What Is Hot Stone Massage?

Hot stone massage uses heated basalt stones to soothe and relax.

Hot stone massage is a specialty massage that uses smooth, heated stones. They are often basalt, a black volcanic rock that absorbs and retains heat well, but they can be other types. The heat is both deeply relaxing and helps tight muscles release.

What Happens During a Hot Stone Massage?

* Before you arrive, the massage therapist sanitizes the stones (very important!) and heats them in 120 to 150 degree water. 

* During the massage, the therapist warms up the body with traditional Swedish massage, then massages you while holding a heated stone. As the stone cools, the therapist replaces it with another. 

* The therapist might also leave heated stones in specific points along your spine, in the palms of your hand, on your belly, or even between your toes to improve the flow of energy in your body. 

* If you have inflammation or muscle injury, cold stones are sometimes used. 

* The therapist uses many stones of various shapes and sizes. 

* The heat of the stones helps muscles release more quickly than in traditional massage. 

* You should speak up if the stones are too warm or the pressure too intense. 

* Small local day spas might have less experienced therapists. If you have any doubts, ask where the therapist learned hot stone massage, and how long she has done it. 

*Hot stones warmed by fire were used by Native Americans to feel better, but Mary Nelson, a native of Tucson, Arizona, is generally credited with its revival. She trademarked her style, called LaStone Therapy. Most spas offer their own versions of hot stone massage. 


Hot stone massage is not suitable for everyone. Please review the list of contraindications below. If any of these conditions apply to you, then you should not receive hot stone massage.

*Blood clots / prone to blood clots  

*Bruise easily

*Cancer, chemotherapy or radiations treatments

*Depressed immune system

(lupus, HIV/AIDS, cancer, Epstein Barr, mononucleosis, etc.)



*Heart problems

*Heat Sensitivity

*High Blood Pressure

*Inflamed Skin Conditions

*Nerve Trauma


*Open wounds or sores

*Peripheral vascular disorder


*Recent Surgery

*Taking medications that have side effects to heat

(Please check with your pharmacist if you are not certain.)

*Varicose veins

*If you have any doubt that hot stone massage is safe for you, please check with your doctor before receiving this modality.

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