Hot stone massage is a natural therapy in which warmed stones are massaged on parts of the client's body to maximize the therapeutic benefit. The stones used are typically river rocks or other very smooth-surfaced stones made of basalt. These stones are heated in sanitizing water before use. The high iron content in basalt helps the stones retain heat during the massage. Hot stone massages are beneficial on both physical and psychological levels.
The heat from the stones helps your muscles relax, allowing the massage therapist to manipulate your deep tissues more effectively. Overly tense muscles can hinder the massage procedure, so if your muscles are extremely tight or stiff, the heated stones may provide the extra relaxation you need for the massage to be beneficial in releasing tension and easing sore muscles. While all types of massage can help relieve pain caused by tense muscles, stiff joints or injuries, a hot stone massage may provide greater relief due to the intense nature of the massage.