When thinking about adding a heated implement to your massage therapy, there are now several options beyond hot stones, including shells and bamboo. While all are popular treatments for promoting deeper muscle relaxation, improving circulation and managing stress, I am often asked what the main difference is between our self-heating hot stones and Lava Shells.

The most obvious answer is the shape and appearance. Hot Stones resemble black basalt river stones. Lava Shells are either natural Tiger Striped Clam shells or porcelain replicas. You may choose one over the other just based on the location and esthetics of your spa/salon. Is your spa a tropical, beachfront oasis? Then Lava Shells are a beautiful signature treatment! Or, is your spa nestled among tall pine trees and a retreat for snowbirds? Then hot stones may be a more fitting massage for your treatment menu.

In regards to shape, Lava Shells have a unique anatomy when compared to stones. The hinge, the small rounded knob on the back of every Lava Shell, is great for stimulating pressure points and working deep into small, deep knots. The crown, the smooth, carefully polished surface is ideal for long broad strokes. The edge is carefully sanded to a smooth surface and is excellent for working narrow areas and is valuable as a dragging tool.

Fortunately, Lava Shells and hot stones are both non-porous and will not absorb oils or bacteria. Both tools will also act as an extension of the therapist’s hand, allowing them to work deeper with less strain to their hands.  These two attributes alone make either option a wonderful addition to any massage.

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