It was the end of a hectic week and the weekend prior to what would prove to be an extremely challenging week ahead, and I was thankful to the Park Hyatt Goa for their therapeutic hot stone massage at their award winning spa.
It was the first time that I was getting a Hot stone massage and the experience was totally unlike what I had expected, and thus, even more the reason to blog about it.
Let’s start with what I expected. Well from all the pictures of Hot stone massages, and rudimentary descriptions online, it seems like hot volcanic stones will be placed over parts of your body and somehow they will do their work, what I wasn’t expecting however was the long sinewy deep tissue massage which is accompanied using these stones for 90 minutes. the volcanic stones help keep retain heat within them, and at a temperature of around 60 degrees they are supposed to provide a controlled healing warmth to your body.
But I am getting ahead of myself.
The experience like any true Spa-tastic experience starts on entering the spa. Situated in the sprawling Park Hyatt, the Sereno spa is an oasis in itself, surrounded by meandering water bodies, which are sprinkled all over the property, the Sereno spa is truly a serene location.
I was welcomed by the hostess, and signed off a waiver along with some questions about y general health and ailments. I was then escorted to the changing room, where each one is thoughtfully handed keys to a locker, and even though there is no individual changing rooms, complete privacy is provided in the singular room, or you can opt to change in the wash rooms. The changing rooms have attached sauna and steam rooms, but since I was having the hot stone massage, it is recommended to have the steam afterwards. As a routine, I prefer to have a steam prior to massages, because they open the pores and also warm the muscles for deeper effect of the aroma oils and tactile manoeuvres.
Zoremi, my masseuse from Mizoram was extremely knowledgable about the treatment, and also had a deft hand at massages, and I would highly recommend her.
Now getting back to the massage itself.
As I mentioned earlier, I was expecting only the placemenrt of hot stones on parts of my body, and I wondered how I would lie still for so long, but my worries were unfounded. A hot stone massage is very much like a regular deep tissue massage using aroma oils. If you have ever had any sort of deep tissue massage, well this is like the same except, instead of just the masseuse using just their hands to knead your aching muscles, in a hot stone massage, the masseuse hold hot stones in their hands and allow the heat from them to accentuate the effects of the kneading.
Another niggling worry I had was about the heat from the stones but it was at a comfortable temperature and since the stones are not kept for long over apart of the body, but rather rubbed over the skin, you don’t feel the entire wrath of the temperature.
The third concern for me was the friction of said stone over the bosy, but these stones are smooth and combined with the use of oils with the massage, it felt like someone was using a warm bar of soap over my skin.
|Hot lava stones feel like warm bars of soap against the skin, slippery and smooth|
Benefits of Hot stone massages are many
1.helps relieve muscle tension and pain: the warmth of the stones helps relieve tense muscles, and enhances the effect of the kneading deep tissue massage.
2.Reduce stress and anxiety: Have you ever had a rough day and felt better after a warm bath? Now imagine a warm massage. Yes, it sounds good, it is as good as it sounds.
3.Promotes sleep: again, great massage promotes sleep, a warm blanket or a warm bath promotes sleep, a warm massage using hot stones, is bound to help induce sleep.
4.help reduce symptoms from auto immune diseases and cancer : now for these benefits to show, one needs regular massages, but it is a well known fact that touch reduces pain. Ever had a pin prick or an injection, and have the nurse rigorously rub the area, or have your head pressed for a case of headache? Basically touch sensory fibers, help negate stimulation of pain sensory fibers, and if done for regular periods of time,levels of substance P known for causing pain can reduce in the body.
5. reduce blood pressure and water retention: lymphatic drainage improves with regular deep tissue massages, infact the amount of pressure required to do hot stone massages is lesser than regular massages, and that is because the warmth of the stone makes the muscle more pliant and supple, thus requiring less pressure.
A word of caution if you are on blood thinners, have a bleeding disorder, have open wounds, sores since heat and pressure can lead to bruises, or vessel engorgement over the skin.
|me Before and after Spa|
Having read this I am sure you are sold on the idea of Hot stone massages, I know I am, infact my shoulder had more knots than the hair of a Sadhu in Banaras, and Zoremi’s insistent kneading and the hot stones did for my back and shoulder, what a hair spa with deep conditioning would do for the Sadhu’s hair.
Book an appointment HERE
And if you are wondering if you can cook something with Hot lava stones , well you can read about a cool restaurant in Panjim which does just that HERE.