Spa review: Atzaro Hot Stone Massage


Photography by Ana Lui

Duration: 2.5 hours
Location: Atzaro Spa

Before her treatment, Miss W was stressed, anxious, her shoulders were aching and her muscles were tight from spending hours hunched over the laptop. I’ve always had trouble relaxing – a combination of my go, go, go lifestyle and the constant pressure of deadlines looming – so I was really hoping these stones would have some kind of special energy to ease me into a deeper state of relaxation.

I sipped herbal tea outside while we discussed areas I wanted to work on (‘me, me, me!’ screamed my shoulders and lower back simultaneously). My therapist explained the process, how he would use stones, then hands, followed by more stones and then he’d leave the room, like meditation.

I chose a zesty, energising mandarin oil (there are a few options including detox, revitalising, relaxation) and he ensured I was super comfy, wrapped in a soft sarong (like a cocoon) then with the gentle ‘ting’ of an pretty little gong, it was time to get stoned!

I was bracing myself because I was worried the stones might be a bit hot, but they were j-u-s-t right! A little bit of oil was dabbed onto each one and they just moulded gently into my skin. There was about ten minutes of warming up my muscles, a combination with regular massage and using the stones, massaging around my neck, in a strong but gentle pressure.

The stones were placed on my lower back, spine and up to my neck plus in my palms and tied to the soles of my feet. Once they were all in place, I felt really grounded and deeply, deeply relaxed –more so than with any other massage, EVER. I wanted to cheer – but well, that would defeat the purpose of relaxing! While the stones still were on my back, he massaged my legs with his hands and also with stones.

When I turned over, the stones were placed on my stomach, chest and neck and I closed my hands around them while some were tied to my feet and between my toes. Then – and now this was the weird part – one very hot stone was rubbed down the outside of my leg followed by a freeeeeeezing cold one – for circulatory reasons I suppose, but wow! Finally on my face, two stones were placed on my eyes and one on the ‘third eye’ – a real all over experience.

I was pretty zenned out for most of the treatment, but there was one point when I became quite lucid, and aware the massage had been going on for longer than an hour and a half – normally something that would make my anxiety levels rise, but I managed to let the feelings go. I didn’t even notice my therapist leave the room to be honest, I was so out of it!

Then the little chime tinged again, signifying the end of my blissful escape – however not the end of my relaxation time as I headed to the restaurant for a gourmet lunch afterwards!

The verdict: Afterwards, I felt the hugest difference in my now-relaxed muscles and I also felt a definite connection between this and my newly relaxed mind. I loved that it was a real holistic treatment – my therapist taught me some self-treatments to do at home, since my problems couldn’t be completely be solved in just one session (I wish!). He also gave me so much relevant advice – dietary, lifestyle, recommended vitamins, books and a muscle soak – that was really informative, and yet he made it sound simple for me to manage myself. Very, very motivating, and I’m already inspired to make my next appointment.