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Hot stone massage is a form of massage which uses heated stones to apply heat to specially targeted points of the body. It is sometimes called lava stone or warm rock massage. As part of the process, the stones are first heated in water to around 50 degrees Centigrade. After they have achieved the necessary temperature, they will be either applied to the problematic parts of the body that require deep heat treatment or used by the masseuse to directly stimulate pressure points.
The use of heated stones as part of massage can be traced back hundreds of years and to several different cultures including the Chinese and Native American. It is often integrated into sauna and sweat lodge practices.
The modern re-popularisation of hot stone massage can be traced back to the United States in the 90s and since then it has made its way into the suite of services offered by a wide variety of different massage practitioners.