Hot Stone Vs Ventosa – Which Massage is Best for You?

Ventosa and hot stone massage are both techniques that use tools to massage and relieve muscle pain, increase circulation, and reduce stress.

Ventosa uses cups that are suctioned onto your skin and held for a certain amount of time, whereas Hot Stone uses stones that have been warmed up to apply controlled pressure to your muscles to help relieve your pain. 

Below, we will look at the differences between these two techniques and which massage style is ideal for you and your needs.  

Ventosa Vs Hot Stone Massage [Key Differences]

1. Technique

1. Technique used in Ventosa and Hot Stone

Ventosa, also known as cupping, is not a recent practice. It has roots in Middle Eastern, Chinese, and Egyptian antiquity. The cups are placed on the skin to create the suction, and either heat or vacuum is used. This suction is believed to enhance the body’s energy flow and promote healing. After your session, dark marks will start to show up.

Ventosa is a safe procedure, and while the black spots may resemble bruises, they represent blood stasis rising to the top to be released for pain relief.

Comparable to a massage or acupuncture, clients report feeling lighter and more at ease following cupping. The cupping marks are not unpleasant and typically go away after a week. 

The four primary types of Ventosa practiced nowadays are as follows:

  1. Dry cupping: We are utilizing just suction.
  2. Wet/bleeding cupping: It can entail both controlled medical bleeding and suction.
  3. Running cupping: This entails massaging the desired area with oil before moving the suctioned cups around the body.
  4. Flash cupping: Involves applying cups to a body part in rapid, repetitive suction and release.

I find that massaging an area for about 10 minutes before I place the cups on my clients helps my clients have fewer dark marks. 

On the other hand, a hot stone massage uses warm stones positioned along your body to help you unwind and relieve stiff muscles and injured soft tissue.

The stones used during the massage are made from Basalt, a type of volcanic stone.  In college, we learn that your hot stones should be heated in the temperature range of 130 to 145 degrees.

The massage therapist will hold warm stones in their hands when massaging your body with Swedish massage techniques like kneading, vibrating, pounding, etc.

Your therapist can use cold stones at the end of your treatment to help reduce inflammation that could have occurred during your session. 

2. Convenience

Ventosa and hot stone massages can be performed in a therapist’s room or massage parlor.

The main difference is that hot stone massage is primarily performed at a day spa because as it is considered a luxury massage technique. Ventosa can be done at a Chinese medical practice. 

3. Purpose and Benefits

3. Purpose and Benefits pf Ventosa Vs Hot Stone


The primary purpose of ventosa is to help your body detox and reduce pain in specific areas. The cups are placed on the muscles and help to increase blood circulation to the area where the cups are placed. It is believed that the increase in blood will help reduce muscle tension and promote cell repair. 

Some conditions that can benefit from ventosa include:

  • Rheumatic conditions such as Fibromyalgia and Arthritis
  • High blood pressure
  • Gynecology and reproductive disorders
  • Skin conditions like eczema and acne
  • Migraines
  • Asthma and allergies can induce bronchial congestion.
  • Dilated veins
  • Stress and anxiety 

Hot Stone Massage

The main purpose of hot stone massage is to relax your body with the help of the heat of the stones. The heat also helps heal damaged soft tissue, resulting in faster muscle recovery. 

Some of the benefits of hot stone massage include the following:

  1. Helps relieve muscle spasms and pain
  2. Reduces stress
  3. Reduces anxiety symptoms
  4. Helps create better sleep patterns
  5. Increases blood circulation 
  6. Helps boost your immune system 

4. Price

4. Price of Hot stone vs Ventosa

Ventosa massage can cost between $25- $80 per session. Most places will incorporate other techniques, such as Acupuncture, in conjunction with the cups, which means your session will cost you more. 

On the other hand, a hot stone massage will cost you between $60 – $150 per session, depending on how long your treatment is. 

5. Frequency

Ventosa treatments are often between 15 minutes to 25 minutes for the session. You can have it done daily during acute conditions, but once your condition is under control, once a month is recommended to ensure your body is healthy and well-maintained. 

On the other hand, a hot stone massage can be done once a week. The sessions can be between 30 minutes to 90 minutes long.

For people with chronic pain or who have endured a physically intense week, you can have two or three sessions per week until the pain subsides. 

6. The Aftercare

Once your ventosa session is completed, you want to keep the area treated warmly. After cupping, your skin will be sensitive to temperature in the areas where the cups were placed. Give your skin time to recover. Avoid hot showers, saunas, and air conditioning. 

In the case of a hot stone massage, you will want to come home and relax after having it. This will help your body recover, and you will ensure your restful bliss lasts longer.

You want to avoid any sports activity or doing anything strenuous for 24 hours after your massage.

Avoid alcohol and caffeine for 24 hours after your session. Hot stone massage detoxes your body, so consuming the toxins can cause headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. 

Which Is Better – Ventosa Or Hot Stone?

Both ventosa and hot stone massage benefit your body and overall health and wellness. There are a few differences between the techniques, making one better for your needs than the other. 

Ventosa is an ideal technique for those needing to detox their body and increase the blood flow to specific areas. This technique is best for those who suffer from inflammation that cannot be explained. 

In my professional opinion, hot stone massage is more than just a spa treatment. The benefits are outstanding! I recommend this treatment option for those with chronic conditions that cause pain, insomnia, and muscle strains. 

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