wikiHow to Do Hot Stone Massage

Hot stone massage uses a combination of warmed stones and massage techniques to relax tense muscles, relieve pain and stiffness and improve circulation. The treatment can be used for ailments like muscular aches, arthritic conditions and autoimmune disorders. Those who do hot stone massage can customize the treatment to a client's specific needs and preferences.


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    Warm up the stones. Immerse flat stones in water that is heated with an electrical heating device until the stones are a comfortable temperature for massage.
    • Stones used in this treatment are typically made of basalt, due to the ability of this material to retain heat. Stones should also be very smooth, so they do not irritate the skin in any way. Stones should always be placed on skin that has been treated with massage oil to ensure a smooth glide and prevent trauma to the skin.
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    Place the warmed stones at key acupressure points throughout the body, including the back, hamstrings, arms-even on the face and between the toes.
    • Acupressure points are locations on the body that are thought to release the flow of energy and promote the body's own healing process. The heat of the stones penetrates the skin to promote better blood flow, release toxins and create deeper muscle relaxation than a standard massage. The client should speak up if the stones are too warm, since this can impact the overall quality of the hot stone massage technique.
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    Never leave the stones in 1 place unless you check the temp and it is comfortable, so that the heat can fully permeate the muscles and surrounding tissue for ultimate relaxation.
    • The stones can also be used to knead the muscles rather than the hands, by moving the stones gently over the tense, sore areas. The pressure applied by the stones may be quite strong, but since your muscles have been sufficiently relaxed by the heating process, the massage procedure is virtually painless. When you are learning about hot stone massage, knowing how to apply the right amount of pressure is essential for a satisfying experience.
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    Apply other types of massage once the body is fully relaxed and muscles have loosened from the warmth of the stones.
    • By combining the warm stones with other massage techniques, such as Swedish massage or deep tissue massage, you can reap the greatest benefit from the experience. While the stones heat and soothe stiff muscles, other massage techniques can be applied with little or no discomfort-either with the stones still on the skin or after the stones are removed.
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    Alternate the hot stones with cold, marble stones for relief from painful inflammation.
    • Most clients find that after a period of time, their bodies become so relaxed from the hot stone massage techniques, they don't even notice the temperature change to the cooler stones. This process is often recommended for soothing injuries that result in painful swelling or inflammation.


  • Whether you are performing hot stone massage yourself or hiring a massage therapist for the job, it is important that the hot stone massage techniques are performed correctly to reap the greatest benefit. Learn about hot stone massage from an expert in the massage field or make an appointment with an experienced, licensed massage therapist for the best results.

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Categories: Spa Treatments & Massages