Posted by: lifeinlonsdale | February 28, 2011

The Importance of Proper Sanitation for Hot Stone Massage

I am consistently shocked to discover that there are still many massage therapists offering massage with hot stones that are not following proper (or ANY) sanitation procedure.

As a consumer of hot stone massage modalities, you should be greatly concerned with the sanitation procedures that your therapist utilizes for their stones and equipment. In 2009, this issue was brought into the light by the outbreak of a MRSA infection in a spa in Greece that had been spread by hot stones that had been improperly sanitized (if you are unfamiliar with MRSA, you should be. It is a really scary infection that is being spread in spas, locker rooms, school and hospitals all over the world. More information here: MRSA)

As a therapist, I know that properly sanitizing your stones between each client can sometimes seem tedious and like a lot of work, but it is IMPERATIVE if we are to continue to offer hot stone massage to clients. If more infections are tracked back to massage therapists and hot stones, insurance companies will no longer insure this modality and the massage consuming public will think twice before booking their next appointment.

There are easy ways to make sure that your stones are clean and ready for your next client:

* Spraying the entire surface of your stone with 100% rubbing alcohol is a cheap and effective way to sanitize them between clients.
* Order yourself some “Non Chlorine Spa Shock” (Google it on the internet). This powder is cost effective and when put into the water in your stone heating unit, will kill germs and bacteria all day long.
* At the end of the day, always wash your stones off with hot water and soap to take off any excess oils and let them air dry. This will make them fresh and clean for your next clients.

The Geothermal Therapy Association is the only certifying body exclusively for therapists who work with stones. Certification by the Geothermal Therapy Association assures you that the therapist is offering safe and effective stone massage and is using proper sanitation procedures. More information about GTA can be found here:
Geothermal Therapy Association

As a massage consumer, you have every right to ask your therapist about their sanitation procedures, and this is especially important if you are receiving Geothermal Therapy (massage with heated and/or chilled stones). With all of the scary infections floating around today, it is your health that is on the line.



  1. Yes! I also like to leave mine outside over night ~ the moon light and fresh air always gives them much more energy the next day

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