Hot stone therapy is where heated smooth, flat stones are placed on key points of the body. The massage therapist may also hold the stones and use them to massage certain parts of the body.

The use of hot stones in massage and for healing dates back to ancient times, however it wasn’t until much more recently when Arizona based massage therapist Mary Nelson introduced her variation of the ancient tradition did the technique really catch on.

The stones used within Hot Stone Massage are usually basalt that have been smoothed in a river over time. The stones are immersed in water and heated in an electric heating device until they are the right temperature. The stones many be placed at specific points on the back, in the palms of the hand or between the toes. The heat warms and relaxes the muscles, which allows the therapist to apply deeper pressure if needed.

Hot Stone massage can be used for many different conditions:

  • Improves circulation and calms nervous system
  • Relaxation
  • Release muscle tension
  • Back pain and aches
  • Osteoarthritis and arthritis pain
  • Stress, anxiety and tension
  • Insomnia
  • Depression


Always ensure that you only ever visit a trained professional for your massage and if possible look for therapist who is recommended by others.