In an ongoing series, Keren Weinstein, our Guest Life-Balance Editor, took a much needed trip. More than the need to go on vacation to a new locale, she wanted to find her own sense of balance and thus Project Detox began. Last week, we enjoyed a cocktail for the senses but today, we drink things on the rocks!
One rejuvenating-deep-relaxation-massage on the rocks please!
As soon as I learned from the director at the Loews Lakeside Spa that hot stone massage in its new age--as opposed to stone age--form had originated in Tucson, I found myself laying in heaven on the rocks in a New York minute.
Stone therapy is believed to date back as far as 5000 years ago in India as well as in many other cultures and healing rituals. We have all heard or even worn a stone that is believed to have healing or protecting powers. Everywhere I went in the southwest it was apparent by the sales of the native suede stone bags (BTW some were real cute with fringe and chains). But it was in the early 90’s that it entered the modern spa scene. Mary Nelson, a massage therapist from Tucson in an effort to keep working with her passion after she had an injured shoulder, followed her intuition, “picked up the stones” and began to use them to assist her in providing treatments. In time, practice and much research, she developed LaStone® Therapy which uses a combination of hot, frozen and room temperature stones for overall balance & spiritual healing. It soon began to take off and LaStone® (with other translations of it) was circulating in the better spa’s and massage circuit. Tucson natives consider hot stone massage another southwestern gem and the Loews Lakeside Spa take pride in having hot stone therapy on their extensive menu of services.
Certainly not my first hot stone massage but definitely one of my better experiences, the Native Hot Stone Massage I received began with a consultation. I am a firm believer that communication is Key to a good massage or to any type of body, energy or healing work. Your therapist is your healer and, like Reiki, must focus his/her energy on your specific needs.
Upon learning about my obsession with indigenous scents and desert healing (remember…I just finished my cocktail of the senses journey), she pulled out a small label-free bottle of creosote oil (OMG! there’s that scent again!) so that I may experience the aroma of that unique after-the-desert-rain scent.
Lying on the hot basalt stones facing up, I felt the immediate penetration of heat into various parts of my body. Warm. Relaxing. Releasing.
Then she began to put more stones on strategic parts of my chakra points including in between my toes and under my feet that have been walking through the desert oasis all day. Balancing. Relieving. Therapeutic.
But it’s the moment the smooth hot stones stroke your skin that brings you a sensation unmatched by a simple massage. What’s great is that when you finally do receive the massage, the heat from the stones have loosened up the muscles allowing to work the deeper muscle layers (of course the heat from the stones also allow the oil to penetrate into your skin faster like an insta body facial). What I love is how this allows you to release toxins and benefit from a relaxing massage like you do from the deep tissue shiatsu-like ones. Perfect for balancing Relaxation with Healing. The Japanese believe that one stroke with the stones is like 10 strokes with the bear hand. I believe them.
For ages, Native Americans have been using stones in sweat lodges and for cramping. Oriental medicine uses stones to encourage a better flow of energy, treat disease and muscular pain. Europeans use it for injury relief. In South America, stones are used to aid in disease, pregnancy and childbirth. They even hold the stones in their hands for strength. For the Hawaiians, the Lava Stone is a symbol for healing and protection. For this full-time working NYC Mom, the Native Hot Stone Massage was a multidimensional therapy used to more effectively relax, release & balance my over worked body and mind. Connecting with Nature as I held the stones and the creosote scent held me, this was native healing pre-modern medicine.
I was glowing & hydrated from the inside out.
This is what I came here for.
Keren Weinstein is a seasoned professional in Fashion & Beauty with over 12 years in Integrated Marketing, Advertising and Celebrity Fashion Styling