While many of us have seen pictures of a person having warm, smooth stones placed in a column along with their spine, this is only one way that stones are used during a hot stone massage. Many massage therapists actually hold the stones in their hands and use them to massage the muscles during the massage. The heat can help to relax tight muscles so that you get a deeper massage without more pressure. However, one question that everyone always asks is how hot the stones get. The answer is that the temperature can vary, but here’s what you need to know.
How are Stones Heated in a Hot Stone Massage?
Traditionally, hot stones for massage were heated over a fire. This custom dates back to Native Americans. Today, however, stones are heated in a pot of water after being sanitized. The water is heated to between 120 and 150 degrees, which is the average temperature that most of us have our water-heaters set to in our homes. So, yes, the water is extremely hot when the stones are first introduced to it. Imagine turning on your shower with no cold whatsoever, and that’s about how hot the water is when the volcanic rock stones are submerged.
What Happens During a Hot Stone Massage
However, by the time you are laying down and the stones are used on you, they have typically cooled a bit. The therapist will remove the stones and let them dry and cool while they prepare you with traditional Swedish massage. They’ll wait until the stones are comfortable for them to handle with their bare hands, and then they’ll place them on your skin. Typically, when the stones are set on your skin and allowed to rest, the therapist will replace cool stones with warmer ones throughout the massage.
What If the Stones Are Too Hot?
If a hot stone massage is ever too hot, speak up. The therapist should immediately remove them and offer other ways to introduce heat to your massage, such as using steamed towels instead. Don’t ever allow a hot rock to sit on your skin if it feels way too hot. Everyone’s skin reacts differently to heat. What feels comfortable to the therapist may burn your skin.
To schedule a hot stone massage with the well-trained therapists at Adrienne Michelle’s Salon and Spa in Jacksonville, contact us at (904) 329-2573.