Incorporate hot stone therapy into your massage practice. Described below are the basics you need to know about giving a hot stone massage. You’ll also learn the steps required for giving a relaxing hot stone massage to your clients.
The basic equipment needed to perform a hot stone massage includes a massage table, linens for the table, towels, a heating unit to warm your stones, and various massage oils. Optional equipment can include utensils for removing the stones from the heating unit, storage bags for the stones, and a variety of essential oils.
Many massage therapists utilize roasting pans for the purpose of heating massage stones. Roasting pans can be purchased at many retail stores and are also available online. Therapists who travel to their clients may wish to consider some type of insulated container for transport purposes. DO NOT HEAT MASSAGE STONES IN A MICROWAVE!
Massage stones are available in a variety of sizes, shapes, and packages. Basalt stones are generally used for hot stone massage. Basalt stones are also called volcanic basalt stones or basalt river rocks. Tenshi and gemstones are also types of stones many massage therapists utilize in their practice.
The number of stones needed during a hot stone massage can vary. For a full body massage, you’ll want to use approximately 48 to 56 stones. It is possible to use fewer stones, but you will need to constantly keep them reheated. If you do not want to constantly reheat stones, make sure you consider this factor when you order your massage stones.
If you are performing energy work on your clients, you may prefer to use massage stones that have been blessed for energy-related work. You will also want to make sure that you use the gemstones related to the seven chakra areas.
There are many types of massage oils on the market. Grapeseed, olive, and rose are three of the most common. Massage therapists often have favorite oils they like to use. These oils usually work fine as a lubricating source for a hot stone massage. You can find many interesting and unique recipes for massage oils by searching the internet or visiting your local library.
Make sure your massage stones are clean when you are ready to store them. Various types of storage bags are available for this purpose, including velvet. Often retailers may include a storage bag with the purchase any type of massage stone package.
The element of aromatherapy during a hot stone massage can certainly enhance the massage experience for your clients. Be sure to keep a variety of essential oils on hand. Lavender is an essential oil often used to promote relaxation â€“ perfect for a hot stone massage!
PREPARING FOR THE MASSAGE
Allow plenty of time for a hot stone massage session. In fact, allow at least an hour and a half to complete this massage. BEFORE your client arrives, you will want to make sure your massage room is ready for a hot stone therapy session. First, you will need to make sure the massage stones are heated. This may take fifteen to fifty minutes, depending on the type of heating unit used. Next, prepare your massage table with fresh linens and put on some soothing music. Finally, ask your client to step into the treatment room. Be sure to explain the hot stone massage to your client, even if your client has had one before.
STEPS FOR PERFORMING A HOT STONE MASSAGE
STEP ONE – PREPARING THE TABLE
Dress the table with clean linens. Add an extra special touch to your services by using a sheepskin warming pad underneath flannel linens. Place eight medium size, flat stones on the massage table where you believe your client’s back will be. Line the stones up in pairs, leaving approximately one to two inches between each stone.
STEP TWO POSITION OF CLIENT ON TABLE
Ask your client to lie down so that his/her spine is not touching any of the stones. The stones will be on each side of the spine. Be sure to keep your client draped appropriately.
STEP THREE – FACE
Begin by massaging a light coating of oil over your client’s face. After this, you will need four small stones. Place one stone underneath the lips, one on each cheek, and the fourth one on the forehead or third eye.
STEP FOUR LEGS (FRONT)
Now, you can begin the massage on the leg area. Undrape one leg at a time. Massage oil onto the leg. You will need to determine what size stones to hold while massaging your client’s legs. This will, of course, depend on the size of your client. After choosing your massage stones, begin to rub the stones on each side of the legs. The pressure utilized will depend on the needs of your client. Because of all the oil used during a massage, remember to be careful and not let the stones slip out of your hands. When finished, place a small stone between each of your client’s toes and drape the leg. Repeat this process on the other leg and foot.
STEP FIVE – ARMS
At this point, you may undrape one of your client’s arms. Use the effleurage stroke and coat the client’s arm with oil. Using medium-sized flat stones, you can begin massaging the client’s arm area. As you finish with the arm, place a warm massage stone in your client’s palm. Repeat this process for the other arm.
STEP SIX TURNING CLIENT OVER
Now you will need to remove the facial stones, the stones between the toes, and the stones in your client’s palm. Ask your client to lie on his/her side as you quickly remove the rocks on the massage table.
When your client is in the prone position (on stomach), make sure that he/she is still properly draped. Uncover the client’s back and, using the effleurage stroke, coat it with oil. The back is a great area to use stones on various acupressure points. After massaging the back area, place stones in the following areas: one on each shoulder, one on each scapular area and one on the sacrum or lower back area. Cover your client’s back. Also, at this time, you can again place a medium rounded stone into the palm of your client’s hand.
STEP SEVEN LEGS (BACK)
At this step, you can again undrape one leg and place a medium to large stone underneath the buttock area, on the back of the knee, and the calf if possible. Cover the leg and repeat this process on the client’s other leg.
STEP EIGHT – SCALP
Take some time at this point to massage your client’s scalp. You can also work in the neck and shoulder area at this point.
STEP NINE REMOVING STONES FROM CLIENT
Uncover your client’s back and remove the stones, then recover the client’s back. Undrape client’s legs (one at a time), and remove the stones from the leg area. Cover the legs back up.
STEP TEN FINISHING TOUCH
Perform an effleurage stroke at this point (over the draping) and finish with a nerve stroke, using just the tip of your fingers. Do this on your client’s back and leg area.
Excuse yourself from the room and get ready to book a repeat appointment!