Even though you may desire hot stone therapy, there are some precautions massage therapist have to abide by in order to determine if you are a good candidate for hot stones. If you have any questions about whether you should receive a hot stone session based on your current health condition(s), please contact your doctor and get a medical clearance to bring to your massage session.
Here are a few medical contraindications (No, No's) and some maybe's for hot stone therapy.
Neuropathy is a site contraindication but could indicate a full-body contraindication. Obtain a physician’s release before providing stone massage, and avoid any areas of neuropathy so as not to burn the client, who cannot give accurate feedback on the sensation of heat.
Illness or fever
Any acute illness or fever is a contraindication for regular massage and stone massage.
Circulatory and heart conditions
Conditions such as angina pectoris, arteriosclerosis, coronary artery disease, endocarditis, and congestive heart failure, as well as a history of cardiac arrest or myocardial infarction, require careful consideration of the client’s level of health and a discussion with and release from the client’s physician. In some cases, stone massage at warm instead of hot temperatures can be applied safely. In others, the client’s condition contraindicates stone massage and even regular massage.
Even mildly sunburned skin does not respond well to stone massage. Opt for regular massage, or put off the session in the event the sunburn is moderate to severe.
Broken or inflamed skin
Do not apply stone massage over broken or inflamed skin. Do not apply stone massage distal to an area of inflamed skin.
Acute or subacute inflammation
If a client has been in a recent car accident, she is contraindicated for stone massage even if no signs of inflammation are visible. Local inflammation from a musculoskeletal injury is site contraindicated, and stone massage distal to the injury site is contraindicated.
Advanced or poorly managed diabetes
If the client’s tissue is unhealthy and circulation in the extremities is decreased, stone massage is contraindicated. In situations where diabetes is well managed and the client’s tissue condition is good, stone massage can be applied with caution.
If the cause of edema is unknown, the client is automatically contraindicated for stone massage. If edema is present in a particular area because of a diagnosed condition, obtain a physician’s release before the session and avoid the local area. Don’t apply stone massage distal to the site of edema.
Thrombus, deep-vein thrombosis
These conditions can be exacerbated by stone massage and are contraindicated.
Gout Heat aggravates gout and can trigger a flare-up. Regular massage is more appropriate.
Uncontrolled hypertension Clients with mild or well-controlled hypertension can receive stone massage with a physician’s release. If hypertension is uncontrolled or severe, stone massage is contraindicated.
High-risk pregnancy The heat from the stones can cause complications for clients with high-risk pregnancy. Regular massage by a knowledgeable therapist may be safe with a physician’s release.
Renal diseases The heat from stones causes an increase in general circulation, placing additional pressure on the kidneys. Regular massage may be safe with a physician’s release.
Rheumatoid arthritis The heat from the stones can trigger a flare-up of rheumatoid arthritis. Regular massage is safer.