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Hot Stone Massage

Available from Sue Hollingshead

Hot stone therapy is a deeply therapeutic and relaxing treatment involving the use of volcanic stones which are heated to a temperature hot enough for the heat to penetrate deep into the muscles, without being so hot that they feel uncomfortable or burn the skin.
The stones are heated to a temperature suited to the individual client.
The stones vary in size and are used in different ways. Large ones are placed on the body to warm the area, relaxing the muscles and preparing the body for massage. This is done with the application of oil and by gently smoothing slightly smaller stones over the skin in a manner which continues to allow the heat to penetrate, at the same time creating a sense of calm and well being. Because the stones emanate heat, the therapist does not need to apply pressure to tense areas in the muscle, but the effect is very powerful. Much smaller stones can be placed between the toes to stimulate nerve endings and de stress the feet.

At your first consultation, you will be asked to fill in a health form; this gives the therapist the opportunity to discuss particular problems or needs.
You will then be asked to undress down to pants and lie on the couch under a towel, your modesty will be considered at all times.
Sue will then apply massage oil to the area to be worked on first of all and then use stones accordingly to work into the muscle. Other stones may be laid onto different parts of the body in order to warm the area in preparation for massage. Once an area has been worked on, it will then be covered with a towel and kept warm. At the end of the treatment, you will be given a few minutes to just “be” and enjoy the tranquillity of the moment.

The nature of this treatment makes it suitable for almost anyone both male and female, to enjoy, however it is not recommended during pregnancy and with some medical conditions.
You will be asked to fill in a medical form during your consultation, but if you are unsure about its suitability, it is wise to consult your doctor beforehand.

The treatment takes place in a warm, calming atmosphere, with low lighting, soft music and warm fluffy towels. It is so gentle and soothing; it calms both mind and body.
Heat can be very healing and used in this way it takes the stress and tension out of tired, overworked muscles, it improves the circulation and increases the metabolism, it can also be mentally and spiritually uplifting, re-balancing the body systems, encouraging the body to heal itself.
It can effectively improve conditions such as:-

  • Muscular aches/pains/strains and sprains
  • Low energy/Fatigue
  • Rheumatic/ Arthritic conditions
  • Stress/anxiety/tension
  • Back pain
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • MS

Hot Stone therapy has been utilized by many cultures over the centuries, originating from healers who used the stones from river beds, worn smooth by the flow of water. These were warmed by hot coals or in hot water and placed on cloth on the body, promoting healing by drawing out muscular pain and discomfort.

The stones are made from volcanic basalt which is formed when an eruption occurs and the lava flows into rivers or the sea and is cooled quickly causing it to become incredibly dense, this means that it retains its heat for a long time. Also being volcanic, it has therapeutic minerals in its substance.

You may choose to have a “whole body massage” which will work on both the front and back of the body, to include back, neck and shoulders, legs and arms, hands and feet, tummy, chest and face, of course if would prefer to leave out any of these areas you will be given that choice. This whole process takes about 80 minutes. Alternatively you may choose the shorter, “back, neck and shoulder massage” which takes approximately 35 minutes.

In order to get the maximum benefit from the treatment, try to bear in mind the following advice:-

  • Try to relax for the rest of the day
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Try to avoid tea or coffee, alcohol and spicy foods


What should I wear? Either disrobe to underwear (gown available), or a vest and shorts / leggings
Are oils used? Yes
Do I need to bring anything? In the winter make sure you bring enough clothes to keep warm after the treatment
Unsuitable for: First trimester of pregnancy. The treatment is modified for certain conditions, please ask for details


Full Body Massage
Tues / Weds / Thurs 09.00-12.00
First appointment £55 – 85 mins
Subsequently £55 – 85 mins
Upper Body Massage
Tues / Weds / Thurs 09.00-12.00
First appointment £35 – 40 mins
Subsequently £35 – 40 mins


About Sue


I did my training at the McTimoney College of Chiropractic, qualifying in 2002 and was a practicing chiropractor for seven years. Now I practice as a Spinal Therapist.
I first became interested in back care after seeking help from a McTimoney Chiropractor for low back pain which came about after the birth of my first child.

What became apparent to me was that the kind of things we do in everyday life can be the very cause of our problems and that what we need to do is to take responsibility for our bodies. For me this meant regular maintenance back care and core stability work in the form of Yoga and Pilates, which I practice every week. I use my knowledge and experience of these modalities to give practical advice to my patients, helping them to help themselves, which I believe to be the key to long lasting good back health.

I have also taken qualifications in Swedish massage which I use at the end of my Spinal treatments and more recently in Hot Stone Therapy, which I practice separately, both of which I have found enhance the Spinal Therapy by reducing muscle tension.

Q “Is my pain muscular or in the joints?”
A “The muscles and bones work together, so if a muscle is tight it can affect the joint, or if the joint is ‘buckling’ it can cause the muscle to be tight. So the pain could be caused by either or both. Re-aligning the joints can directly ease pain, but can also improve the muscle tension”.

Q “Will it hurt”?
A “Spinal Therapy is a particularly gentle form of manipulation and so, easy to receive, it can be used equally well on anyone from a small baby to an elderly person. However, when the body is in pain, it feels sensitive and vulnerable and so naturally some of the adjustments may feel slightly uncomfortable”.

“Initially I was sceptical about the benefit of such a gentle manipulative treatment, and during the first session I still doubted that it could help. However whilst walking to my car, I noticed that the ball of pain that I had had in my lower back for over ten years had disappeared”.
Simon, Newent

“I found Sue’s Hot Stone Massage a blissfully, relaxing experience. I went in stressed and feeling rushed and came out feeling beautifully calm and relaxed, my aches and pains seemed to disappear and I felt refreshed. I would thoroughly recommend this wonderful experience”.
Julie, Hartpury.


Diploma in McTimoney Chiropractic
HHBTA Hot Stone Therapy
First Aid in the Workplace
Swedish Body Massage

Contact Sue

Email: sue.hollingshead64@gmail.com
Phone: 07814 433890 / 07938 021255