Most forms of massage are non-invasive and will only do you good. Hot stone massage is no different. It does use hot stones to provide a deeper, and more relaxing therapy but it’s not painful in any way. Like with all forms of massage however, there are hot stone massage contradictions to be aware of. You should always put your health and safety first, if there is any reason why you shouldn’t be having a massage you should wait until you have clearance.
Hot Stone Massage Contraindications
Generally speaking, hot stone massage is fine for anyone who do not have any of the conditions or circumstances listed below. If any do apply to you, or you have any concerns at all you should speak with your massage therapist or doctor for clearance and clarification.
- Blood clots or previous history of blood clots
- Easily bruised and find bruising painful
- Currently have a known cancer or are receiving treatment for cancer
- Conditions that compromise the immune system
- Any heart conditions
- High or low blood pressure
- Areas of inflamed or damaged skin
- Pregnant – See this post for hot massage while pregnant precautions
- Sores, blemishes, or open wounds
- Recovering from recent surgery
- Varicose veins
What Is Hot Stone Massage and Why Are There Precautions?
Hot stone massage incorporates stones that have been warmed up to 120 degrees plus. These stones are used with other traditional massage techniques such as vibration, tapotement, and complete therapies like Swedish and deep-tissue massage.
The therapist holds the stones and with the application of oil will glide them over the body and rub them into the muscles and tissues. The heat allows the therapist to work deeper in to the muscles and work out painful knots and other tissue damage.
The stones are also positioned on points across the body and left to allow the heat to penetrate into the tissue. Sometimes the client will be left like this to relax, and even sleep sometimes!
It’s a skilled treatment and an area some therapists specialize in. It’s not available at all spa’s, but it’s certainly worth making the effort to find and try if you’ve never experienced a hot stone massage.
If the feeling of the basalt stones isn’t for you there is another form of hot massage called lava shell massage. Lava shell massage uses tiger strip shells and a hot gel mix inside to generate the heat. Some people prefer the feel of this form of treatment, it comes down to personal preference however.
You can either allow the therapist to run through their own treatment plan and techniques, or you can specify certain areas of your body and injuries you want worked on. Some people just like hot stone massages for all the relaxing physical and mental benefits, while other people use it to treat injuries or tired muscles.
Whatever your reason, a hot stone massage will certainly be a relaxing and rejuvenating experience. Please take a close look at the hot stone massage contraindications above. Always make sure you’re safe for treatment.
I’m a MA, (CMT) Certified Massage Therapist, Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), and Reiki Master — I’m a licensed massage therapist with over 10 years of experience in the industry.