A stone massage uses cold or water-heated stones to apply pressure and heat to the body. Stones coated in oil can also be used by the therapist delivering various massaging strokes. The hot stones used are commonly Basalt stones (or lava rocks) which over time have become extremely polished and smooth. As the stones are placed along the recipient's back, they help to retain heat which then deeply penetrates into the muscles.
Stones (usually basalt) are placed into an electric slow-cooker or a purpose-built device which is filled with water. The water is typically heated to 30-35 degrees Celsius (122-127 degrees Fahrenheit).
Once the stones have heated sufficiently, some are placed onto specific points on the body (such as the back, hands, etc.) and others are held by the massage therapist and used to work the muscles.
Certain styles of stone massage also incorporate chilled stones into the routine. These stones are usually marble, and are placed into a bowl of iced water before use.