A hot stone massage is a treatment that uses basalt stones- a form of volcanic rock. They are pre- heated in a water bath and hold the heat for a long time, allowing them to be used as an extension of the therapists hands, massaging the body. Each stroke with a heated stone is thought to be equivalent to at least five with the hands alone. The stones can bring a greater dimension to a massage treatment, the warmth is deeply relaxing and can allow more release of tense and tight muscles, but also the pressure can stimulate the energy circulatory system of the body – the meridians. In India and Asia stones where used before acupuncture needles became available.