by Pat Mayrhofer

Add Holiday Flair to Treatments with Massage Stones, MASSAGE MagazineWith the holiday season upon us, massage therapists can capitalize on the opportunity to increase their income. This is a busy time for everyone, filled with holiday parties, shopping and a heightened stress level. Massage therapists can benefit from this chaos by offering their gift of stress relief through gift certificates or an enhanced massage. In this strained economic environment, massage therapists can remain financially competitive by meeting the needs of overwhelmed clients.

Adding massage stones to almost any modality improves treatments in spas, chiropractor’s offices and salons. When a customer calls to make an appointment or to purchase a gift certificate, massage therapists should suggest the client upgrade from a manual massage to a hot-stone massage; from an ordinary pedicure or manicure to a hot-stone pedicure or manicure; from regular reflexology to hot-stone reflexology; from a run-of-the-mill facial to a hot-stone facial; or for a special occasion, a Cool Lift Face Rejuvenation. The Cool Lift Face Rejuvenation creates a natural, temporary face-lift for that special someone to look his or her best at a holiday party or class reunion.

With cooler temperatures this time of year, massage therapists may want to consider making a warm addition to their client’s massage by adding placement stones to the manual massage. While performing a massage, therapists can add warm stones in the hands of the client, while she is prone or supine, under the trapezius muscle while supine or under the pectoralis muscles while prone.

Therapists can also place warm stones on the belly chakra, solar plexus and heart chakras, and under the neck while working on the client in the supine position. Warm stones feel especially relaxing tucked under the gluteal area, under the low back or on the abdomen; by warming the abdomen, the therapist can warm the entire body.

Stone massage can also be added to the client’s back during a manual massage. These subtle extras will not only satisfy the client, but make her feel special—potentially leading to an increased tip for the therapist, another appointment or a referral, all of which will improve the therapist’s income.

In addition, marble and carved basalt stones can be marketed as retail items. Clients may choose to purchase them for themselves or give as a gift. The therapist or business owner may want to consider selling the marble eye stones, marble or carved basalt heart stones, or the marble or basalt foot-shaped stones. These stones are an ideal addition for the customer to give with a gift certificate for a stone massage, stone facial or stone reflexology session—or to keep for herself. These items are also great gift-giving ideas for therapists to give their loyal clients for their patronage throughout the year.

Hot, warm or cold stones make every modality a little more special and more therapeutic. A therapist can add massage stones to treatments during the holiday season and enjoy the rewards of happy clients and an increased income.

Please look for future articles on, as I explore the exciting arena of stone massage. I will write about safety issues, contraindications, the expansion of stone therapy to different modalities, the evolution into cold-stone therapy with marble stones and now the resurgence of stone massage with the innovation of carved basalt stones. I will also discuss accessory products, such as massage oil, essential oils, heaters, textiles, DVDs and seminars. I look forward to an ongoing conversation with you.

Pat Mayrhofer is president and founder of Nature’s Stones Inc., an international massage-stone, and education and supply company. She is a massage therapist with more than 15 years of experience, having taught for 13 of those years in Italy, Austria, the Dominican Republic and the U.S. Mayrhofer and her staff have created a comprehensive series of live, hands-on training programs, educational DVDs available for distance learning and a line of associated stone and textile products. For more information, visit