I treated myself to a wonderful restorative hot stone massage after work today, my reward for having to work this Intersession holiday and to end the year on a pampering note. If you’ve never had one of these before, I highly recommend it.
The therapist uses stones heated to 120 degrees, placing them on the body to let the heat penetrate the muscles to allow the massage to go deeper and work on tight knots. She also uses the stones, covered with oil, to actually do some of the massage, which is incredibly relaxing and meditative. I found that after a while I simply felt the weight of the stones on my body and not their heat as I went deeper into the experience.
Massage time is quiet time for me to center in and focus on my body. I pay attention to the feeling of being touched, which doesn’t happen to me all that often – I get touch-deprived, actually, so I want to really savor the experience. I find concentrating on the hands working on my body to be a way to connect with what’s going on with me. As the fingers find problems with muscles and gradually work through the knots, I feel tension release in inside places, too. For me massage isn’t optional, it’s a necessary way to take care of myself.