April, the month of rain in most states was the month of snow, snow, and more snow here in Minnesota. In one weekend we went from having greenish grass and only small piles of snow to up to 20 inches of snow in some areas. Due to the weather and changes to my work duties and schedule I was not able to get out there and try many new things. The one thing I did purposely try was adding hot stones and cupping to my massage. Typically I get 2-4 massages a year but they have always been the typical ones where my massage therapist Kelli at Salon Amore uses her hands and arms only to work out the kink and knots I have. After hearing good things I decided to go BIG for massage in April and try 2 new things in my massage.
I think I was most nervous for cupping over the hot stones, partially because the 1st time I had heard of cupping was during one of the summer Olympics when I saw this circles all over Michael Phelps back. As they looked like bruises I assumed cupping hurt. Turns out cupping really does NOT hurt. Do not get me wrong, in some areas where you have more tension and/or less skin it might hurt a little more than other areas. During my massage, Kelli focused on my shoulders/ back along with my calves. My back is where she started and that didn’t really hurt, my caves were tighter so I felt it a little more; it only felt as though I was being pinched by someone with semi sharp fingernails. I learned that there are 3 different kinds of cupping: dry, wet, and heat/fire. For my massage, I got to experience dry cupping but instead of keeping multiple cups in one spot for an extended amount of time (like Michael Phelps had done before the Olympics) Kellie moved the cup around over the area she was working on at that time.
For whatever reason the hot stones did not scare me as much, even though I understood that if they were too hot they could leave a mark just as cupping can. Luckily, I left my massage without any marks! Kelli used the hot stones only on my shoulders/ upper back and did so after the hand massage and cupping while she was working on my calves. The hot stones on my back allowed me to feel a sense of relief and allowed me to relax after having my knots worked on.
Overall, I truly enjoyed adding something new to my massage. Neither the cupping or hot stones were as scary, painful, or intense as I thought they would be. I believe part of that is because I communicated not only what I was looking for in my massage but my fears with my massage therapist. I recommend massages to any and every one with 3 recommendations: 1) do your research, some massages like deep tissue will cause you to be in some pain the following day or two, 2) be honest with your massage therapist about what you want, your fears/ hesitations, and the pressure that is being applied during the massage, 3) Switch up what kind of massages you do, each kind helps your body in different ways and you won’t know if you a specific kind of massage if you don’t try it. Time to relax – go get a massage!
*photo credit: Google Images