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 hot stone 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.