Hot stone massage is a favorite of clients at many spas and salons. Believed to date back to the ancient Egyptians, hot stone massage is usually done with smooth basalt. Some massage therapists use oil for hot stone massages and some do not. Many places sell home massage kits that feature smooth stones, fragrant oils and detailed instructions. Giving hot stone massages at home is not difficult as long as you make sure the stones do not get too hot. If you can handle them easily, they are probably a good temperature for adult skin.
Wash your massage stones thoroughly in a basin or sink full of water and 3 to 4 healthy squirts of antibacterial soap. Rinse them well.
Place the stones in an electric slow-cooker or deep saucepan and fill it the rest of the way with water.
Turn the heat to low, and let the stones warm up for at least 30 minutes. The stones should be no hotter than 125 degrees Fahrenheit, or they will be too hot for you to handle, and will burn the person you are massaging.
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Have your person lie face down on a table or bed. They should be naked or wearing thin undergarments. Cover them with a clean sheet or towel for modesty and to keep them from getting cold.
Place warm stones at the top of the left leg, in the center of the thigh, behind the knee and on the calf. Massage the right leg while the stones sit. A little massage oil will help your hands move more smoothly over the skin.
Take the biggest massage stone from the person’s left leg and slide it up his right leg, from his heel to his bottom.
Place warm stones on his right leg, just as you did on his left. Let them sit for 2 to 3 minutes and then massage that leg, finishing with the largest stone, and the gliding technique.
Put one large stone on each side of his buttocks. Let them sit, and then gently massage the muscles, finishing with a large stone.
Put warm stones on his neck, shoulders and lower back. Let them sit for 2 to 3 minutes and then massage the large muscles of his back, finishing with the largest stone. Have your subject turn over, and do his front side the same way you did his back.
Massage your subject’s arms with your bare hands, or with a gliding stone, because warm stones usually won’t stay put on someone’s arms.
Never put warm stones on someone’s face or scalp, because the skin there is more sensitive to heat.
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Emmy-award nominated screenwriter Brynne Chandler is a single mother of three who divides her time between professional research and varied cooking, fitness and home & gardening enterprises. A running enthusiast who regularly participates in San Francisco's Bay to Breakers run, Chandler works as an independent caterer, preparing healthy, nutritious meals for Phoenix area residents.