By Anna Streule
(Note from the Founder: Is our editor-in-chief becoming a beautyholic? Leave a note in the comments)
You may not think that having a hot stone massage is a particularly big deal. And to some people it is not. To me, it was not only a treatment I have never tried before, it was a whole new experience, which as with everything, says a lot more about me than it does the treatment itself. The point is that every new experience changes us in some way through the learning, or simply having the chance to relax and be able to really rest your mind from the monkey-mind daily routine…
So, every month I get a “treat” for my body. So far it has been a lymph drainage massage, which was kind of comfortable but more in the ´good for you´ category than anything else. This time I was told I would be getting a hot stone massage. “Great for this time of year” I was told. I am going to admit it right here folks, I sniggered a little at the thought of a hot stone massage. See, where I come from massages are suppose to hurt. Like hell. Before the kiddos I was an athlete who trained hard six days per week and did, inevitably, always walk around with sore muscles. Therefore, the “treat” I would give myself back then was a deep tissue massage that would definitely be good for me, but was tear-jerkingly painful.
So, when I was told I would be getting a hot stone massage I immediately envisaged before me a lady of serenity and calm with various beautifully polished pebbles on her back. This thought was then swiftly followed by my own, more reality focused version, where I am in a somewhat state of undress, trying to escape my children wrestling me to ground, only to pummel me with some dirty rocks they found in a ditch on the way home from school. Serene and calm this latter thought was not. Indeed I am not entirely sure the last time I felt particularly serene myself. It´s just not really my “thing”. But I was clearly willing to give it a try. I can pretend to be a calm grown up when I need to.
So skip forward to The Day. It was one of the first days of winter. It was flipping cold outside. The last thing I wanted to do was take a single piece of clothing off, but needs must, so there I was, mostly naked on a bench, waiting for the stones to massage me. Clearly, people who are used to, and already know of hot stone massage, will already know what I found out. These are not just any kind of stones. After a fabulous, non-painful, but still useful, massage of (still) sore muscles, something deliciously warm and smooth touched my wary bones. And something quite extraordinary happened. I felt a wave of both energy and calm shot through my body. Not in an outer-bodily experience type way (I think, never had one of those), but in a way that made me feel like I needed to get up and do something really useful: Write a book maybe, or become a mentor, or something equally worthy. I did none of these things of course, I drove straight to pick up my non-serene children from school, but the thought and the feeling were still there.
I immediately told a friend about my experience and she, somewhat more worldly than me, was of course already aware of this treatment and told me matter of factly that “they aren’t just any old stones of course”: I know that now…