Hot stone therapy has fast become a favorite in massage spas and amongst massage professionals. Hot stone massage involves the use of stones during a massage therapy to determine the problem areas of a client and to aid in effective therapy. These stones are usually made of basalt although some other stones such as marble can be used in a heated stone massage therapy.
However, use of heated stone to massage requires some form of expertise as too much pressure can make it very uncomfortable for the client.
When giving a warm stone massage, preparation is very essential. You need to prepare the materials you will use, prepare the stones themselves, prepare the massage table and also prepare your client. Whether you are stationary like in a spa, or you are travel to give massages, the heating source for the stones is a very important consideration. There are heating pans that are sold particularly for heating the stones. If you have a stove, that could also work.
In preparing the stones, you need to give thought to what kind of stone you want to use and how many. The number of stones you will use in a hot stone massage vary and would usually dependent on the technique you want to use. The more stones you have, the less need to reheat the stones as you can just replace a cold stone for warmer one.
The next would be your choice of massage oil. There is a great variety of essential oils that are used in massage techniques. You could either choose a blend or a single essential oil for your heated stone massage. These come in handy if you are incorporating elements of aromatherapy into your hot stone massage.
Get the massage table ready for the client by placing a nice linen sheet on it. If you want to go the extra mile, you could heat up the sheets so that they are warm and toasty.
When working with the stones, the following steps should help you.
1. Focus on the lower back area, the spine in the middle of the back and the shoulder blades. Line the stones up in pairs on the massage table, just where the client’s body would be positioned. The stones should not be touching the spine; instead they should be on either side of the spine. If you submerged the stones in water during the heating process, be sure to blot them before placing them on the massage table.
2. Gently lie your client on the stones, back down. Then place some more stones on the neck and chest before covering with a sheet.
3. The next step would be to massage a light coat of oil on the client. As you massage each area, starting from the head, place tiny stones on that area.
4. Don’t forget the hands and toes. Use stones that are proportionate in size.
5. Undrape only the area of the body that you are working with and be sure to cover it up again once you are done massaging.
Before you begin a warm stone massage, you should have some knowledge of massaging techniques as this is still basically a massage.