Sometimes I get clients who ask me “what is hot stone massage, it looks boring,” the photographs of hot stone massage used in advertising are for visual effect and do not adequately represent what hot stone massage really is.
While we do sometimes place stones on the body we never place the hot stones directly on the skin while they are still at max temperature. What we actually do is massage the body with the hot stones to heat and soothe tight and sore muscles.
How hot are the stones? This depends on the protocol of the business, some use warm stones 115 to 120 degrees max while others work with temperatures of 120 to 135.
I do not use tongs in my hot stone massages, if the stones are too hot for me to pick up then they are too hot to be touching someones body. When working with hot stones I keep the stones moving to prevent burns.
Placement stones, there are different ways to use the stones when placing them on a body, some therapists line them along the spine as seen in the featured image while others like myself prefer to place them on trouble areas such as the low back or shoulders to provide direct heat therapy to those areas.
A hot stone massage can be light or deep in pressure as desired and often the therapist will use a combination alternating from hot stones to normal massage throughout the session.
Hot stone massage is not for everyone, people with high blood pressure and people who do not tolerate heat should avoid hot stone massage, hot stone should never be performed on inflamed areas. It is also not recommended to get hot stone during pregnancy.
Yours in Health and Wellness,
Kristeen Smart AKA Kristeen Kish
CAMTC Certified Massage Therapist