body and soul.

About Pia Poulsen

Pia Poulsen is educated as a wellness massage therapist at Institut FIGARI in Paris, from where she passed her certification exam in January 2008. Since then she has expanded her skills to become the first Advanced LaStone® practitioner in France as well as a certified LaStone® instructor.


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