Massage therapists have been using hot stones in massage therapy sessions since they were first invented, and though this type of treatment may not be as popular as it was years ago, you can still find places that offer hot stone massages to their clients today.
So how do you know if your spa uses the perfect temperature for hot stone massages? Here are some guidelines on how to make sure your massage therapist knows exactly what temperature to use during your session.
What Temperature Should Hot Stone Massage Be? Some massage therapists have taken hot stone massage to an extreme. Hot stones used in a massage can be as high as 130 degrees Fahrenheit, which is much too hot.
This type of hot stone massage is not only painful but it can also cause permanent damage if your skin is exposed to these high temperatures for too long. Most legitimate massages that incorporate hot stones won’t go beyond 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
There are some who recommend water-heated basalt stones over oil or wax, but you should avoid those at all costs if they’re above 108 degrees Fahrenheit. Ideally, 120 degrees should be your maximum temperature threshold during a hot stone massage session.
How hot should hot stone massage be?
Hot stone massage is known to be an extremely relaxing treatment, and when it comes to hot stone massage, there’s a wide range of temperatures that can effectively deliver results.
While some massages may have a lower temperature than others, most commonly between 95°F and 100°F, while other treatments offer higher temperatures of up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. However, when choosing a hot stone massage that’s right for you, there are more factors to consider than just your comfort levels.
A variety of factors will affect your overall experience with hot stone massage including where you’re getting your treatment as well as what kind of stones are being used during your session.
Stones can get very hot, and depending on where you live, will naturally heat up to a different temperature. For example, if you live in Arizona, stones will naturally reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit in direct sunlight—this is considered hot even by professional standards.
In cooler climates like Illinois or Maine (anywhere below 72 degrees), however, stones tend to stay at around 100 degrees; while they may seem hotter than they are due to environmental factors, they’re actually not. Hot stone massage therapists usually prefer their stones to be around 100-110 degrees as well.
Hot stone massage is a type of massage therapy that incorporates hot stones into some or all of your session.
While there are numerous benefits to having a hot stone massage, you may be wondering what temperature should it be? To best answer that question, let’s first break down what we mean by temperature.
In scientific terms, temperature is defined as an object’s capacity to induce thermal energy in another object. The word thermal comes from therm which means heat. In more layman terms, when we say temperature, we simply mean how hot or cold something is; more specifically, though, we’re talking about surface area and rate of change.
When looking at any mass of matter, such as water or oil, it can exist in three states—solid (ice), liquid (water), and gas (steam). These states also relate to temperature. When a substance changes state due to increased temperatures, we call that phase transition.
This process happens naturally over time—for example, ice melting into water—but can also happen artificially through pressure and/or exposure to certain substances called phase-change materials (PCMs).
PCMs have unique properties that allow them to freeze at lower temperatures than water but then melt at higher temperatures than water would alone.
Why is a Pre-massage Warm Up Important?
One of hot stone massage’s biggest benefits is its ability to work on multiple people at once. This makes it perfect for couples, family members or friends to get together and enjoy some much-needed relaxation time together.
However, you should take into account that more people will make longer treatments feel rushed; if your session is under an hour, consider getting another appointment afterward so you can really soak in all of those wonderful benefits.
How Many People Can Get the Benefits of Hot Stone Massage at Once?
There’s no limit to how many people can get hot stone massage at once. In fact, at most locations, several people can get massages at once as long as there is enough room for them all.
This might sound surprising if you are used to getting massages in private rooms, but it makes sense if you think about what a typical hot stone massage actually involves.
While your therapist will be focused on specific areas of your body and will definitely be giving you individualized attention, he or she doesn’t need that much space.
Most of a hot stone massage takes place while you are lying down on your stomach or back so that your therapist can focus more directly on problem areas—and still give individualized attention to other parts of your body at the same time.
If you’re thinking about indulging in a hot stone massage, there are a few things to consider first. How hot should your massage stones be?
While most spas have their own protocols and methods of keeping their stones at optimal temperatures, 120-130 degrees Fahrenheit is generally considered safe for most people.
That being said, if you’re pregnant or suffer from high blood pressure or any medical condition that would limit your body’s temperature tolerance, please check with your doctor before scheduling an appointment.
And while I don’t want to scare anyone off—the warmth of stone therapy can be incredibly soothing—be sure not to jump right into one without properly preparing your body.