Fall is my favorite season, bar none. While the changing leaves are spectacular, my true obsession with the fall is the sun. This is the only time of year I will seek out the sun, the warmth, offset by cool air and a slight breeze. Though most of the sun’s warmth has disappeared for this year, it still brought back memories. In another life, growing up in Newfoundland, I took my love for the fall sun one step further by spending many afternoons hiking in the barrens and on the cliffs searching for the perfect spot to have a little afternoon nap.
What I was searching for was a sun-warmed bed of rocks.
Not any old bunch of rocks would do: they needed to be smooth, no jagged edges, and all of them roughly the same thickness. I did not want any pokey bits! I also needed to find the one rock I would use for a pillow; it would sit in the crook of my neck keeping everything in alignment. I was always thrilled when I found a spot that was laid out ready for use and no need for rearrangement, but that was a rare occurrence. Then it was time to get cozy, settle in to those warm rocks and close my eyes and let my mind drift.
When I eventually got up, I always felt great and at ease, in mind and body.
I looked back on those afternoons very fondly; however, due to changing circumstances and responsibilities, it had been a long time since I last enjoyed a nap on a bed of rocks. Then a few years ago while I was training to be a massage therapist, I heard about hot stone massage … and my interest was piqued immediately.
Through study, I learnt that hot stones can help achy muscles and arthritic pain due to the direct and long-lasting heat obtained. Heat also has great effect on circulation, so those suffering from Raynaud’s or other circulatory system disorders can benefit from regular hot stone massage.
Now, as I treat, it is just as I imagined: holding the heated rocks in my hands brings me back to those nourishing afternoon naps and I seem to carry that seed of tranquility during the massage that I am performing. I feel invigorated, yet peaceful, and able to
share that restorative experience with my client through the medium of each smooth, perfect, basalt stone.