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Hot Stone Massage may not be as well known as Swedish Massage, only having gained popularity in the UK in the 90s. But, it has in fact been in practice for millennia in Asia. Many written and verbal sources show that it has been practised in China for over 2000 years, while some sources suggest that it originated in India some 3000 years earlier.

Closer to home, healers in Spain traditionally used heated stones to help with menstrual pain and cold stones to slow bleeding after child birth. Romans used stones in saunas, where they combined the effects of hot immersion baths with the cooling effects of marble stone and cold pools.

Stone Massage was “reborn” in the 90s when an American therapist, Mary Nelson, combined the use of hot stones with her massage therapy and treatment. She created a technique using 54 hot stones, 18 frozen stones, and 1 stone at room temperature which she named LaStone Therapy. Hot Stone Therapy or Massage and has since become a popular, lucrative therapy around the world.

What is Hot Stone Massage?

During a treatment, smooth stones which have been heated (usually smooth river stones made of basalt) are placed on the body – along the spine, stomach, chest, feet or hands. Therapists typically move the stones along lines of the body in gentle strokes, applying extra pressure where necessary.

What are the Benefits?

The health benefits of hot stone massage can vary by person. If you suffer from chronic pain, joint issues, or other ailments, it may be worthwhile to look into trying this technique out. Some of the benefits include:


The warm pressure induces relaxation and calmness. Research has shown that massage promotes restorative sleep.

Pain Relief

The therapeutic heating effect of the hot stones can relieve pain. This may help reduce back pain, period pain, arthritis pain and muscle pain or inflammation.

Reduced Stress & Anxiety

Research has shown that all types of massage can reduce stress and anxiety.

Circulation & Metabolism

The hot stones increase blood flow and better circulation of blood, which helps to maintain the normal functioning of your heart. It also boosts metabolism.

Who May Benefit From a Hot Stone Massage?

This type of massage therapy is a good choice for anyone experiencing any type of muscle tension or pain. It’s therapeutic qualities may help people suffering with chronic pain, autoimmune diseases, fatigue, stress, anxiety and depression.

Qualifying as a Practitioner

This massage is hugely popular in the industry and is a much sought after treatment by clients. By qualifying as a practitioner, you will be able to offer Hot Stone Massage to your services list, as well as using your new skills within facials, manicures and pedicures – giving your client a luxury and advanced treatment with all the benefits that working with stones provide.

A pre-requisite to the VTCT Level 3 Certificate in Stone Therapy Massage is the VTCT Level 3 Certificate in Swedish Massage (or equivalent). If you have this qualification, then you qualify for our 2 day course. If you are not yet qualified to offer Swedish Massage, you can take the 4 day Swedish Massage course with us ahead of the Hot Stone Massage course.