How Much should a Hot Stone Massage Cost?
(Photo courtesy of Angie's List member John S. of Norfolk, Mass.)
Relaxing under the skilled hands of a massage therapist using hot stone massage to soothe your tense muscles can be a great way to unwind from the stresses of daily life.
Adding heated stones to a massage therapy session provides promotes deeper muscle relaxation, and warmth that can be especially nice on a cold day. The massage therapist may place the stones stationary on your body for the heat to penetrate your muscles and also use the stones to perform a variety of massage strokes.
How much does a massage cost?
A stone massage costs more than a regular massage or a typical Swedish massage because the massage therapist needs additional training and must purchase additional equipment (the stones, a heating device and additional towels). He or she also requires additional time before the massage to prepare the stones and after the massage to clean up.
The cost of a hot stone massage can range from about $85 an hour from a massage clinic to $150 or more at a fancy spa. Most hot stone massages run between $75 and $125 an hour.
For more information, please visit the Angie's List Guide to Massage Therapy.
Type of business: Usually, a massage at a spa is more expensive, though "affordable" day spas are cropping up around the country. A fancy destination, resort, or hotel spa typically charges more than a local day spa. Prices at massage clinics and from individual massage therapists in private practice vary greatly and can be on either the high or low end of the price range.
Type of massage: Various variations of massage with heated stones are available. Some names you might see include LaStone Massage, Native Hot Stone Massage, EarthStone Massage or TheraStone Massage. Many spas have their own signature names for the stone massage offered and charge more for their "special" massage.
What to expect during a massage
Because some massage therapists focus on just placing stones and not doing a lot of massage, ask for a description of the session before scheduling an appointment. If the massage is most important to you, you don't want to lie on the massage table for most of the session with stationary heated stones placed on your body.
When you receive a heated massage, the heat should always feel comfortable to you. If it doesn't, let your massage therapist know. A careful therapist should make sure the stones don't burn you.
Also, be aware that some people feel lightheaded after a heated massage due to the deep relaxation effects. Move slowly as you get up from the massage table. Because the heat can dehydrate you, it's also a good idea to drink at least a glass of water soon after the massage.
Finally, understand that added heat is not a good idea for people with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and certain skin conditions. Your massage therapist should always ask about your medical history to ensure a massage with heated stones is safe for you.
Editor's note: This is an updated version of an article originally posted on August 23, 2013.