How To Heat Rocks For Hot Stone Massage

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Have you ever wondered how to heat rocks for hot stone massage? If you have, then you’re not alone! It’s hard to imagine how anyone can take the cold temperature of rock and turn it into something that makes you feel great on the inside, but it’s easier than it seems!

If your massage business includes the use of hot stones and you want to be able to provide your clients with this extra special treatment, then this post about heating rocks for hot stone massage will help answer all of your questions and more!

1) Get Hot Rocks

Most hot stone massage therapists buy their rocks from professional rock suppliers such as Lava Rock Company.

If you’re an experienced rock hound, you might be able to find some nice rocks in your backyard, but most people prefer to use professionally-sourced stones that have been tested for safe massage purposes.

Avoid using scoria, which contains trapped gasses that can explode when heated and cooled, since it is not used by professionals. Granite or basalt is a good starting point; avoid sandstone because it may explode or crumble when heated.

2) Use a Durable Waterproof Mat

Most of us have had a hot stone massage at some point in our lives, and chances are we loved it. Unfortunately, many individuals don’t know that they should use a very specific type of mat during their hot stone session; doing so will keep both therapist and client safe while ensuring that you get maximum comfort out of your treatment.

Most professionals will use a specialized ceramic stone designed to withstand high temperatures, but since these stones can cost upwards of $200 apiece it might be worthwhile to put one on your holiday wish list.

3) Lay Out the Stones in an Order That Makes Sense

If you’re not an expert on how rocks heat, it can be hard to know what order to place them in. Use common sense here. Some stones will get hot quickly, some take longer and some need to sit next to others for synergy.

If you have several smaller, cooler stones, put them around larger ones that need more time or aren’t as dense. Have fun with your creativity while remembering placement will make a difference when it comes time for using them on your client!

4) Use a Chimney Starter for Great Results

A chimney starter is a great way to heat rocks. Simply place enough rocks in your chimney to fill about half of it and add lighter fluid. You’ll want to soak them until they are fully wet, so it may take several attempts to get them all lit.

Once lit, you’ll cover with foil and then place a towel over that to insulate until they are warmed up (about 15 minutes). Remove stones from chimney and let cool down before beginning massage session.

5) Place the Lid on Top of The Pit or Fireplace Before Igniting

The lid is important because it helps shield you from any sparks and embers that fly out of your fire. It also creates a space in which you can easily place your stones. Keep wood or other kindling close by to use for lighting your fire as well.

The lid may be optional depending on how much time you have to set up before your client arrives. If they are giving themselves plenty of time, then don’t worry about making it right away—they will find another way to keep their stones hot while they are getting undressed and ready for massage.

However, if they are running late and will only give themselves a short amount of time before starting their massage session, feel free to light a fire underneath their rocks so they are already hot when they arrive!

6) Cover Up Your Rock Pile with the Lid from Step 5

The lid is important to use because it helps lock in heat. If you do not have a lid for your hot stone massage rocks, wrap each of them with an old dish towel or sheet. The thicker these items are, the better.

You can also use a large bowl with its top facing downwards as long as it’s big enough to fit all of your rocks inside.

Covering your stones will help keep any heat that they absorb from escaping back into your room. The last thing you want is for your entire massage session to be ruined because you didn’t cover up hot stone massage stones properly!

7) Start Burner and Light Rocks When Coals Are Red-Hot

You’ll want to get a few things set up before you actually light your rocks. First, grab your rocks. Whether you’re using round river rocks or more specialty stones, it’s important to know how hot they need to be before you begin heating them.

If you’re using river rocks, start with those and make sure they’re as hot as possible before beginning – start heating your coals first and once they are red-hot put some water on them and let it steam for a bit (about 20 seconds) before continuing to start your burner going.

If you’re using specialty stones like lava stones, get them warmed up in advance so that when you do add them to your red-hot coals there’s already heat on them!

8) Allow Flames to Burn Down Until They are Just Coals

Having your rocks ready to go is important for hot stone massage therapy. It allows you to work fast, which means your stones don’t cool down.

When using lava stones, it can take a few minutes for them to heat up enough to be used, which means you could potentially lose some of their therapeutic benefits.

Getting your lava rocks into a flame is essential. However, it’s not enough just to throw them on; you must let them burn until they are just coals so that they heat evenly and quickly throughout.

9) Add Fresh Wood to Embers After About 30 Minutes (Optional)

This step isn’t strictly necessary, but can give your stone massage an aromatic boost. Many people use fragrant cedar, though any wood that burns cleanly works fine.

Just make sure you never use resinous wood like pine or evergreen—it will fill your room with sticky pitch and create a mess on your stones.

Wood is optional—the embers should last between 30 minutes and an hour without adding more fuel to maintain temperature. It will last even longer if you wait until they stop producing smoke before using them on your clients.

Final Word

It’s important to heat rocks prior to applying them to a client’s body, but in order for them to stay hot long enough, they have to be heated in advance.

Since it may take some time for you to accumulate enough rocks, it’s best to plan ahead and get a head start on heating them up so you don’t end up rushing and scalding your client or yourself.

Always make sure that you are using heat-safe rocks before you begin heating them up, and then follow these steps for how long each rock should remain under water.

Never put ice directly onto a client’s body as it could result in burns from cold shock; instead, use a towel or towel folds between your client’s skin and the stone itself.

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Lynn has been writing at our blog for over two years. She currently writes about topics such as sleep, massage therapy, and cooking. Recently, she has teamed up with other bloggers to write about their life stories. Lynn is also a certified massage therapist who loves to express herself through cooking recipes she finds on Pinterest or food blogs. Lynn's blog is an outlet where she can share her passions with others while encouraging them to live the best version of themselves.

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