Hot stone massage is an alternative holistic therapy method, which uses, the heated stones, which are in particular shapes, to be applied directly on the body. Using usual massage strokes, with a medium. The best medium for hot stone massage is oil. However, creams and gels can be used. This is one of the massage treatment methods practiced in most of the holistic treatment centers and spas all over the world. Hot stone massage is considered as among the fastest method of relieving the muscular pain and improve the joint mobility. Usually, it is advised with a sports massage. Hence the sports massage is mainly focusing on improving the joint mobility by reducing the muscle stiffness.

History of hot stone massage

It is believed hot stone massage have its origin from the Ayurveda tradition. Started in Indian peninsula around 2500 years back. In ayurveda practitioners use heated stone bundles as a part of preparation method for main treatments. Later on the Japanese start using shaped lava stones heated in a particular device for the massage. They found it is fast pain relieving and improve the muscular function by generating circulation to the tissue level. Ancient Chinese used heated stones for more than 2000 years ago to improve the function of internal organs. Native Americans used hot stones, for sweating the body in specially created rooms known as ‘sweat lodges’( similar to sauna) hundred years ago and they are still using today. In India gem stones were used for chakra balancing treatments for many centuries. Stones were also used for healing in Africa, South America, North America and also used to carry or wearing it on the body for mental and physical health purposes.

The use of lava stones in massage was recently introduced by Mary Nelson, in 1993 when she accidentally used hot stones to massage her knees, when they were having a sauna. She combined the use of hot stone therapy and she assembled a team of therapist to teach new techniques and very soon the method spread all over the world.

What is Hot Stone massage?

Hot stone massage is a Holistic treatment method where the therapist uses smooth and heated lava stones for massage or to place on body parts. The lava stones are created in high temperature like 1500 degree celsius onward and its heat absorption powers are immensely higher compared with normal stone. Most of the muscle pain are due to the friction created heat within the muscle tissue, when there is high temperature in between the muscles, body will push more fluid towards that area to reduce the extra temperature and that makes the fatigue condition, it makes muscle stiffness. When we apply lava stone with minimum temperature, 45 -50 degree celsius on the stiff area, the stone will start absorbing the heat generated by friction deep within the tissues and that results in immediate pain relief. This is the reason why, stone treatment is one of the best method can be done for pain relief. Hot stone massage is more effective when it is done after a deep tissue massage. The stone application will allow therapist to work more deeper into the muscle tissues. So, that the deep tissue massage will be really deeper.

Main Equipment and products

A stone set for a professional stone massage practice. A therapist need full set of lava stone, which is coming in different size and shapes. Normally it is coming in 64 numbers that’s a full set and the full set can be used for face massage, feet massage also. For body massage, a set of 44 stones also enough. It doesn’t have small stones that can be used for facial massage. However, the cold stones are using for the facial massage, since the facial tissues are more sensitive.


It is important to have an electrical heater. With a wooden spatula to remove the stones from the heater, after being heated. The stones are immersed in water and heated in the heater until they are within a certain temperature range. The safe temperature level for applying on the body is within the limit of 40-45 degree celsius. However the therapist should have proper idea about the skin sensitivity of each client. Before starting the stone application.

Massage oil

A proper massage oil is having ingredients to improve the circulation, which is best option for a hot stone massage.

Benefits of hot stone massage

The heat of the stone can warm and relax the muscles, which allows therapist to apply deeper pressure if necessary.
Placement of stones on different chakra points will balance the energy level of the body.
Hot stone massage is best option to pain relief and muscle cramps which may happen due to long travel or a special hectic physical activity.
Hot stone massage can be used as a detoxification treatment as it improves lymphatic circulation, also burns out the fat content underneath the skin.
All other benefits that is incorporated with normal spa massages is applicable for Hot stone massage as well.