If you have tried a massage with hot stones before, you will be familiar with this.
And if you were like me, you probably did not enjoy the traditional hot stone massage. It was a session where heated stones only slightly bigger than pebbles were placed onto vital points along the spine and joints to provide stress relief and improve blood circulation.
That long-ago session proved ineffective - whatever relief I should have felt was lost on me. Which is why I have since preferred to stick to good ol' conventional massage techniques - a Swedish or Shiatsu massage, accompanied with some good quality aromatherapy oils never fail melt away the stress in my body.
So imagine my pleasant surprise after I decided to have one more go with Raintree Spa's latest treatment - the Sabai Stone Therapy which originates from Thailand. It is a newer cousin of the the traditional hot stone massage, but while this latest treatment also uses heated stones to soothe stress away, the changes made to the stones have done much to improve its efficacy.
The stones used this time were much bigger and contoured to fit the shape of the body. Made from black granite, the stones were heated and then used to massage my body.
The black granite stones contain repairing micronized minerals and are coupled with aromatic essential oils in the massage therapy to relieve muscular, mental and emotional tension.
The massaging actions, as well as the heat emanating from the stones, are designed to help improve blood circulation and ease away fatigue.
Then, when the therapist placed the stones on my joints, my back as well as my tummy, I could feel the heat seep inside me, which proved to be very relaxing. According to the therapist, placing the stones on vital 'qi' points will further help to improve one's blood circulation. It also helps to rid the body of 'wind', very good if you constantly suffer from bloatedness.
I must admit the result was drastically different from the first time I tried hot stones massage. First of all, the larger stones, plus the fact that they were oval and flat-faced, allowed more surface contact with my skin. So I was actually able to feel the stones as the therapist rolled them along my body. And because the stones were made from black granite, they retained heat better and were able to transfer the warmth to my skin more effectively.
I suffer from aches and pains in my knee from time to time when the weather turns chilly, and a sore shoulder from the endless hours of typing on my computer, so this was a real boon. Coupled with the use of aromatic oils and creams, the one-hour treatment lived up to its promise and made me very relaxed and eased the aches in my joints too. And according to the therapist, it usually takes two to three sessions to completely relieve symptoms of aches and pains.
One word of caution though, the heated stones may be very intense for some who are not used to feeling hot rocks on bare skin. My therapist was rather surprised that I could stand having the hot stones placed on me without flinching, as she related how some others who have tried it took some time to get used to it.
Not for me though. It was pure bliss. My only complaint - the session could have been longer.
The Sabai Stone Therapy is available at Raintree spa at $180 for 60 minutes.
30 Labrador Villa Road
Labrador Nature Reserve
Tel: 6339 6833