December 3, 2009
VERY DISAPPOINTING: Burned by Hot Stones, practitioner sat on a stool throughout the massage, and no followup to my original complaint.
I wanted to love this experience because they are only a few miles from my house and I believe in getting regular massage. I called and was able to book an 80-min Hot Stone Massage on very short notice, which I was thrilled about. The Hot Stone Massage is supposed to be one of Hand & Stone's signature treatments.
When the massage practitioner first placed the hot stones on my back, she told me to tell her if they were too hot. I told her as long as she didn't keep the stones in one place too long, if she just kept them MOVING across my back, the heat would be tolerable. She paused the stones on my back to say, "HUH?" because she couldn't hear me with my face down in the face cradle, I flinched and yelped that THE STONES ARE TOO HOT! so she'd get them off me. I again told her that if she would just keep the stones MOVING, the heat would be tolerable, but they were just too hot to move so slowly and to rest them in one spot would burn me again.
Her response was to ask me if I have always had an issue with HEAT SENSITIVITY! I told her NO, I DO NOT HAVE A HEAT SENSITIVITY. I told her that the problem is that the skin on our hands are MUCH THICKER than the delicate skin of our back! Heat that a person can tolerate on the palms of their hands can BURN more delicate skin on the body! I should have stopped the massage right then and there, because once you are burned -- YOU'RE BURNED. I didn't realize the extent of my burn until I got home and could look at my back with a mirror in a lighted room. Nice round red welts.The burn went away in a couple of days, but each day that has passed without a follow-up from Hand and Stone about my experience really annoyed me. Thus, I am writing you this very blunt review of my Hot Stone Massage experience at Hand and Stone.
Before I left Hand and Stone, I told the woman at the reception desk about my awful experience and I complained to her that the massage itself (aside from being burned) could have been so much better if the practitioner had not insisted on sitting on her massage stool throughout the massage. The practitioner would get up periodically to retrieve stones and to put them back, but then she'd sit right back down on the stool and scooted herself around me on table as she did the massage. There was no excuse for this. Sitting at the head of the table while working on the head, neck and shoulders --yes, I can understand that. Sitting at the foot of the table while working on the feet--yes, I can understand that. But sitting throughout the whole massage? I told the receptionist that THIS IS SHEER LAZINESS in my opinion, because I do massage for a living myself. I was repeatedly assured by the receptionist (who was very apologetic and kind, by the way) that the manager of Hand and Stone would be in contact with me right away. This massage took place BEFORE THANKSGIVING, mind you. The manager has had plenty of time to contact me. I had written my phone numbers and email on the comment card. And they have all my contact info and home address on my intake form for goodness sakes. Not a call, not a post card, and not an email (except promotional spam). Hand and Stone has apparently chosen not to address the severe quality issue and I think their carelessness is 100% THEIR LOSS.
While I am at it, here are the other things they did wrong:
THE TABLE WAS NOT HEATED/TURNED ON. I don't mind a cool room, but I had to ask the massage practitioner to turn on the heating pad so I could stay warm. Nothing worse than being cold during your massage. When you are in a cool room lying naked on a massage table under a sheet, a thin blanket doesn't do much for you.
THE FLOOR IS CARPET. So when I step down on the the carpet, I am stepping down with my oily feet onto the same carpet as every other person before me. I can only imagine how gross that carpet is going to get as time goes on. How about puttind down a fresh towel for your clients to step on to?
I DIDN'T RECEIVE MY FULL MASSAGE TIME. My appointment was at 5:30pm and I arrived early and checked in with the receptionist at 5:15pm and just sat and waited in the lobby. Every so often the receptionist would tell us that the massage person would "be right with us". The massage practitioner didn't come get me until 5:35pm and the massage didn't start until almost 5:40pm! Then we had to wait a few minutes because the practitioner said the stones had to cool down. And this was before she burned me. The massage ended at 6:50pm! What!?? You are going to start my massage late but then you are going to end it on time?? SINCE I PAID FOR AN 80-MINUTE MASSAGE and even made sure I was early, I would have certainly appreciated receiving my FULL TIME. Thanks.