Research shows that the benefits of a hot stone massage include improved circulation, sleep, immunity and stress relief. A hot stone massage involves using heated volcanic rocks to warm specific body parts in the massage. Most people can safely get a hot stone massage, but certain health conditions can make these massages less viable.

What is a hot stone massage?

A hot stone massage uses heated stones on specific parts of the body. Hot stone massages typically use basalt or other volcanic rocks that retain heat effectively. They are heated up to 40-45 degrees celsius. The hot stones can be placed on different parts of the body, including the spine, stomach, feet or chest (depending on which areas the client wants to be treated). The benefits of a hot stone massage come from how the hot stones interact with a body part’s muscles.

What does a hot stone massage look like?

A hot stone massage begins by heating up the volcanic stones. The stones are then placed upon different parts of the body. This warms up the muscles in preparation for the massage. The masseuse applies massage oil on the back and arms and conducts the massage by gliding the hot stones along the body. More pressure is applied depending on the intended depth of tissue penetration for the massage. Hot stone massages utilise Swedish massage techniques such as kneading, rolling, tapping and circular movements but with the addition of hot stones. 


Black hot stones arranged on a man's back

Hot stone massage benefits

Hot stone massages have demonstrated a variety of health benefits. They are commonly used as a non-pharmaceutical way to address health issues.

Stress relief

Hot stone massages are effective at reducing people’s stress levels. According to S.H. Cady’s 1997 study, massages can reduce blood pressure and cortisol levels in our bodies. High blood pressure puts more strain on the heart, increasing the risk of heart problems. Cortisol is a stress hormone with many detrimental qualities, such as inflammation and diminished immune function. Reducing cortisol helps with injury recovery and overall health.


Hot stone massages improve circulation. Paweł Radziejowski’s 2018 study examined how the heat from the hot stones helps to expand the blood vessels. This results in increased blood flow to the muscles, better delivery of nutrients and more efficient elimination of toxins.


Hot stone massages have shown themselves to be beneficial for sleep. Ghavami, Shamsi, Abdollahpoor and Radfar’s 2019 study compared a control group with a group receiving hot stone massage therapy. The hot stone massage group showed fewer sleep disturbances, improved sleep quality and higher sleep comfort. 


Hot stone massages have been linked with improving immune systems. Mark Hyman Rapaport’s 2010 study showed that hot stone massages can boost lymphocytes, which are white blood cells that protect the body from disease.

Fat reduction

Hot stone massage can lead to fat reduction. Ban, Kim and Kim’s 2013 study compared a control group to a group having biweekly hot stone massages for five weeks. The participants receiving hot stone massages experienced weight reduction and reduced fat in their abdominal areas.

Pain relief

Hot stone massages are good at providing relief for musculoskeletal pain and tension. The Mayo Clinic’s report on massages discusses how hot stone massages relieve pain and increase mobility. These benefits are valuable for those suffering from health conditions such as arthritis and fibromyalgia. Tiffany Field’s 2013 study demonstrated how participants with arthritis felt less pain and gained more mobility and grip strength as a result of their massage treatments. Li, Wang, Feng, Yang, and Sun’s 2014 study showed how hot stone massage relieved pain in sufferers of fibromyalgia, subsequently leading to reduced anxiety and depression. 

Is a hot stone massage right for me?

Hot stone massages are a low-risk, relaxing experience that provides excellent benefits. However, some conditions may make hot stone massages less viable. Consult a Mosman Spa specialist if you have cuts, scrapes or sunburn, as the massage may cause irritation. Pregnant women may feel some level of discomfort from a hot stone massage. If you are unsure about a hot stone massage, feel free to contact one of our friendly Mosman Spa staff for a chat. 

Where can I get a hot stone massage in Perth?

Mosman Spa offers industry-leading hot stone treatments designed to relax and heal your body. We offer hot stone massages at both our Mosman Park and Cottesloe clinic. View our treatment list or make a booking today.