Kon-Sau Hot Stone Compress Massage is a specific variation of a hot stones treatment used as a traditional postnatal heat therapy (part of Thai Yu Fai treatments), and predominantly prescribed by Muslim Thai Midwives from the Thai Southern Provinces.
Typically, basalt lava stones are used as they contain numerous minerals, such as calcium, magnesium and iron, which are said to offer healing benefits. These flat, polished stones are heated and applied by placing them in cotton towels with specific herbs, and pressing those on the woman’s abdominal area in combination with some massage.
Hot stones are basically used to expand the blood vessels, which encourages blood flow and circulation throughout the body. Kon-sau hot stone therapy is used to soothe abdominal pains and swellings, to reduce stress, to aid slimming, stimulate uterus involution, to promote relaxation, and to “regain heat.” The stones are typically heated in water with a temperature between 45-60 °C (Celsius).
Usually this technique is applied twice a day, in the morning and the evening. Although typically applied in the postpartum confinement period, it’s a therapy also used in other circumstances where abdominal or internal organ health issues need to be addressed.
It’s said that, in the past, postpartum women would also bind heated stones on their bellies and carry those with them during the day.