Mountain River Therapeutics. My business name stems from my lifelong passion for sitting next to rivers and meditating. Even as a small child, growing up in a family full of pain, when summers invited camping trips up the Poudre Canyon, I would sit quietly on the smooth, bleached stones and listen to the soothing shushing, whispering, burbling, and chattering of water as it cascaded down falls, eddied around boulders, and slipped across pebbles -- a healing practice that would carry me through even rougher times and allow me to pass that healing wisdom to others.
Shortly after learning hot stone therapy, Riverstone Therapy came to me during a meditation. After a few years of allowing it to percolate, and moving into a new, expansive office space, I’m finally able to offer Riverstone Therapy as I have envisioned it--- not only as a physical healing modality, but as a powerful energy balancing technique.
Rivers are powerful teachers of growth, change, transformation, and rebirth. The water that begins as a trickle from a melting glacier grows in power and capacity as it winds its way down, around, and through the mountainside; nurturing plants, fish, fowl, and fawn as it flows. Its season of thundering floods that scrub everything clean calm to seasons of playful chatter, then to frozen quiet, then around again to overflowing through spring. Through all of this transformation, the river stones are both witness to, and beneficiaries of this power, for they are made smoother, rounder, and more able to handle the changes around them.
Stones themselves are earth, the very stuff of our planet. The term “grounding,” used often in healing, means to bring ourselves -- our energy -- back down to feeling content with our place on the earth. Worry, analyzing, regret, fantasizing, and feeling “spacy” are all symptoms of being poorly grounded, as are falling often or being uncoordinated. Black basalt stones are among the most grounding because they are volcanic, coming from deep within the earth. Similar stones are obsidian, which is smooth volcanic glass, and hematite, a magnetic silver-gray stone. The warmth of the grounding stones breaks up muscle tension, encourages blood flow, and calms the nervous system, leading to deeper relaxation.
The white stones -- marble, quartz, and selenite -- are clarifying. Our bodies, energies, and emotions get congested, stuck, confused, chaotic. Clarity isn’t the opposite of grounding, it’s more the complement. Clarifying stones organize the chaos, redirecting the flow from areas of congestion to areas of deficiency. This is true of energy, fascia, lymph, blood, and electrical flow through the nerves. The coolness of the stones decreases inflammation in joints and tissues, increases the flow of lymphatic fluid, and activates dormant nerves, which not only relieves numbness, but also allows for increased body awareness in movement and sensations.
The alternating of heat and cold, also called contrast hydrotherapy, has been used for thousands of years as treatment for pain. The nerves respond to the heat, then to the cold, then to the heat again, then finally they relax, so nerves that have been over-firing stop, bringing a sense of relief from pain and discomfort. Contrast hydrotherapy also acts as a “lymphatic pump,” getting the lymphatic system to open up and flow properly. Not only does this decrease swelling, but it also balances immune function, essential for both cold weather and allergy season.
When would one want to receive Riverstone Therapy? Whereas intuitive massage is recommended weekly or bimonthly, Riverstone Therapy is a periodic treatment. Energetically, I recommend transition times such as the full and new moon, and solstices. For optimal physical and emotional benefits, the best times are during seasonal changes. Fortunately, the moon phases and solstices usually align with changes in weather, so Riverstone Therapy can aid in these transitions and help fortify the system on all levels.
An amazing time to benefit from Riverstone Therapy would be during a life transformation, regardless of the extent of the change. Changing job or career, a change in relationship status, graduating college, children leaving home, these are all times of needing to alter perspective, and rebalance our giving and receiving, our doing and being energies. The lasting benefit from feeling fully grounded, clear, strong, and adaptable will make such transformations easier and more powerful.