Hot Stone Massage [Technique & Benefits, Who Should Get It?]

A hot stone massage is a sort of massage treatment that may help you relax and alleviate stiff muscles and injured soft tissues throughout your body. This type of massage can also help you feel more in control of your body.

Here is a complete overview of hot stone massage regarding the techniques, benefits, contraindications, what happens during the session, and tips to maximize the benefits of your hot stone massage.

What Is the Hot Stone Massage?

Smooth, flat stones that have been heated are used to provide a hot stone massage. The stones are almost often composed of basalt, a kind of volcanic rock that can retain heat for an extended period.

Stones are heated to temperatures ranging from 130 to 145 degrees,  and positioned anywhere along your spine, on your feet, toes, palms, face, chest, and stomach. 

When massaging your body, massage therapists may use various methods such as kneading, tapping, vibrating, circular motions, and lengthy strokes while simultaneously holding warm stones in their hands. This makes it possible for the therapist to go deeper into the muscles without applying more pressure, which ultimately helps you to relax.

Some therapists choose to utilize cold stones rather than hot stones for their treatments. These stones are hand-cut from marble for use in cold stone treatment, which is beneficial for injuries and inflammation.

Your body will feel refreshed and will benefit from the cooling impact that cold stones have on hot days or when you are experiencing hot flashes.

One kind of stone treatment involves alternating between the use of hot and cold stones. This approach is known as contrast therapy, and it makes use of the positive effects that heat and cold have on the body.

The disparity in temperatures causes the blood vessels to both expand and contract, which in turn stimulates blood flow and lymphatic drainage.

Benefits Of Hot Stone Massage

The following are just a few of the numerous advantages of getting a hot stone massage:

1. Aids in the reduction of muscular tension

1. Aids in the reduction of muscular tension

Heat has been used for a long time to relieve muscular tension and discomfort.

It does this by boosting blood flow to the afflicted region, which helps reduce muscle spasms and increases flexibility as well as a range of motion.

In addition, the use of cold treatment may reduce inflammation. Depending on the symptoms you’re experiencing, a massage that includes alternating hot and cold stones might be beneficial.

2. Alleviates feelings of tension and anxiety

2. Alleviates feelings of tension and anxiety

According to studies, a ten-minute massage may increase cardiovascular responses including stroke volume [1].

Also, after undergoing abdominal colorectal surgery, persons who received post-operative hot stone massages reported lower levels of discomfort, stress, and anxiety than those who did not get the message [2].

3. Aids in getting sleep

3. Aids in getting sleep

In individuals who suffer from insomnia, hot stone massage has been demonstrated to be an effective alternative to the use of sleeping drugs.

Upon waking, they exhibited improved levels of alertness, activity, and positivity [3].

It is believed that getting a massage with hot stones will help you get deeper, more restorative sleep; however, the exact mechanism behind this benefit is not fully known.

4. Assist in the relief of symptoms associated with autoimmune disorders

4. Assist in the relief of symptoms associated with autoimmune disorders

A disorder known as fibromyalgia may produce widespread and persistent discomfort.

Recent researches suggest that people with fibromyalgia who received a 30-minute hot stone massage slept for longer had fewer trigger points and had lower levels of substance P (a substance that is involved in the transmission of pain signals) than people with the condition who received relaxation therapy [4]. 

A hot stone massage may be beneficial for persons who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis as well.

After receiving hot stone massage treatment for one month, the participants had decreased levels of discomfort, increased levels of grip strength, and increased levels of a range of motion [5].

5. Strengthen the immune system

5. Strengthen the immune system

It’s possible that getting a massage with hot stones can help your immune system.

An individual session had a beneficial and immediate influence on the immune system.

A drop in the hormone arginine-vasopressin, which plays a role in the regulation of blood pressure and water retention, was seen in blood samples obtained both before and after the massage.

Who Should Get a Hot Stone Massage?

A hot stone massage may be beneficial for anybody who is suffering from sleeplessness, stress, or insomnia, as well as muscle strain and discomfort.

If you suffer from an ongoing ailment that results in discomfort, you should see your primary care provider to determine whether a massage with hot stones may be beneficial for you.

Who Should Not Get a Hot Stone Massage?

There are some conditions in which a hot stone massage is contraindicated such as if you have skin tears or breaks, an infection, diseases of the heart, thrombocytopenia, a bleeding disease, consumption of blood thinners diabetes, pregnancy, or being affected by drugs, or alcohol to a significant degree.

Tips For Hot Stone Massage

  1. You should visit a recognized spa, where the therapists are educated and licensed by the regulations of the local government and the state. The spa needs to maintain high standards of cleanliness and suitably clean the stones.
  2. To avoid being burnt, there should always be a barrier between the hot massage stones and your skin. This barrier might be a towel or a sheet. Check with your therapist to find out how the stones are heated for the treatment. It is recommended that a professional massage stone heater be used. Never make use of stones that have been warmed on a hot plate, oven, slow cooker, or microwave.
  3. If you are unsure about whether you are healthy enough to have a massage, especially hot stones, you should inquire with your primary care physician about your options.
  4. Communicating with your massage therapist and letting him know if the pressure being applied is too harsh, too mild, or whether the stones are too hot is very vital. You need to communicate with the massage therapist and let him know if there is anything that he can do to improve the quality of the massage that he is providing to you.
  5. Because of the potential for this information to influence how the massage is performed, the massage therapist should be aware of any health concerns that you have as well as how your body responds to outside stimuli. Health conditions include pregnancy, hypertension, cardiac problems, diabetes, varicose veins, open wounds, skin conditions such as eczema, rashes, and psoriasis, and taking medication that causes skin hypersensitivity, such as antibiotics or Accutane for acne.

Final Thoughts:

According to several studies, getting a massage with hot stones may be an effective method for lowering stress and anxiety levels, fostering relaxation, and reducing pain and muscular tension levels. Human contact may play a significant role in this. A feeling of connection and safety is provided through touch for a large number of individuals.

Use only a massage therapist who is qualified to deal with hot stones if you want to maximize the likelihood of having a pleasant experience during your hot stone massage. You may experience some discomfort during your massage or the day following it.

This may be the result of some deep tissue manipulation and pressure. Tell your massage therapist as soon as possible if you start to feel uneasy or if you start to suffer any discomfort while you are getting a massage.


[1] Boone, T. et al. (no date) Effects of a 10-minute back rub on cardiovascular responses in healthy subjects, The American Journal of Chinese Medicine. Available at:

[2] Dreyer NE;Cutshall SM;Huebner M;Foss DM;Lovely JK;Bauer BA;Cima RR; (no date) Effect of massage therapy on pain, anxiety, relaxation, and tension after colorectal surgery: A randomized study, Complementary therapies in clinical practice. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Available at: (Accessed: January 17, 2023).

[3] Schiff, A. and Search for more papers by this author (2013) Rückenmassage und Verwandte Techniken zur Förderung des Schlafes bei älteren menschen: Eine literaturanalyse, Pflege. Available at:

[4] (TF, T.R.I. (no date) Fibromyalgia pain and substance P decrease and sleep… : JCR: Journal of Clinical Rheumatology, LWW. Available at:

[5] Field T;Diego M;Delgado J;Garcia D;Funk CG; (no date) Rheumatoid arthritis in upper limbs benefits from moderate pressure massage therapy, Complementary therapies in clinical practice. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Available at:

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