A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss
Over ten years ago, I decided to change my life, leave the comfort of my job and the high paying salary, to move into the spa industry. I knew that I had been successful in the restaurant industry, because I had started at the bottom and worked my way up. Therefore, I was determined to learn the spa industry the same way. I began working as a receptionist for a new spa that had just opened, while I went back to school to get my license as a massage therapist and my degree as a Holistic Practitioner.
My first massage class and the first massage I learned was the Hot Stone Massage. The instructor indicated that this was the Cadillac of massages. I was honored and afraid to be in a class of expert massage therapists all from the The Spa at Camelback Inn, Scottsdale, Arizona. The instructor, Jean Marie Weidmann, began the class by randomly giving us a box of stones; I fell in love with that set of stones and purchased them. To this day I still use them along with new stones that I have personally harvested and integrated into the set.
During that first class, one of the first things we did was to lay hot stones out on the table in a spinal layout. This is where you place small stones on both sides of your vertebrae. You carefully select the stones to fit the curvature and contour of your back. At first I was sure that this would be uncomfortable. After all, when I would go camping, I was the first to take the boat cushions to lay on because I didn’t want to feel the stones under me. To my surprise, the warm stones were very comfortable and the weight of my body on them melted my muscles until the stones and I were one.
If you have never experienced this unique indulgence, you owe yourself this exquisite moment. Hot Stone Massage, one of the oldest therapies in the world, has stood the test of time, never really disappearing from the ‘therapy radar’.
It is once again is one of the most sought after healing therapies, indulged in by Hollywood celebrities such as Madonna, Ashley Judd and Angelica Houston.
Stone massage is a unique connection we experience with nature, offering a sense of profoundness and sacredness that we too often forget. It’s a deep healing and unique moment that enhances our awareness and brings us closer to our true essence. It is the perfect treatment that is as enjoyable and healing for the client as it is for the practitioner.
Some of the most progressive healers in the world use stones in their massage work. Of course, hot stones do not replace healing hands, but as an adjunct to traditional massage, facials and healing treatments of all kinds. Stone massage is an ancient, enduring form of therapeutic bodywork using heated and cooled stones as extensions of the hand. It is a harmonious collaboration of healing energies between the client, the therapist and the stones. Be mindful that the beauty of this therapy, and all therapies, is manifested by the transference of deep compassion and trust between the therapist and the client. This compassion becomes imprinted within the matrix of each stone.
For some, stone therapy brings unrivaled deep release and alignment. For others, the heat of the stones gently softens muscular tension and melts away emotional stress. On a spiritual plane, the stones are from the earth and have an extremely grounding quality adored by many. Grounding can be very helpful to individuals struggling with issues related to sleep, headaches, dizziness, anxiety or feeling overwhelmed or scattered.
Many therapists also combine hot stone techniques along with gemstones and chakra balancing therapies, giving a cumulative and long-lasting effect. Hot stone massage is like snuggling up with a hot water bottle on a chilly evening or relaxing into a hot bath at the end of a hard day.
However, I do caution you that Hot stone is not for everyone! In addition, not all Hot Stone Treatments or Service Providers are created equal. This week’s “Now You Are in The Know” will let you know what a Great Hot Stone Therapy looks like so you will know what questions to ask to first determine if it is right for you and next determine where you should have it done and who should do it.