Hot stone massage is a powerful way to give your clients an intensely relaxing and pleasurable experience, but it can be expensive to buy the stones and, if you’re not experienced, can be difficult to master.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can make hot stone massage affordable and easy for yourself or your clients. In this blog post, we’ll go over 10 simple steps that will allow you to make your own hot stone massage in no time at all. No skills needed!
Step 1: Gather Supplies
You’ll need a few things to get started, including: 4 or 5 heated stones and towels. You can find hot stone massage stones online or at any natural stone supply store. You can even purchase them on Amazon. (Search for hot stone massage on Amazon and you’ll see several options.)
Stones come in various sizes, but they all weigh about 1-2 pounds each—heavier than most people think, so ask an employee for help if you have trouble picking out your set.
If you’re also buying towels, be sure they are thick enough so that as hot as your stones get won’t burn through them; around $15 is a good price point for a 4-piece towel set that will work for most people.
Step 2: Put on Music
A therapeutic massage needs peaceful and soothing music, preferably one that’s instrumental with no lyrics. Background noise from a television can add an element of distraction.
Think harp or piano music. Natural sounds like thunder or running water can also be good choices, but make sure they aren’t overly loud or distracting.
Candles are also nice, but in order to avoid fire hazards during your massage session, it’s best to use scented candles that come in votive holders rather than large candle holders that may tip over.
If you really want candles for ambiance and don’t want to worry about an accident happening, then light them prior to your client arriving so that they don’t leave any hot wax on you when she disrobes!
Step 3: Add Scented Oils
Essential oils can be added for scent, but do so sparingly. Using only two or three drops per 1/2 gallon of water is more than enough. Essential oils should not be added directly to a hot stone massage blend—wait until they have cooled and then add them in small quantities.
The essential oils will quickly evaporate, leaving you with a much less potent blend. Remember that essential oils are highly concentrated and can irritate sensitive skin.
Step 4: Warm the Stones
After you’ve poured your massage oil into a container or glass, begin warming up your stones. You want them hot enough that they will stay warm for a few minutes after use. The perfect temperature is between 105 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit.
Soak your stones in a bowl of water at least 30 minutes before use to make sure they’re at just-right temperature. If they feel too cold or if they seem hotter than you’d like, microwave them in 10-second increments until they are right where you want them.
Be careful not to burn yourself! If any piece of stone gets too hot, put it under cold running water immediately and let it cool off for at least five minutes before using again.
Step 5: Put on the Blanket
If you’re using a blanket that you already own, set it on top of your table. (If you’re making use of a towel, wrap it around your hot stones and then put that onto your table.) Start by placing three large stones near each shoulder, followed by three smaller ones along both sides of your spine.
The idea is to create a continuous line of weight from one end of your body to another. For added heat, place stones on top of major muscle groups like your thighs or calves.
Step 6: Get On the Table
Once your masseuse has covered you with warm, scented towels, it’s time for him or her to climb onto that massage table and get down to business. To ensure they don’t slip while applying pressure, they should wear oil-resistant socks (many places will provide these).
Before straddling you, your therapist will most likely lower a couple of hot stones onto your back; continue breathing deeply and let them know if it becomes too intense.
Depending on what you’re looking for in a massage, you can tell your masseuse to focus on certain areas or simply relax throughout their routine.
Step 7: Pour Water On The Stones
To prepare for a hot stone massage, fill a large pot or bucket with 1-2 inches of water. Place a stainless steel mixing bowl in the pot and add your rocks. Cover with a lid and place on high heat until it boils. Remove from heat, cover and let sit 10 minutes.
Then drain water through strainer into sink and set rocks aside in another bowl of cool water. (If you have time, allow them to air dry completely before using.)
Note: Stones must be completely dry before beginning massage; that’s why you place them in cool water between each step. If they’re wet at all, oil won’t absorb into stones properly—and could lead to serious burns if used while wet!
Step 8: Start With Feet
Hot stone massage is best known for its ability to relax sore, tired muscles throughout your body. That’s why many therapists begin massages at their client’s feet and work their way up.
Using smooth stones, you can work on specific areas or points in a circular motion; you can also use an alternating hot and cold stone massage by moving from warm stones to cool ones and back again, leaving just enough time for your client’s skin temperature to adjust.
This technique releases tension while relieving pain in tight, overworked muscles. And because hot stone massages last longer than most traditional massages (usually between 50 and 60 minutes), it allows you to apply more pressure without fatiguing yourself or your client too quickly.
Step 9a – Back of Upper Body, Arms and Shoulders (if desired)
Using a blanket or towel, stack two large river rocks together. They should fit snugly in your hand and feel like they weigh about 1-1/2 pounds each. If you can’t find large enough rocks, find two medium-sized ones that are heavy for their size.
Be sure they are stones you won’t mind having heated. Hold one rock in each hand and put them in boiling water long enough to make them hot but not hot enough to burn your hands.
Step 9b – Lower Body, Arms and Shoulders (if desired)
While either lying on a table or sitting in a chair, your massage therapist may use their hands, forearms and/or elbows in sweeping motions over your chest, legs, arms and back. This is intended to increase blood flow and circulation into these areas.
Lying prone (face down) may be an option if there are too many knots/tense muscles for them to work with you lying face up on your back. If you want a hot stone massage for relaxation purposes only, then I suggest that you avoid having an actual full body massage.
If you think of a hot stone massage as something that only professionals can do, I’m here to tell you that it’s not. You can learn how to make your own hot stone massage at home. It’s relatively easy and, with just a few supplies, you can give yourself a deep-tissue massage in your own home.
So why spend $100 or more on an hour-long session at a spa when you can do it for less? It’s especially nice if you have children or pets because then there’s no scheduling conflicts when someone needs to get their hair cut or nails done! You won’t have those scheduling issues if YOU are doing it!