Hot stones warmed by fire were used by Native Americans to treat aching muscles and as part of their sacred ceremonies. The Chinese and Japanese have long used heated stones in treating illness, relieving pain and supporting digestion.  Basalt stones that have been tumbled by the sea or smoothed by a river are the stones of choice for massage treatments due to their ability to retain heat.  The warmed stones increase circulation, help to release tension at a deeper level and induce a state of pure relaxation.