Thermal Palms Massage: A Canadian Innovation
Tone Magazine – September 2005
There’s nothing new when it comes to the benefits and the effects of heat therapy. It’s been time-tested and true. What is new however is an innovative heat modality developed by a Canadian Massage Therapist in Ottawa, Ontario.
Thermal Palms are similar to ‘stones’ in that they are hand-held heat modalities, but the similarity ends there. Unlike stones, Thermal Palms are soft, mould to the contours of the body and provide a cushion of protection for massaging directly over bone.
As a Registered Massage Therapist for the past 24 years, I have used a variety of traditional heat modalities in my practice ranging from an old wooden steam cabinet to hot packs, to whirlpools, saunas and hot stones. While they all worked, some were more efficient, convenient, comfortable, or cost effective than others. But I also do house calls and only the heat pack offered the portability or practicality that I needed.
After hearing about Thermal Palms being an innovative, user-friendly heat modality that was also portable, I admit that I was a little skeptical. First and foremost, I wanted to experience what a Thermal Palms massage felt like. I contacted Huguette Long M.T, the inventor of Thermal Palms, and she explained, “A Thermal palms massage is a targeted massage treatment using heated Thermal Palms, and free hand massage techniques to alleviate the body’s primary regions of chronic muscular tension”. She continued to explain, “These regions typically include the back of the upper leg and hip regions, the entire musculature of the back, the shoulders, and to the chronically tight muscles surrounding the neck”. By the time she added that the treatment would end with a firm pressured foot massage, I was intrigued and booked the appointment.
Not only was the Thermal Palms’ massage treatment highly effective, it was one of the most deeply relaxing massages I have experienced. Within moments of beginning the leg massage, the comforting sensation of the heated Thermal Palms began to soothe me to my core. During the back and shoulder massage, it felt like heating elements were implanted in her hands as she massaged with firm pressure to the origin and insertion points of my major muscle groups. When she massaged over the scapula, the sacrum, along the iliac crest, and directly down along my spine with the heated Thermal Palms, it was absolutely wonderful. For me, having my neck massaged is my favorite part. The effects of the heated Thermal Palms and the attention Huguette paid to my chronically tight neck muscles alleviated a lot of tension build-up. During the firm-pressured foot massage, it dawned on me… throughout the massage I didn’t recall a break in contact, rhythm or flow. I also appreciated not hearing any knocking and treatment disruptions associated with stones. When Huguette told me that only four Thermal Palms were needed for my sixty-minute treatment, and as few as eight Thermal Palms would complete a full body massage, I registered for her next instructional course.
Again, there is nothing new when it comes to the benefits and the effects of heat therapy, but Thermal Palms have opened a new path to heat therapy that makes massaging with heat more comfortable for both the client and the therapist. Bravo!
Arlene Doyle R.M.T and freelance writer