Hot Stone and Cold Stone

Hand Holding Basalt River Rock

Hot and Cold Stone Massage

Hot and Cold Stone Massage may seem like a new innovation, but heated and chilled stones have been used for thousands of years in rituals and for healing on nearly every continent. The ceremonies are related in 2,000 year old oral and written histories of China. Healing rituals involving stones are also part of the history of North America, South America, Africa, Europe, Egypt and India. 

In 1993, Mary Nelson reintroduced hot and cold stone massage, branded it LaStone Therapy, and launched a multi-million dollar industry. Dixon Martin, Kentucky Masseur, offers Hot and Cold Stone Massage using his own methods, not those of Ms. Nelson.

Hot Stone Massage

Hot Stone Massage Therapy is very popular, and for good reason! The basalt stones we use for Hot Stone Massage Therapy contain lots of silica and iron, which makes them retain heat very well. When Dixon Martin, Kentucky Masseur skillfully places heated stones onto your body, the stones help your tense, tight muscles to loosen and relax.

A Hot Stone Massage uses smooth, flat, heated stones placed at key points on the body. The warmth is quite comforting, and the massage therapist also holds the heated stones and uses them for massage. Hot Stone Massage can be very effective for loosening and relaxing tight muscles. 

For Hot Stone Massage, most massage therapists use basalt river rock. Basalt is ideal for massage because it is a volcanic rock that contains high levels of silica and iron. This helps it to retain heat for a long time.

The stones for Hot Stone Massage are heated in a water bath in a special Hot Stone Massage Heater. It looks exactly like my mama’s turkey roaster, but it’s not exactly the same. The Professional Hot Stone Massage Heater is precisely calibrated to allow equipment suppliers to charge three times the price for this equipment. Kidding aside, the Professional Heater heats stones to 125 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit (much cooler than the lowest setting of the turkey roaster). It delivers stones heated to precisely the right temperature.

Cold Stone Massage

Depending on your needs and preferences, your massage therapist may use cold stones on certain parts of your body. Although basalt works okay for cold therapy, marble holds the cold better. It does not heat up when it is in use, and it can draw heat out of the client’s body. For cold stone massage, the stones are chilled in a refrigerator or bowl of ice water. 

Why Do Hot Stone Massage and Cold Stone Massage Cost More?

Both Hot and Cold Stone Massage require extra setup and preparation in advance. After the massage, each individual stone must be hand cleansed and sterilized, so stone massage takes a lot more time.

References

Brown, Anitra. "What Exactly Is a Hot Stone Massage?" About.com Travel. About.com, 28 Feb. 2016. Web. 02 Mar. 2016. <http://spas.about.com/od/hotstonemassage/a/Hotstone.htm>.

Lee, Jill. "Benefits of Hot Stone Massage." LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 28 Jan. 2014. Web. 02 Mar. 2016. <http://www.livestrong.com/article/116678-benefits-hot-stone-massage/>.

Mayrhofer, Pat. "The History Of Hot Stone Massage." MASSAGE Magazine. Massage Magazine, 17 May 2010. Web. 06 Mar. 2016. <https://www.massagemag.com/the-history-of-hot-stone-massage-7334/>.

Wong, Cathy, ND. "How to Make the Most of a Hot Stone Massage." About.com Health. About.com, 06 Jan. 2015. Web. 02 Mar. 2016. <http://altmedicine.about.com/od/massage/a/hot_stone.htm>
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