Especially nice in winter
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Hot stone massage is an Ayurvedic massage treatment designed to anchor the root chakra (muladhara chakra) and the second chakra (svadhisthana chakra) and to relieve bodily tension.
The stones are typically a fine grained basalt (Ponamu may also work well), with a smooth finish of varying sizes heated and used in conjunction with hot oil. Before a treatment the stones are sterilized and heated to between 40˚c and 60˚c in hot water.
The stones may be placed on key points or problem areas on the body so the warmth may penetrate to relax and soften muscles and tissues, or the stones may be gently used to rub over the body. For inflammation or muscle injury, cold stones may be used.
Note the stones should not be to hot or hurt bones.
Ayurvedic therapists are taught to work with the earth energy, which follows the downward flow in the body called apana vayu and is part of the curriculum at universities in India in a course called "Shila Abyhanga". Shila is a Sanskrit word for stone and abhyanga is a Sanskrit word for oil massage which is part of the standard learning for most Ayurvedic physicians.