Whether hot or cold, your clients can benefit from stone massage therapy. The therapeutic technique of stone massage can be learned through home-study courses in the privacy of your home or office. These new tools can then be easily implemented into your massage practice.

During stone massage, stones are placed strategically along the body’s pressure points. The heating and cooling effects of the stones add to traditional massage techniques, helping the body’s muscles to relax faster and easier.

Often basalt, a volcanic rock that conducts heat well, is the mineral of choice in the treatment; however, other types can be used. During this technique, varying sizes of either heated or chilled stones are used.

Massage therapists trained in the application of this technique place the stones along the spine, in the palms of the hands and between the toes. Stone massage can be used to treat numerous conditions. Some of those conditions include multiple sclerosis, arthritis, fibromyalgia, insomnia and depression. It has also been known to help with back pain, stress and anxiety.

Other benefits of hot- and cold-stone massage include aiding in decongestion, increasing oxygen intake, having deeper muscle penetration, improving blood circulation, reducing swelling in the body, reducing stress and cleansing toxins from the body.

But this technique isn’t for everyone and precaution should be taken for some clients. Clients who are sick, have a heart or circulation condition, or sensitive skin should not receive stone massage.

An Internet search revealed numerous home-study courses that are available for any massage therapist to take to fulfill his or her continuing education requirements. For stone massage, some of the courses offered cover such topics as the differentiation of stones shapes, stone sizes, giving holistic stone facials, mineralogy, recommended uses of stones, stone placement, ayurvedic principles and detoxification protocols.

Make sure to check with your national and state licensing bodies to make sure the courses you select are acceptable for continuing education credits.