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The place where I work we are playing around with the idea of adding Hot Stone Massage to our services.  I have some questions and would love some feedback.

1) There isn't much space for an 18qt heater so we are looking at the 6qt heaters. So with the smaller heater we are looking at not having that many stones. I was thinking of just having working to use while giving the massage and not laying them on the client.

Does anyone do it this way? What do you charge for it? How do your clients like it?

2) Wondering if it is worth adding on hot stone massage. Haven't had too many people request them in the other couple of places where I've worked. (probably only did about 14 since I've started doing them 8 yrs ago)

Do you have enough clients getting this modality to make it worth offering this service?

3) I've been looking at heaters online and they look just like crockpots (slower cookers) actually the one I keep seeing the Spa Pro by the company Nesco makes crockpots as well. What is the real difference between the crockpot and the stone heaters for heating up stones?

4) Do you have clients getting hot stone in the spring and summer months?

5) Do you offer hot stones in chair massages?

Any answers and advise would be greatly appreciated.

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I cannot speak to #1 and #2 due to very little practical experience in this arena but here are some general thoughts:

#2 - this is more common in the spa like settings/establishments. depending on your specialty, it may/may not be worth adding this service offering

#4 - yes, although there is a significant decline in volume

#5 - i have personally not seen this. i have seen the use of tools such as kneaders however that are used in chair massages

I would suggest waiting until you have a space that is appropriate for hot stone sessions. You definitely want to place the stones on the body as well as using the hot stones while giving the massage; that is a customary part of the treatment. It is a great idea to offer a variety of modalities, including hot stone. You can get a turkey roaster from Target, Wal-Mart or Best Buy; it has an adjustable dial on the front. Do not get a crockpot; the temperature is not adjustable. Clients like the stone sessions year round, particularly in the winter. It is not possible to offer hot stones in chair massages because it is an oil-based treatment and therefore difficult to offer with the client fully clothed. Also, getting the stones to stay on the body during a chair massage would be tricky. If you would like to learn more, the Ariana Institute offers a Hot Stone CE course with video: http://www.arianainstitute.com/online.htm#stone.

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