One of the work hats I wear is as masseur, massaging holidaymakers at a local guest house. During the Christmas/New Year break it is busy and the body takes a beating. Especially so, when you consider that there seems to be an increasing number of heavyset people, perhaps a sign of the times. Using the legs rather than bending the back is important, but even with sound technique, deep tissue massage is demanding.
So what does a masseur do to work out the kinks and strains in their own back?
A rock massage!
I find beach pebbles and larger rocks ideal. I strip down to the waist and to increase blood circulating into the area, gently roll from side to side, then top to bottom by sliding up and down. I continue to do this in sections, first the lower back, then middle and finally upper section. The beauty of rocks is they have angular edges and some stand up higher than others, and so one can utilise these to get deep into the knotty areas of the back. By simply adjusting ones position one can accurately work into a particular muscle by increasing pressure and moving more vigorously as needed. It works exceptionally well.
I work with beach rocks in other ways too.
Rolling on cold or cold, wet beach rocks has an invigorating effect on the body, similar to cold water immersion, whereas sun heated rocks are great for focussing increased heat into an area for muscular relaxation. Paradoxically both hot or cold can achieve similar results depending on how they are used, thanks to the body’s homeostatic mechanisms.
On other occasions I will also go free-form, rolling along the beach pebbles so the front of body also receives the pressure and friction of the rocks. This is good for various glands in the body as well as beneficial for metabolic processes, the nervous system and overall circulation.