A step-by-step guide to the hot stone massage


Like any massage, hot stone massage eases sore, tense muscles. The therapist can better manage the body using hot stones because they can enter deeper. Spas and wellness centers frequently offer hot stone massages to their clients. This is an antiquated practice.

While India might claim to be the birthplace of hot stone massage, the practice has Mayan origins. Hot stone massage originated in the 5,000-year-old Indian medical procedure known as Ayurveda. The concept of Prana, or the "breath of life," emerged. To cure illness and increase longevity, yogis relied on deep breathing, physical activity, and massage. Chakras, the body's seven energy centers similar to acupuncture points, are still used in modern therapy. Yogis used natural resources such as herbs, crystals, flowers, and stones. Herbs and flowers used in hot stone massage oils have stood the test of time.

Many people are still skeptical of heated stone massage because of its novelty. One can still doubt the effectiveness of a massage, even after experiencing it firsthand. A hot stone massage is described in detail here −

First Step

Stones are often made of volcanic basalt and collected from Mexican or Chilean beaches. Your massage therapist will have 48 to 56 stones of varied sizes heated to between 130- and 145-degrees Fahrenheit in a specially built-water heater before you enter the massage room. The stones' temperature must be just right, so they're neither too cold nor too hot to use. Bacteria growth is inhibited at cooler temperatures, but customers will be unhappy if it's too hot. As you lay down on a massage table, the therapist will usually have previously set up eight pairs of flat stones so that they are in a row down your spine. While you're on the rocks, a linen cloth or towel will protect you. Several other kinds of massage oils will also be on hand. Some of the most popular oils are made from grape seeds, lavender, olives, and roses.

Second Step

The therapist will apply a little layer of oil to your face and massage your face with tiny massage stones placed on each cheek, one beneath your lip, and one on your forehead after you lie down on the table stones so that they bracket your spine. A stone on the forehead symbolizes the "third eye," revealing the therapy's Hindu roots.

Third Step

When the therapist has massaged the oil into your legs individually, she will rub each side with a massage stone sized appropriately for your leg. Some pressure will be exerted, but how much is up to you.

The deeper the muscle response, the more forceful the pressure must be. A little stone will be placed between your toes after the therapist massages your legs.

Fourth Step

A medium stone massage will be performed on the arms using oil. After the work on both arms, the therapist will place a hot massage stone in your hand.

Fifth Step

After the therapist works on your arms, they will return to their starting position, remove the stones from your face and between your toes, and ask you to flip over. The eight spinal stones will be taken out at the same time. At this stage, the therapist will apply oil to your back and begin massaging it with lengthy strokes while holding a hot stone on your muscles and paying particular attention to acupressure points. The therapist will next position a hot stone on each shoulder, one on each scapula, and one on the lower back. She'll also place a second stone in each of your hands, a little larger and more rounded.

Sixth Step

After your back is done, your therapist will expose your legs and insert massage stones slightly beneath your buttocks, on the back of your knees, and on your calves. Any residual leg tension will be purged with this hot stone treatment.

Seventh Step

Now we'll go on to massaging your scalp and neck/shoulders.

Eighth Step

When the stones have been extracted, the therapist will perform a nerve stroke on the back and legs using her fingertips.

Indian Prana or the Seven Chakras

Some therapists are particularly attuned to Indian Prana and the body's seven chakras (or energy centers), and they use the gemstone associated with each chakra in their practice.

Several gemstones are associated with each chakra, but the most prominent categories are −

  • Garnet is associated with the life-giving red chakra at the bottom of the spine.

  • Carnelian for the orange chakra, centered at the navel and related to reproduction, sexuality, and the ability to create.

  • Citrine topaz stimulates the sympathetic nervous system and is associated with the solar plexus chakra, which is yellow in color.

  • Pink and green stones, such as rose quartz or jade, stimulate the heart chakra, which is associated with feelings of love and devotion.

  • A pale blue color, aquamarine represents the throat chakra related to expression and communication.

  • Lapis for the third eye, or blue chakra, in the middle of the forehead; it stimulates the brain and nerve system.

  • Amethyst is associated with the violet clear chakra at the top of the head, stimulating the brain and having a spiritual component.

The benefits of massage are enhanced by using a hot stone during the treatment. Using a stone instead of merely one's hands makes it simpler for the massage therapist to modify the pressure of each stroke. It also helps her zero in on specific areas that need additional attention. Lastly, this technique is far easier on the massage therapist's hands and wrists than other types of massage.

Whether you include Prana and chakras in your hot stone massage or not, this modality does provide an additional benefit. The heat from the stones helps melt away stress and leaves you feeling all tingly and fuzzy inside. Don't delay any longer; the hot rocks are ready to give you a massage now that you know the proper technique.

Updated on: 02-Mar-2023

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