Routine taught or not
Am curious to know, when you studied hot stone massage, were you shown a specific routine to use or where you encouraged to use the skills you already have?
would you prefer a specific routine or would you find it more beneficial to concentrate on the use of stones and getting used to them?
I think the answer to that would depend on how long someone has been massaging before doing the course. I originally did LaStone training, and there was a bit of a routine and there was also quite a bit of 'work on the leg how you would normally' I found that very useful, but there were people in the class that came from more of a beauty/spa background that didn't do that much massage normally, or mainly just did backs, or lymphatic drainage etc, they wanted a stroke sheet to follow exactly.
I did a Sacred Stone course a few years later and it had a very long routine and people just seemed to get lost on the course, or were floundering afterwards because they were trying to follow a cryptic stoke sheet that was blending Ayurvedic techniques with stones, Since I'd already done some Ayurvedic work and stone work, I managed ok, but for anyone where both styles were new, they had issues.
I've done a lomi lomi stone course too, but it was such a superficial lomi lomi massage routine, it was pretty much a non issue for most on the course.
I think half the time the 'routine' is required for larger classes just so the teacher can check everyone is up to about the same thing, If you have experienced therapists on the course they are going to want to learn how to incorporate it in what they do; if you have inexperienced therapists, they are going to want a routine to follow.
interesting comments, and agree with what you say.
I did hot stones twice, the first time, no routine, the second, with a routine. I preferred being given a rangeof strokes so I could use them and experiment as part of my learning. In the other course, I wasn't taught any particular strokes and I found it quite difficult to judge, as a trainee, how much massage was enough. As you become in tune with the stones you can work far more intuitively. When I teach, I teach a routine or method and then ask students to experiment once they are over the how do I not drop these issues..