Rocks. For some of us, there’s just something intriguing about their shape, texture, color. Sitting by a mountain stream, can you resist picking up a perfectly tumbled, warm-from-the-sun stone? I can’t. Considering that some of those stones, like basalt, are volcanic, originating far beneath the surface of the earth, it’s almost like connecting with ancient history.
What does this have to do with massage therapy? Well, as most people are aware, massage promotes relaxation, decreases muscle tension, provides pain relief, and often produces an overall sense of well-being. If you add the application of heated stones, those benefits are multiplied. The retained heat (plus the weight of the stones) warms the muscles deeply, soothes and sedates the nervous system, and increases blood circulation. In a therapist’s hands, the stones become tools to enhance the healing experience. I could yammer on about the deeper benefits (stimulation of immune system, production of stress-relieving hormones, improved digestion, etc) but really, the bottom line is that it just feels good. The first time you feel the stones glide along tight muscles, it’s difficult not to smile and be at least a little surprised. “Wow!” “Oooooh” and “Oh my…” are all common reactions.
If you’ve got sore, aching muscles, hands and thumbs are great, but the stones can take your massage experience to another level.