Massage stones are a wonderful alternative to a normal massage.
Once the stones have heated sufficiently (you can do this by warming in your hand), they can then be placed onto specific points on the body (such as the back, hands, etc.) or held in the hand and used to work the muscles.
These massage stones are hand-made by Sheree and are made from very high quality serpentine (still classed as pounamu or Greenstone). They are all original so no two pieces are the same. Most inspiration comes from the shape already naturally formed. Made to fit nicely in the hand.
Being of the 'native' persuasion, I could see right away what a wonderful, culturally-sensitive piece of work this is. Pounamu is a stone that carries a lot of cultural significance in Aotearoa, and because it is a stone that has been worked for centuries, I have had the pleasure of seeing some stunning items made from it.
Despite the common idea, pounamu is not just 'green' - there are a number of grades, ranging from near-black like this stone, to the almost glass-like version so highly valued for it's translucent beauty. You have probably walked right past some form of it on almost any beach in the country and not even realised it. That's why I am so glad to see some of the less well-known varieties being worked in such a wonderful way, it brings them into the light and allows people to see the quieter beauty buried within.
Because I have bad arthritis in my hands, they aren't able to work as well at massage, so this stone was a gift to, and used on me by, one of my daughters, who has a passion for massage therapy. She was good enough to test it on my shoulders and neck with one of her own recipe massage oils, so that I could write up this review. She was very pleased with how comfortable the stone's design was to hold, and commented on how the texture allowed the stone to stay in the palm of her hand without having to grip it. That meant her hands didn't cramp up and she was still feeling good after a half hour massage.
For me, the effectiveness was clear, the stone allowed a good firm pressure to be applied, but spread it out so that it was digging into my old muscles. They got a good massage and rub-down without feeling wrung out or strained. At my age, that is a very big tick for me! The physiotherapist I normally see would do well to get her hands on a couple of these, I think! Would I buy one? If I had the money I most certainly would. I think maybe I need to drop a few hints to some of the younger whanau about a good Christmas present idea for their old Koro.
For me, with virtually no cultural perspective on Greenstone, just the science behind its formation and the practicality of the design, this massage stone is all about form relating to function for me. The artistic component only has relevance to how comfortable it is to hold and use, and what shaped 'pressure footprint' it can apply. Even taking this very analytical point of view, I find myself able to say, this is a very beautiful piece of work.
The design I got was not the same as that in the picture above. Mine was more like a triangular prism with the edges flattened somewhat, and the sides a little more concave... this made it very effective as a deep muscle massager, because I could tilt it slightly and increase or decrease the surface area in contact, thus focussing the force I was applying. Having the double edges gave me the ability to actually 'move' the muscles around under the skin, giving them a much more effective working over without applying too much of a pinch to them.
Being greenstone, or Pounamu, the stone is semi-porous so easily 'took' the beeswax coating I gave it prior to first use. This allowed me to use a variety of oils - scented and otherwise - without the stone taking any of it into itself. Mineral oils don't degrade or break down, but for massage an organic - preferably vegetable - oil is best for the skin, and they can degrade over time leaving a malodorous residue on, and in, the stone... so it's important to seal the stone well and beeswax is brilliant for that. I actually used a little of my remaining Bee Seal which did an excellent job.
My test-subject was very complimentary of the results, and asked where they could get one of the stones, so it was a pleasure to point her to the artist's website for more details. The price may seem high, but when you pay for quality, you pay well... and this is more than just a lump of shaped rock, you are paying a small contribution towards the years of study and thousands of dollars of raw materials used up in the effort to reach a skill level high enough to create something as elegant yet functionally beautiful as this massage stone.
Overall, if I had the money, I would buy more of these as gifts for a few friends I know who have all the best intentions, but can't give a good back-rub to save themselves!
I was given one of Evolving Stones Massage stones as a gift, and I love it! I was not aware of massage stones or how they worked prior to receiving mine, so when I was given it I did have to do a bit of research.
So you warm the stones up... either in your hand or in some water or whatever and then you can either place them on certain areas or you can use them to massage the muscles. I suffer from a lot of body aches and strains and found that these have a calming effect when warmed and placed on the body. Whether it is a mind over matter thing or they do have healing properties I do not know, but whatever the case it seemed to work. They are also great for general massage of the back or shoulders/neck etc as they fit nicely in the hand and are easy to work sore, tired, tense muscles.
I was also very impressed by the amount of craftsmanship that had gone into the piece I received. And I could tell it wasn't just a slap together, that the carver had worked really hard to produce it. I love these massage stones, I especially love that no two pieces are the same and they are all hand made. I am not sure I would personally pay the asking price myself, but I would definitely pay around $80 for one, more depending on the size and design. They would make a beautiful gift for any occasion, and if being given as a gift I would highly recommend an instruction leaflet on how to get the most out of the stone being included with it. All in all an absolutely gorgeous item.
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