Fire and Ice Stone Therapy

The Ariana Institute’s Techniques in the Spa World Manual is part of a series of massage manuals that are designed to help deepen the knowledge of current massage therapists and introduce new massage therapists to the world of massage and bodywork.  The Techniques in the Spa World Manual features topics that are also available as NCBTMB approved online CE courses through the Ariana Institute at, including:

  • Aromatherapy for Massage and Bodywork
  • Ayurvedic Massage
  • Couples Massage
  • Hot and Cold Stone Massage
  • Spa Techniques: Exfoliations and Body Wraps

Techniques in the Spa World_BookCoverPreview_08-19-15 

This manual incorporates detailed protocols, photos, links to online videos, marketing strategies, personal stories, and resources to encourage a comprehensive understanding of spa techniques and modalities beneficial for your massage practice.

Here’s a personal story about hot and cold stone massage featured in the Techniques in the Spa World Manual.


My first experience with hot stones was in the mid 90s when I worked as a massage therapist at Barton Creek Resort and Country Club in Austin, Texas. The resort offered hot stone therapy as one of its treatments. At first, I thought it was just another passing fad, so I resisted immersing myself in that world. I was wrong; hot stone therapy has turned out to be one of the most popular modalities offered in the massage profession today.

During my time at Barton Creek, I could see that this was a viable and effective modality that was here to stay, so I began researching hot stone classes and I inquired with my colleagues who were offering hot stone therapy.

One of my dear friends who worked at the Lake Austin Spa Resort offered to give me my first hot stone session. It was unforgettable. The kinesthetic experience of the gentle pressure from the smooth hot stones on my body was transforming. I am grateful that my massage therapist was an experienced and talented hot stone practitioner who incorporated a smooth, rhythmic flow with a knowing intelligence regarding pressure, depth, and stone placement. I will be forever thankful to her for opening up the doors to this incredible modality.

Once I experienced a session, I was definitely hooked on stone therapy. Soon after I registered for a hot and cold stone class offered by LaStone Therapy. Participating in that class was an amazing experience. Our instructor was intelligent and knowledgeable and she obviously loved the stones as much as I did. We saw demonstrations, heard testimonials, and exchanged several sessions with our colleagues over the course of the classroom experience. I purchased my first set of hot and cold stones from them that very week! I was off to a new and unique adventure.

After I offered practice sessions and felt comfortable with gauging the temperature and pressure of the stone work, I proceeded to refine my timing so I could offer a session professionally. I looked at the ritual of offering hot and cold stone therapy as a dance and a challenge. Happily, not too much time passed before I had the temperature, timing, rhythm, pressure, and cleaning down pat.

Shortly following this process, I began offering hot stone therapy at Barton Creek Resort, as well as offering hot and cold stone therapy in my private practice. It was a remarkable turning point in my massage therapy career. I felt happy to have mastered a modality that I loved and enjoyed giving as well as receiving. The soothing, nurturing warmth of the basalt stones coupled with the brisk coolness of the marble stones creates a delightful contrast that, among other things, enchanted me from the very beginning about this modality. I love the unique and unforgettable tactile sensation in a stone session that affects both the giver and the receiver.

When I left Barton Creek Resort, I continued offering hot and cold stone in my private practice, and subsequently at The Crossing Wellness Spa and the Hyatt Lost Pines’ Spa Django. Taking the time and initiative to learn a new modality served me well in terms of personal pride and also in terms of increasing my economic prosperity.

Further on in my career, offering continuing education classes in hot and cold stone therapy through The Ariana Institute became an additional milestone for me. I went to a local landscaping company and sorted through their basalt stones, one-by-one, to find the perfect stone sets for my students. I ordered specially sculpted marble stones from La Polar Stones for use in class. I found the most appropriate and affordable warmers and nets for the toe stones. I figured out how many warmers I could have in a classroom without blowing a fuse. I created a comprehensive course notebook. I also designed and developed a video for my students to refer to outside of class and for my online students to use in their remote studies.

The hands-on classes went smoothly and were very well received and the online hot and cold stone class is one of The Ariana Institute’s most popular classes.

Ariana Vincent was awarded the 2015 CE Provider of the Year Award by the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education. She is a Nationally Certified Massage Therapy Instructor whose classes are accepted throughout the United States. Ariana is also a Massage Therapy Hall of Fame Honoree and author of the Ariana Institute’s therapy manual series available on Amazon. 

To read the foreword of the Techniques in the Spa World Manual, visit  
The Ariana Institute’s video introduction to the Aromatherapy, Ayurvedic Massage, Couples Massage, Hot and Cold Stone Massage, as well as other Spa Technique CE courses can be accessed on the Ariana Institute’s YouTube Channel at
To order your copies of the Ariana Institute’s Techniques in the Spa World Manual, visit   
For additional information about the Ariana Institute and to register for online continuing education and MTI courses visit Ariana Vincent, LMT, MTI, NCTMB Ariana Vincent, LMT, MTI, NCTMB

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