October 29, 2010

I did my first hot stone massage in 22 months. I have come to the realization that I don’t know how to use my hands anymore.

Well, to make that clearer, I don’t know how to use just my hands. Since I have been doing Lomi Lomi for so long, I have integrated use of the forearm into most everything I do. But I can’t do that with stones.

Now, when I first learned hot stone, or let’s say when I first came up with my version of hot stone (because what I learned in the seminar sucked), I had a basic routine that I followed (that I created). Unfortunately, hot stone massage has not been a big seller. I think it feels great, and can do wonders just through the heat, but it does not seem to have the draw that it used to in the industry.

I remember a couple years back doing only two sessions in that year, and they were both to the same person. The last one I did was in January of last year.

Now, since I do them so infrequently, I have totally forgotten the routine that I made up. And each time I do it, I pretty much make it up as I go, which is not a tremendously bad thing.

The one I did today was not one of my best (though I was told it was comparable with one received from a place up the street). I just thought it felt clunky and disjointed. And I dropped two rocks during the session, thankfully not on my feet (yes, I have done this beforeā€¦ and they were big ones). I felt like I wasn’t creative and could not find anything to do other than just move them around in simple patterns (keep in mind that this is the point of hot stone, to move the rocks around and let the heat sink in).

What I kept missing was the ability to go to certain spots and get in there with my forearms and do some work. While some therapists do deep work with the stones, I feel that this is not the point of hot stone. And if they are going to go in deep, either the stone has to cool down, or they are not that hot to begin with. I have my stones so hot that if I were to leave them in one place, it would burn someone. So working deeply with that hot a rock is just hurting someone.

I did throw her a few surprises though. I put little rocks between her toes and under her back. This is what I learned from Melanie, the therapist I used to see.

Melanie learned hot stone massage from a friend of hers that had learned La Stone. La Stone is deals with a lot of chanting and clapping of the rocks. I have been told that it is more about the stone than about the massage where regular hot stone massage is more about the massage. At any rate, Melanie took what she had been taught and threw out all the silliness to create her hot stone massage.

I modeled mine after hers with a few differences. The first is that I change stones more often because they do cool off quickly, and once a stone cools off, it just doesn’t feel as good. So the other difference is that I go through a lot of stones as I keep changing them up to keep them hot.

But that is neither here nor there. I really got off track. The key is that I guess I need some practice. And I hope that if I do practice, I will be doing some more before I forget it again.