Ok Voyeurs, you know by now that I’m a fitness freak and that I don’t do things by halves. I like to box, play roller derby and lift weights and all those crazy intense sports take their toll on my body. If I’m not bruised and battered from boxing, then I’m grazed and bruised from playing roller derby – and that’s just the visible evidence.
I actually have a chronic condition called Fibromyalgia which has an effect on my joints and muscle groups causing widespread pain blah blah blah, it’s not interesting, nor is it something I usually discuss but I promise there’s a point to this reference and it’s kind of relevant. Putting my body through extra stress by choosing to play sports and participate in gym classes is something I have to manage and my weapon of choice for this is massage and muscle manipulation.
There’s nothing better than waking up to a major case of DOMS and knowing that you have a massage booked to work some of the stresses away. Lately I’ve been road testing the exotically named Lava Shell Massage at Newcastle Hair and Beauty Clinic and the benefits have been immense. The treatment has been featured in Vogue magazine having been dubbed “the new hot stones” and it was the most requested training for Beauty Therapists in 2015.
My Therapist, Gemma, is small and mighty, don’t be fooled by her tiny stature, she certainly packs a punch and more over, she enjoys massage. Gemma says there’s something satisfying about working out knots, although she tells me I’m literally the stiffest person she’s ever worked on and that I’m “like a rock”. Gemma makes each Lava Shell massage bespoke to the individual – if there are areas which need manual manipulation she’ll work this into the treatment and then use the heat from the shells to soften the muscles. The treatment also benefits the Therapist, reducing the risk of RSI – so, wins all round.
Similar in style to a Hot Stone massage but way less messy, Lava Shell massage is a type of heat treatment that uses smooth Tiger-striped clam shells as a massage tool. Rather than using water to heat from the outside in as with a Hot Stone massage, the heat is produced by inserting a ‘lava gel sachet’ and ‘activator liquid’ into the shell and then sealed in order to heat from the inside out. The heat is retained for around two hours, easily enough time to deliver an insanely good treatment.
If, like me, your muscles are harder than sheet metal, Lava Shell massage can be hugely beneficial. Obviously the heat helps to relax tense muscles, but the shells also give off calcium ions when heated, these ions transfer to the skin and can help to firm and tone the skins appearance, not one of the published benefits, but a benefit none the less.
Skin is prepped with oil like in a regular massage and your Therapist will identify any particularly tense areas, (for me, that’s literally every inch). The shells can be used in different orientations to give a different effect, the smooth surface is used for all over massage and transferring heat to weary muscles and the narrow edge is used to work tense shoulder blades and calves.
The great thing about this treatment is that you have the option of a focussed, tailored back massage, or a relaxing full body experience, it’s bespoke to your needs and less generic than other similar treatments. It’s administered in a darkened, candle lit room, it’s a struggle not to fall asleep but if you can, it’s worth it as this is such a pleasant treatment. If you’re a fan of massage, or if you’re a sports fanatic then this is one for you to try as it’s fantastic for relaxing and unwinding; I have an encapsulated shoulder and I’m trying to put off impending surgery as long as possible and I truly believe that this treatment is helping with that. I’d highly recommend it for sports injuries or long term conditions, or just as a treat to yourself after a long day and a real bonus is that after having this treatment I sleep way better than I do on a regular night and it’s worth it just for that. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz……
Prices start at £28 for a Lava Shell back massage at Newcastle Hair & Beauty Clinic.