A massage is a treat that we usually only experience on special occasions. Most of us can only afford to have a massage a few times a year or maybe you're lucky enough to get a gift of a massage session. If you're anything like me, you could probably use a massage a lot more often! And even though there are several types of massage, if you have ever been exposed to the benefits of a hot stone massage, then you are probably hooked on this relaxing, stress relieving form of massage. Well don't despair! The good news is that it is not that hard to create you own hot stone massage kit.
Of course, there are kits available online, and from certain natural health and healing stores, but do you really want to pay a premium for what essentially boils down to rocks and a crock-pot? Many of the online kits feature dozens of stone sizes for every possible body need. The truth is you can get the job done with far fewer stones.
Start by visiting a local quarry, a landscape company, or even your local riverbed. Kit rocks look polished and uniform, but any river rock works just as well. They are worn naturally smooth from years of running water. Choose stones that are flat and smooth and fit well in your hand. You'll need two larger oval stones for the back and stomach that are about eight inches by six inches. Next, you'll need about a dozen stones that are easy to fit in your hand. Try to select darker stones. They tend to hold heat better and more consistently than lighter colored stones.
Next, you will need something to warm your stones in. A crock-pot or slow cooker works well as they can hold a consistent heat during the massage. You could also use a large pot with a lid on a hot plate. The warmer should be of a substantial size so it can hold all of the stones at once. Don't ever use a microwave to heat your stones; they stones will heat unevenly and may cause burns.
Once you secure the stones and how to warm them you can focus on the accessories. You will need a strainer, slotted spoon or tongs to get the stones out of the warmer. If the warmer you are going with doesn't have a temperature gauge you will also need a food thermometer. The optimal temperature for the water is between 120 - 150 degrees. You should also have a few sheets, light towels or pillowcases available during the massage. Finally, to complete the relaxing experience it is nice to have soothing music, candlelight and some kind of aroma like lavender in the room.
That's it. That's your hot stone massage kit. There are a number of resources online that can direct you on the technique of giving a hot stone massage. With the hectic and stressful lives most of us lead having an outlet where we can unwind and rejuvenate is an extremely welcomed change of pace.