Embracing the comfort of hot stones

Lying in a lowly lit room, Sade
playing soothingly in the background, while a professional masseuse places hot
stones on your body and massages away the stresses and strains of working life
has got to be one of the best ways to while away an afternoon.

At the La Prairie Silver Rain spa
at the Ritz-Carlton, massage therapist Caleb Ebanks wielded the hot stones that
delivered a massage with the perfect amount of pressure.

Hot stone massages are ideal for
people who like deep massages, but don’t like the pain that can accompany
those. The warmth of the stones, heated in an electric hot water tub to 120 to
130 degrees Fahrenheit or about 50 degrees Celsius, penetrates deeper into the
tissues, but without the masseuse having to press very hard.

Before entering the treatment room,
clients are invited to relax a little in the Silver Haven room, or use the
Jacuzzi or steam room or sauna in the Sanctuary downstairs. You’re welcomed
with a glass of water and a warm neck wrap, scented with soothing lavender.

Silver Rain offers an array of
massages to suit the tastes and needs of its clients and hot stone massage is
one of its most popular. It’s easy to see why. This type of massage helps to
relieve pain, release toxins, improve circulation and alleviate stress. And I
can testify that it’s just downright relaxing as well.

I fought the urge to nod off as I
didn’t want to miss a second of this unique massage – my first hot stone
treatment.

The stones are flat, black and
smooth, reminiscent of stones gathered from river beds, their surfaces worn
down to a fine sheen over many years of being in contact with flowing water.

The stones are placed on key points
of the body to open up energy pathways known as meridians and promote
relaxation.

You can feel the weight and heat of
the stones as Caleb places them on your body, but you very quickly forget they
are there as he begins the massage, using the stones and oil. You only remember
that you’ve been in the unlikely position of lying with three stones on your
sternum and stomach when he removes them.

Even the occasional sound of the
stones clunking together as Caleb removes them from the water adds to the
rarefied and comforting atmosphere.

Before turning over onto my back,
Caleb places stones on the table, aligning them so that when I lay down, they
were on either side of my spine. That might sound uncomfortable – having to lie
on a bed of stones – but believe me, it was extremely relaxing. He then placed
a stone in the palm of each of my hands, which again I quickly forgot were
there.

This is one of those massages that
passes far too quickly and from which you just don’t want to get up.

The Stone Therapy Restorative
Massage costs US$225 for 60 minutes and US$285 for 90 minutes.

Until 31 October, Silver Rain is
offering Cayman Islands’ residents a gift of a full-sized La Prairie product
used during any 90-minute facial or body treatment. The spa is also offering a
complimentary Caviar or Platinum Collection Gift Set with the purchase any
product from the La Prairie Caviar and/or Platinum skin-perfecting collections.

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