How do you feel when you picture yourself lying on the beach on a sunny day? Or slipping into a hot bath at the end of a stressful day? If you’re like me (or most people) you think about relaxing. And when you relax, those tight muscles relax too. During a massage it is as important for your body to have this same sense of relaxation, and I use various “tools” to keep you warm and relaxed.
The tools I will tell you about today are hot stones and compression sandbags.
I use heated rocks during massage to help dissolve your knotted muscles and rebalance your senses. They are known to help open the body’s energy pathways and the technique is known as thermotherapy. I use massaging oils to position and work the stones with muscles. I also use room temperature stones and alternate them during the therapy. Some of the benefits of hot stone massage include increased circulation, relaxed muscles and soothed aches, improved circulation and reduced stress.
Another tool I use to help your muscles relax is compression sandbags. When your body is out of alignment it can put extra stress on other muscles. The sandbags help to align your body properly during the massage therapy session. The sandbags are small and there are different sizes depending on where they are needed. So if you are lying on your stomach and I see that your upper back is out of alignment, I may slide a sandbag under each of your shoulders to align your upper back and shoulders. This will let your shoulders relax so your muscles are less tense and can receive a better massage. You see, when your muscle is immobilized by the compression, it can relax and surrender to the treatment and you will have a much better massage treatment.
Heat therapy, whether through heated stones or sand bags, are known to help chronic injuries that cause pain in the joints or muscle. They are some of my favourite tools in my special massage ‘toolkit.’