October 12, 2008

Get Stoned

By Su Aziz

NO, we're not talking hard drinking here but getting a hot stone massage to rid yourself of all your aches and pains. SU AZIZ gave it a try.

Hot stone massage became fashionable here a few years ago. It was rather revolutionary to have some hot rocks bear the brunt of the hard work of masseurs having to use their hands, arms and legs.

The stones used are smooth and flat, the black volcanic rocks absorbing and retaining heat well. Before use, the stones are sanitised and immersed in hot water (120-150 degrees Celsius).

The treatment is now commonly offered by most spas. One such spa is the Energy Day Spa, which has a branch in Mont Kiara and another one in Great Eastern Mall, Kuala Lumpur.

Once the stones are hot enough, they are placed at specific areas on your body: certain points along your spine, in the palms of your hand and between your toes to improve the flow of energy in your body.

The heat from these stones promotes deep muscle and tissue relaxation, opens up energy pathways, alleviates stress, relieves pain and improves circulation.

You will find that the intense warmth is also very soothing and thus mind-relaxing.

Energy Day Spa's Hot Stone Combo treatment incorporates Swedish massage as well. When stones cool, they are replaced with hot ones.

Massage oil is first rubbed on throughout your body before the hot stones are used over and over again to firmly massage in both the oil and heat.

To benefit from this or any other treatment, repeated massages is key so that the tension from knotted muscles is released, blood circulation improved and aches removed.

An intensive course of treatment (once a week for the first month) is usually recommended.

After an initial 90-minute session, you will feel very relaxed - so relaxed in fact that it's not uncommon to fall asleep!

Just be sure to let the masseur know if the stones are too hot or the pressure too strong during your treatment.

Less experienced therapists have been known to use too much pressure. Energy Day Spa therapists all have more than a decade's experience.

I especially like it when they massage my neck and shoulder muscles which often become tight after a while. Sheer delight, I tell you!

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