What Is Hot Stone Massage?

hot stone massageYou may have seen this technique on travel programs on television, where a masseuse place rocks on a client’s back.  You started to wonder what the rocks for? This guide will help you learn more about hot stone massage.

This spa technique is a specialty massage that uses smooth, heated stones.  These stones are often basalt, a black volcanic rock that absorbs and retains heat well.  This massage is given to clients who want soothing and relaxation, as well as releasing muscle tension.

Hot stone massage was invented in 1993 by Mary Hannigan of Tucson, Arizona.  She has trademarked her particular style called LaStone Therapy, but most spas around the world offer their own versions. 

A session of hot stone massage is more expensive than a basic Swedish massage because it requires more preparation time and usually runs longer.

What happens during a hot stone massage?

The stones come in different shapes and sizes.  They are first sanitized and dipped in boiling water to heat them.  The therapist would either use traditional Swedish massage strokes on a section of a client’s body while holding a heated stone or leave those stones in specific points along the client’s spine, the palms, or even between the toes in order to improve the flow of energy in the body. 

As the stone cools, the therapist replaces it with another.  If the client suffers from muscle injury, cold stones are sometimes used.