The smooth beauty of hot stone massage

Derek Neimor - Ottawa Massage BlogBy: Derek Neimor, RMT
Derek is an RMT at Body Poets in Ottawa, but he grew up on the rocky shores of Newfoundland. His childhood experiences and RMT training led him to a love of hot stone massage.

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. Hot Stone - Ottawa Massage BlogIn 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.

Derek Hot Stone - Ottawa Massage BlogThe thought of using hot stones to give a massage seemed so right, so complete; there could not be a more perfect combination of tool and application to use it.

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.