Health & Wellness

That Block Island Glow

A hot stone massage puts you in an island state of mind just in time for warmer weather


What’s not to love about day-cationing on Block Island? The beautiful beaches, quaint shops and charming restaurants are almost too much coastal cuteness for me to handle. After my first experience at Rhode Island Massage, I can now add island-style relaxation to that list without even hopping on a ferry.

My Block Island-inspired massage actually happened in North Kingstown. Walking into Rhode Island Massage, I received a warm greeting from owner Lyn Picerno, a URI grad turned licensed massage therapist with one of the top ten most calming voices I’ve ever heard.

Prior to the massage, Lyn asked me to choose an aromatherapy essential oil. My choices included rejuvenating peppermint, relaxing sage, energizing grapefruit, blissful sweet orange or soothing lavender. Seeing as it’s second only to the smell of Sunday Gravy cooking, lavender was my aromatherapy of choice. I wish my day-to-day life involved more decisions like that. Since a meaty, garlicky tomato sauce would not be the most pleasant aroma to experience during a massage, it was probably for the best that it wasn’t an option.

As I lay down on the heated massage table, I felt a wave of calm wash over me. Then came a face, scalp and neck massage, followed by a lavender moisture mask. I began to drift in and out of a light sleep, almost as if I were lying on a beach in midsummer. After that, Lyn incorporated a Swedish massage and petrissage, a technique that involved kneading both my arms and legs. I was melting like a stick of butter onto the massage bed.

Lyn then had me turn over to lie facing down while she placed hot stones gathered from Block Island beaches on my back. As they warmed my skin, she used some of the remaining stones to warm my legs, while also incorporating reflexology on the bottoms of my feet. This disproved my previous theory that most daily stress could be relieved by a simple foot rub. I learned that all daily stress can be relieved by a massage therapist performing reflexology on your feet.

The stones were removed, and because there can never be such a thing as too much lavender, a lavender sugar scrub was applied and then gently removed with hot towels. I began to count how many of life’s most enjoyable moments involve hot towels: flying first class (from what I’ve seen in the movies), mani/pedis, eating lobster, and now of course, this.

Lyn concluded the massage with some shiatsu and energizing tapotement, quick light taps to my back with the edge of her hand. I came out of my tranquil fog, and moving at the pace of a sea slug, I left the serene massage studio, drenched in relaxation from head to toe. Before leaving, Lyn advised that I stay extra hydrated that evening as the 90-minute treatment had made me “massage tipsy.” Although I love a good mudslide on the island, I think I preferred this blissfully relaxed type of buzz.

Rhode Island Massage
1130 Ten Rod Road
Building D, Lower Level, Suite 101, North Kingstown