What is Hot Stone Massage


From The Stone Age

Where did Stone Massage originate?

Hot stone massage’s origin can be traced back 5000 years to India, with the ancient healing tradition of Ayurveda. According to some researches, this therapy originated from those healers who have used rocks from the river beds and warm them in either hot water or hot coals before using them to treat any feeling of discomfort in the body.  The hot stones were utilized in concurrence with the Marma points.

Stone MassageIt has ancient roots; stones have been used for divination, warmth, healing and protection since the beginning of time. The Japanese use stones to warm their abdomens to aid digestion.  The Japanese also utilized hot stones in Anma, the oldest word form of Asian Massage. The Japanese hot stone therapy techniques create similar issues to moxibustion, in that heat energy penetrates and stimulates the tsubo, or acupoints. The Chinese have been using hot stones to relieve muscular pain for some 4,000 years, and from around 2000 BC used heated stones as a means of improving the function of internal organs. In Oriental Medicine hot stones are utilized in concurrence with the Elevation transmission channels to encourage a better flowing of energy around the physical structure.

In the Native American sweat lodge, stones are used to adjust the temperature of the healing environment.   Sweat lodges are a place of spiritual refuge where you can repair the damage done to the spirit, mind & body. Native Americans also used hot stones to detoxify and to find harmony and balance.  In addition, Native American Indians believe the stones have souls and when using in healing, allow the recipient to remember lost truth.

Among indigenous peoples, stones have been used on or near the body in healing ceremonies and rituals for eons. In Hawaii, for example, Kahunas (Hawaiian medicine people) heated smooth volcanic stones in the fire, wrapped them in the leaves of the castor oil plant and placed them on the body in areas of spasm or tension. 

The heat from the stones caused an increase in blood circulation to the area and encouraged the release of the healing oils from the leaves. Traditional Lomi Lomi (Hawaiian massage) goes further and applies heated stones directly to the body. Originally Hawaiian La’au Lomi Lomi lava rock balls were also used to clean or scrape the skin following the traditional massage. At times two stones were tapped together against the physical structure to promote deep tissue vibrational healing. The lava stone was utilized as a symbol for healing and protection.

The healing practices of curanderas, of South America, and other women caregivers often included dealing with disease as well as pregnancy and childbirth. These Native folk healers used heated stones to diminish the discomfort of menstruation, and the application of cold stones to slow bleeding after labor. Some sources cite instances of cultures in which women believed that holding stones during labor added to their strength and endurance.