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Pros & Cons of Hot Stone Massage

Updated: Feb 21

A 5000-year-old ancient tradition, Hot Stone massage is unique in its own way. Unlike the traditional forms of massage techniques, this one employs the use of hot stones to bring in a feeling of calmness and mental & physical stability to the receiver.

However, there are a variety of reasons why this quintessential technique has gained popularity around the world over the last few years. The process involves placing heated stones on the stressed-out and/or painful areas of the body, in order to achieve a sense of relief.

Furthermore, this technique is often prescribed by doctors to improve someone’s quality of sleep, and blood circulation, alleviate physical stiffness and so on. The heat from the stones can be very calming for some people, which is a big plus.

Additionally, since the stones are used to transfer heat to the skin, they aren’t kept in contact with the skin for a longer duration, therefore, the therapist must ensure that their client doesn’t sustain any injuries or burns while they’re receiving treatment.

The History of Hot Stone Massage

The origins of the Hot Stone massage can be traced back to 5000 years ago in India, where they used it as a mode of self-care and healing. Later, almost after 3,000 years, the Chinese borrowed the technique and developed it to treat a variety of ailments. Therefore, it’s safe to say that the Hot Stone massage remained prevalent in the Indian and Chinese civilizations for thousands of years.

However, the contemporary hot stone massage technique as we know it was created by Mary Nelson. Her approach was inspired by a technique known as the LaStone Method, a technique that must happen under an expert’s supervision only!

What happens during a hot stone massage?

In Christchurch, a hot stone massage, as the name suggests, involves placing heated stones on certain parts of the receiver’s body.

The aforementioned stones are made of basalt, typically used here owing to their silky texture and superior heat ability to retain heat for a longer period of time compared to other kinds of stones. However, once the warm stones have been placed on your body by the massage therapist, they may continue to stroke you until you feel more at ease.

These basalt stones are safe for use on the human body because they only reach temperatures of 110 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the patient is also responsible for communicating with the therapist about any discomfort they might experience during the session. The following are some of the areas of the body that the therapist might massage with hot stones:

  • Spine

  • Chest

  • Face

  • Palms

  • Feet and Toes

  • Stomach

Applications for cold stones

There are times when some therapists in Christchurch might apply both hot and cold stones in their sessions. Most of the time, though, cold stones are used after the hot ones, as it helps in maintaining smooth skin and reducing inflammation in blood vessels. However, a therapist can also just use only cold stones in their sessions.

The Top 10 Advantages of Getting a Hot Stone Massage

Most people believe that massage therapy is a complementary or alternative medicine practice. In spite of this, hot stone and other types of massage are gaining popularity all over the world. There are several health benefits of taking hot stone massage, as mentioned below:

  • It’s effective in reducing both muscle tension and spasms.

  • It does so by reducing tension in the muscles, which in turn reduces stress and anxiety.

  • It helps in longer periods of restful sleep.

  • Promotes proper blood flow throughout the body.

  • Facilitates a smoother flow of energy.

  • It helps remove toxins from the body and makes our skin glow.

  • Can, in some cases, help reduce the symptoms of cancer.

  • Sometimes, it also helps lessen autoimmune disease symptoms.

  • Increase the joint's range of motion.

Who are most likely eligible for a hot stone massage?

A hot stone massage in Christchurch can help almost everyone with muscle tension and stress-related problems. In addition, some medical professionals advise their patients to receive this kind of massage in order to reduce the symptoms of chronic pain.

The hot stone massage is good for athletes in Christchurch. If you are an athlete, then you can go for this massage between two and three times each week. In the same way, if you are a patient occasionally, you only need to visit the therapist once or twice a month.

The disadvantages of using hot stones in massage therapy

Before booking an appointment for a hot stone massage in Christchurch, it’s important that you understand the possible drawbacks of receiving one (especially, from the wrong therapist).

  • The first possible downside is that the stones feel very uncomfortable after being kept on your skin. They might actually make you feel more rigid than relaxed.

  • The second disadvantage can be when treated by a non-reputable therapist, as there are chances that they might accidentally drop one of the stones onto your skin, which could result in some burns. It is generally not recommended to add heat any deeper than an inch or two into the skin at any given time, otherwise, it can cause damage to delicate blood vessels after being applied.

  • Furthermore, the heat from the stone can cause muscular tension in the area.

  • If you suffer from claustrophobia, you should probably steer clear of getting a hot stone massage

  • In comparison to a regular massage, this one makes use of a significant number of stones and is hence considered a premium therapy.

  • If you want to reduce weight and get back in shape, this is not the right way of doing so because it’ll not help you achieve your goals. This massage can offer some momentary alleviation from the muscle soreness caused by excessive stress.

  • This therapy is a bit time-consuming, which means, that getting one can make you feel a bit impatient, and might make you want to get it over with as quickly as possible.

The things to watch out for with hot stone massage.

  • First and foremost, make sure that your therapist is aware of every detail of your current medical situation. This will help the therapist figure out what kind of massage will work best for you.

  • It’s in both of your best interests to keep each other informed about any changes or concerns that may arise throughout the massage. If you have any skin conditions such as eczema or rashes, getting a hot stone massage could make the condition worse for you.

  • Furthermore, if you have an open wound or inflammation, avoid taking it.

  • We also strongly recommended against it for pregnant women.


Over the years, we’ve observed in our Christchurch centre that more and more people are opting for non-medical alternatives to keep themselves fit and fine, mostly because they are perceived to be safer.

Merely using hot stones in a massage can come with many benefits, as we’ve discussed in this blog post, such as reducing pain and improving blood circulation. However, during any medical condition, if your doctor has not given you clearance to get this massage, you should avoid getting one. It is in your best interest.

Additionally, you must never have a massage from a therapist who lacks experience.

If you need information or want to book a hot stone massage session in Christchurch, feel free to get in touch with us.

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