massage treatment of hot stone

In my last blog, I talked about spring cleaning our practices by rotating the toolbox.  To prove I practice what I preach, I wanted to share details on the recently celebrated return of the stones.  I’ve been incorporating rocks in my sessions for over 20 years and love presenting “Rock n Roll - stones as tools” in classes. I am a devotee because, over the years, I have witnessed their effectiveness in the treatment room, including helping overcome hypervigilance, connecting with/relaxing clients, warming up an area before work, and cooling it down after.  With all that being said, how in the world did they fall out of favor, and why the change of heart? 

  1. Just plain laziness.  Stones require cleaning, sanitation, and planning.  Lesson - The rocks are worth the effort, and so are our clients.
  2. I took them for granted - with so many modalities to choose from, the more recent acquisitions held my attention.   Lesson: No matter what else we incorporate, there is always room for stones. I am even using them with my mud masks.  Did you know that the Biotone Body Muds are designed to have enough slip to be used as a medium? Try it. ( I double-dog dare you)   
  3. Stone massage became overexposed and passé’ to clients.  Many businesses have it on their menu, but the staff is undertrained, and stone massage got a reputation as being a “lazy massage.”  Lesson: We must perform to the best of our ability every time we touch a client – each of us represents and affects the whole.
  4. Speaking of undertrained therapists - There was a lot of bad press about clients getting burned during the stone massage, so liability became a concern.   Lesson: Get real training (not just the internet) and at the very least have someone experienced mentor you and check your work. 

What inspired this stone renaissance?  I recently decided to refocus my education back on indigenous therapies and received the opportunity to study Native American Healing Arts with Jenny Ray.   Honestly, after 20 years, I thought I needed another stone class like I need another hole in my head.  Then I met Jenny at the World Massage Festival and was drawn to her authenticity and approach.  She has educated over 20,000 people worldwide, so it was a safe bet that I could learn something important from her. ( yep…. smart and pretty)   She teaches a holistic protocol that has deep roots in her tribe’s traditions.  She not only makes sure we understand the traditions; she also goes into detail about how science is catching up with explanations on why it works. Yum!

I emerged from that class with new protocols, new challenges, and renewed enthusiasm.     I feel excited because I have a fresh approach to the stones and my covenant with my clients. I feel challenged because I will, for the first time in memory, be adding new items to my menu that is the exact protocol that I was taught (no artistic license).  The payoff is my clients, and I will have the opportunity to experience a connection with these ancient healing traditions as never before.  My long-term clients are already remarking on how much they are enjoying the return of the stones, and we have only touched the surface. Oh, what adventures we will have!

Be well, do good work, and write to us about your work with the stones.

Business & marketingMassage therapySpa therapyTreatment ideas