Hot Stone Massage – Origin, Top 10 Benefits and Cautions

Hot Stone massage

Hot stones, warmed by fire, have been used by native Americans to give relief to aching muscles. However, the present-day use of hot stones in massage therapy is attributed to Mary Nelson, a native of Tucson, Arizona. Her style of hot stone massage was trademarked as LaStone Therapy, which has a North American spiritual component and requires training and certification.

In the present-day massage therapy practice, hot stone massage is a speciality massage where smooth, heated stones are used by the therapist by placing them or rubbing them on the body. The heat from the stones leads to deep relaxation and to warming up of the tight muscles enabling the therapist to work more deeply and more quickly.

Hot Stone massageFor hot stone massage therapy, the therapists mostly use basalt stones mainly because of their various properties that include their non-porosity, their smoothness and their ability to retain heat longer than any other type of stone. Moreover, these beautiful stones come in different sizes. For performing specific massage strokes, the massage therapist places smaller tooling stones and for treatment for a longer time, he places the larger placement stones at one spot of the body. Moreover, the therapist gives slow and gentle strokes in a way that people feel grounded, comforted and calm. Some massage therapists use the energy lines or meridians of the body to place hot stones for energy work. By doing so, movement of energy known as qi or chi is stimulated and in this way the effects of stress are eliminated and healing is facilitated. Hot stone massages also help in releasing toxins, relieving pain and improving circulation. People who have experienced massage with heat get so many healing properties that they keep coming back for these massages.

Top 10 Benefits of Hot Stone Massage

  • Relieve muscle spasm,  pain, tension & improve the muscle relaxation.
  • Releases toxins & improves skin appearance
  • Significantly reduce stress & anxiety
  • Improves blood circulation and flow of energy
  • Helps to promote better sleeps
  • Helps to reduce & manage stress
  • Helps to create a sense of comfort and warmth
  • Helps in decreasing cancer symptoms
  • Helps in relieving the symptoms of autoimmune diseases
  • Helps in increasing joint flexibility

Hot stone massage in London is very popular with most visitors and locals opting to get it done at Spa at the Montcalm. In this process, the stones are heated by using a professionally designed heater with a thermometer for checking the water temperature which is generally kept between 110 and 130 degrees Fahrenheit. As everyone can bear heat to a different extent, it is important for the therapist to ensure that the temperature of the stone suits the person having the massage. It is also important for the person to inform the therapist if he feels any discomfort. Moreover, the therapist puts a flannel sheet or terry cloth towel between the placement stones and the skin so that it does not get a burn.

Stone Massage

For cleaning the stones, the therapists have different systems such as washing them and changing the water after every client. The other system is to use a spa oxidiser for breaking down bacteria in the hot water thereby ensuring that the stones remain sanitised all day. The heating unit is emptied and all the equipment are washed and sanitised at the end of the day.

Use of Cold Stones

Cold stones are also used by some therapists instead of hot stones. These marble stones are hand cut for use in cold stone therapy, which is especially useful for injury and inflammation. With the use of cold stones the body is invigorated and the body gets a cooling effect on hot days or for hot flashes.

Another stone therapy is to use hot and cold stones alternatively, a technique called contrast therapy which takes advantage of the benefits of both heat and cold. The contrasting temperatures expand and constrict the blood vessels, stimulating blood flow and lymphatic drainage.

Most visitors to London and even the residents of the city like to visit Portobello Market especially for its antiques. At the end of a tiring day at the market, the best thing for them is to visit a spa and get a hot stone massage that will relieve all their fatigue. Moreover, among the various things to visit near Westbourne Terrace, most people like to visit a spa for getting massage therapies for hot stone message & Lomi Lomi message.

Words of Caution

It is important that before availing of hot stone massage, your therapist is fully informed by you regarding all your medical conditions and how your body reacts to external stimuli. Conditions such as pregnancy, hypertension, cardiac problems, diabetes or any other medical condition for which you are getting care from a provider should be intimated to the therapist so that he can assess your condition regarding the suitability of hot stone massage. You should also consult your provider regarding the same.

Stone Massage
Some skin conditions such as eczema, rashes, and psoriasis can get worse with heat. Moreover, it is best to avoid heat if you are taking medication that causes skin hypersensitivity such as antibiotics or Acutane for acne. Heat should not be applied on varicose veins, open wounds, infected skin conditions, or inflammation and you should be careful regarding areas that are numb.

In the case of cold stone massage, you should avoid it if you are suffering from high blood pressure, heart disease, circulatory problems, reduced sensation, or nerve damage. If you have abdominal distress due to discomfort, pain, bloating, gas, cramping, constipation, or diarrhoea, you should avoid cold stones. These symptoms can however be relieved by moving warm stones in a circular, clockwise direction.

Hot stone massage is something that can provide many benefits as well as enjoyment but it all depends on the expertise of the therapist. Most spas in London especially Spa at the Montcalm have expert massage therapists to provide complete bliss.


  • What does a hot stone massage include?

The hot stone massage is a type of massage therapy that involves the use of smooth, heated stones. The massage therapist places the hot stones on specific points on your body and may also hold the stones while giving the massage.

  • How long do hot stones stay hot?

The stone should stay warm for an hour. After about five minutes after you place them, it can be turned over for a little more heat.

  • How often should I get a massage?

People involved in sports should have a massage as often as two-three times per week during periods of intense training and less often—perhaps once or twice a month—during the off-season.