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For your Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Health & Well-being - April 2004

Alana Weiser LMT, NCTMB
of Heartstone Massage brings
LaStone Therapy to Moab

What is LaStone Therapy?

Alana Weiser of Heartstone Massage

LaStone Therapy is a powerful treatment that brings the elements of fire and ice into the realm of bodywork via heated basalt river stones and chilled, carved marble stones. Body, mind and spirit receive the deep healing energies of the earth with the therapeutic potential of this treatment going far beyond ordinary massage. The benefits of alternating hot and cold for healing purposes has long been scientifically proven. Through the creative expression of the therapist, LaStone Therapy may be experienced in a variety of forms. It can be a deep-tissue or a relaxing massage; it can be energy-work, sports massage or reflexology to name but a few. It elegantly combines the science of temperature therapy with traditional healing practices and ritual.

What are some of the benefits?
On the physical level, the application of heat softens the muscles and releases tension, allowing the therapist to penetrate deep into the tissue. With the application of cold, both chronic and acute conditions benefit by reducing inflammation. All systems of the body respond to the increase in circulatory activity with the alternating use of hot and cold stones. The heat brings oxygenated blood into an area, which increases lymph flow and metabolism. The cold pushes out inflammation and congestion. This produces “vascular gymnastics” which promotes cleansing and tonification of all internal systems and results in boosted immune function and overall vitality. It is both stimulating and deeply relaxing. The mind is quieted as feelings of serenity and harmony are experienced. One’s spirit is nourished as well, as there is a sense of being cradled and held by the earth.

The use of stones in healing work is nothing new. For centuries, many indigenous cultures around the world have worked with stones to bring balance and healing into body, mind and spirit. Shamans, Medicine People and Spiritual Healers use stones and crystals in their healing ceremonies. In recorded history, the first application of heated stones to bring relief to sore muscles dates back to before the Shang Dynasty in China (C 2000-1500 BC)

Although the idea of working with stones has been around since ancient times, it has only been since the fall of 1993 that it made its way into the contemporary world of massage and bodywork. LaStone was created and developed by Mary Nelson, a licensed massage therapist from Tucson Arizona. Suffering from a rotator cuff injury, she was seeking a way to extend her career as a massage therapist. LaStone Therapy caught on quickly and has become one of the most requested spa treatments on the market.

Why LaStone as opposed to other “Hot Rock” treatments?
Today, one can find a plethora of stone massage offerings. You can order a video and a bucket of rocks for less than one hundred dollars; or you can invest over a thousand dollars to purchase supplies and take a four-day training to become a certified LaStone practitioner. In-between these two ends of the spectrum, you may find any number of options available. How does one choose? One of the hallmarks of LaStones credibility as the unparallel leader in the field of geo-thermo-therapy is found in its insurability. Many of the professional massage insurance providers began placing riders in their malpractice policies that excluded stone massage from coverage based on the extreme temperatures involved. After being approached by LaStone Therapy Inc., the International Massage Association (IMA) granted approval for coverage, even when other forms are not. The IMA acknowledges the skills and abilities that are taught through LaStone Therapy are of superior quality and provide the therapist with the knowledge for safe application of heated and chilled stones to the body. There is no question that LaStone Therapy provides the best training available in this modality.

Coming of age
In the fall of 2003, LaStone Therapy celebrated its tenth anniversary. Instead of investing resources in promotion for quick profit, LaStone has been investing in studying and promoting the wisdom of the earth. It is grounded in the spirit of respect, gratitude and integrity and has combined the best of science, technique, and skilled practice with a deep reverence for the sacredness of the earth. In an industry where trends come and go, it is apparent that “stone massage” is here to stay.

About Alana
Alana Weiser is the sole proprietor of Heartstone Massage. She is a graduate of the Utah College of Massage Therapy, class of 1993. She is a certified LaStone practitioner and is Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. In addition to her private practice, she has worked at Orvis Hot Springs in Ridgway Co. and at the Franz Klammer Lodge in Telluride. She grew up in Park City, where she spent several years as a dedicated tele-skier. Alana has lived in Moab on and off for the past 17 years. Her love for the earth is what brought her to LaStone Therapy. She quickly discovered that this form of bodywork was much more effective and allowed her to work at a much deeper level than was possible with her bare hands. When she isn’t working with the stones, playing music, or spending time with her daughter, Alana will most likely be out spending time in nature.

For appointment availability or more information, please call 260-9754 or come by the office at 50 east Center St. Studio #1

LaStone Therapy- Jane Scrivner
Rock of Ages; press release, January 2004- Jill Dew and Duane Mallaber
LaStone Therapy Training Manual- Mary Nelson

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