Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Get Stoned For Health

From the West Australian newspaper's Mind&Body supplement of April 10th, 2007:

Hot Stone Healing
LaStone therapy uses hot and cold stones to massage the body. Basalt and marble stones are placed under the body as well as on the body for massage. Caroline Oakes, owner of Embody Health in Subiaco, said the hot stones are used to relax the body and remove tension. The cold stones are used as a trigger point therapy and help flush the body of toxins and work the lymphatic system. [...] LaStone therapy was devised by American Mary Hannigan in 1993 and is now widely used in Australia. Therapists who use LaStone purchase specialty stones from the United States. They leave them outside during a full moon to energise them. LaStone therapy is also used in conjunction with aromatherapy and sometimes crystal therapy.

So, LaStone therapy has only been around since 1993? It's not traditional then? Shouldn't alties avoid it then?

What the above shows is just how gullible and deluded the practitioners are, let alone the users. In what way are US stones essential? And why not leave the stones out in the sun? They'd certainly "energise" more (so much so, EoR suspects you could even feel the increase in radiant energy).

Of course, while massage has many benefits, and the use of heat and cold in therapy (particularly for muscoskeletal issues) is well documented, a woo therapy just has to have that extra frisson of marvellous magic to, in some mysterious way, make it more powerful, more balancing and more energetic (readers should recognise that all those italicised words are keywords, but are also equally devoid of all meaning in the current context).

LaStone therapy, unfortunately, isn't just a pleasant massage using heat and cold (albeit by the rather wacky idea of using stones). It comes from a higher source:

I developed LaStone therapy in August 1993. I was praying and my spirit guide started telling me about it, so it was all channelled, and I continue to receive guidance in this way about the development of the therapy. [...] LaStone is also a spiritual experience; with energy work connecting the client and the therapist to their creator (or whatever the right image is for each of them); it helps to awaken the soul to understand its path. Many people are seeking a connection to body-mind-soul in their everyday life, and LaStone therapy facilitates this. In our advance courses we teach the use of toning, chakra balancing with crystals and fossilised coral to enhance the full experience of using the mineral kingdom in a body session. In our advance courses we expand the use of alternating temperatures with many different types of therapies such as reflexology, sports massage, facials, energy work, deep tissue work, physical therapy principles and much more.

Other massages, even those using stones, are ineffective and are described as "powder puff type treatments". Which seems rather hurtful of Mary Nelson, considering how "open" she is to every other woo under the sun being used in her special spirit-channelled woo. Except directly competing woos, apparently.

The powder puff type treatments can just be one-offs, but for the deep treatment both the client and the practitioner have to make a commitment to working with long-term goals the therapist needs to monitor the process, so weekly sessions may be appropriate.

Of course, alties hate doctors for their perceived scamming of patients with dangerous pills. But try an altie therapy, and you're immediately being told you must do it weekly. Forever, presumably. That's what is meant by "holistic" (ie the therapy will last your whole life).

As described by Discovery Health, Mary Hannigan's transformation was like a scene from Star Wars (quite apart from having another surname):

Its creator, Mary Hannigan, says that the idea for LaStone first came to her on Aug. 19, 1993, when a voice said to her: "Use the stones." At the time, she was sitting in a sauna with her niece. The voice became so insistent that Hannigan finally picked up two stones and massaged her niece's back with them. That moment launched an industry based in Hannigan's hometown of Tucson, Ariz., and a movement that its followers say draws energy and spiritual strength from the stones.

If being pounded with rocks isn't sufficiently newage for you, consider combining them with Hungarian Wellness Mud:

This treatment envelopes your client in a loving cocoon of healing energies and soothing elements, allowing their bodies to obtain nourishment from 100% natural elements of the earth. These two natural sources work in synergy with the stones, to physically and spiritually nourish the body.

Never mind obtaining your nutritional needs from wheatgrass, all you need is some mud!

Despite repeated claims to be "at the leading edge of research and development of the therapeutic application of hot and cold stones to the body" no such research is available through any of these sites. Selling training courses, yes. In fact, lots of selling. But not a lot of research.

The true LaStone therapist will also proudly display all the associated paraphernalia, such as the LaStone bib, the LaStone baseball cap and the LaStone robe.

1 comment:

  1. I have had hot stone massages. The massage therapists keep the stones hot in a convection oven. The massages are EXTREMELY relaxing. No detox claims are made. No cold stones are used. It's just about relaxation, and I have literally fallen asleep, I've been so relaxed. (I'm in the U.S.- not all hot stone therapy is "LaStone" therapy, at least not here).


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