Unit 1 - Lesson 1: Safety with Temperature

Learn how to safely give a hot & cold stone massage

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In this video we’re going to talk about safety with temperature and expand on that a little bit for you.


The big thing is you don’t want to hurt…right? It’s a little hard to hurt somebody with a cold stone. Especially if it’s just on ice. If you put your cold stones in the freezer you can absolutely hurt someone. But you can hurt somebody in a split second with a hot stone if you didn’t choose the temperature, where you are going to apply that stone, how you apply that stone to the body, and what technique you use to get that hot stone on the body. It’s really important that you understand that. You have to know if this client (because of their health) can tolerate the heat of the stone. Can it be tucked and placed on them or does it have to keep moving? As well as with the cold. It’s not as dangerous with cold as it is with hot. Hot can burn them in a second. Cold is just going to be irritating to them because it’s cold and most people don’t like cold. They don’t understand the benefits of cold and how it creates a heating treatment in the body. We’ll speak about that in a moment.


You absolutely have to be aware of your client’s diet habits because if they’re not eating appropriately for their health then heat is going to be a harder thing for the tissue/epidermis to take. It’s more likely to burn somebody if they’re not eating appropriately. You’ll want to know that you have the right layers of thicknesses between the hot stones if it’s stone placement. How many layers do I have to get between a client and a hot stone to keep from burning them? That’s why we use a towel on the front and that’s why we drape the hot stones in the back with two or three layers of pillowcases so that we don’t take a chance on burning them. And again, like in contraindications, it’s all about their health issue. Some people can only take 110 degrees hot where others can take that 130 to 135 as well as the 140. I don’t recommend you ever get to 135 or 140 without first getting to a workshop and being certified in the modality of LaStone.


So you want to understand your client’s health. You want to understand how many layers of protection do I need between them and a hot stone. And why am I putting a hot stone there? You just don’t put a hot stone or a cold stone anywhere on their body just because it’s something you saw in a picture or it’s something you saw in a video. There has to be a chemical reason or an energetic reason as to why that stone needs to lie there. And you want to make sure the protection is there.


Another thing to keep from burning a client is to make sure their skin is moist. Always oil the client’s epidermis prior to the hot stone application. Even through the linen. Even if you’re putting a stone on top of them or underneath them, they have to have moist skin. Because the dryer the skin is, the more likely the epidermis will keep that heat on the peripheral of the skin (on the surface) and that will burn. But if there’s enough oil then the oil helps to conduct the heat energy in to the fascia of the muscle and it disperses through the body’s tissues and therefore it’s not isolated on that one spot.


It’s important to ask your clients to start hydrating three days before they get to their massage with you and to continue hydrating three days afterwards. Remember it’s that 72-hour window.