The skin is the body’s largest organ, also known as cuticle or scarf. Skin covers our body from head to toe and is the first line of defense in protecting us from the environment. Therefore, it is important to ensure it receives extra care to restore its elasticity, healthy look, and charm.
Beginning with the Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks; all of these empires were well known for their healing methods. Cleopatra, queen of Egypt, was reported to use the milk bath as a body treatment to keep her skin clear of blemishes, smooth, and free of wrinkles.
Body treatments have been used for centuries. However, it was not until the 1960s that they were introduced in the U.S. and a variety of related products gained popularity.
Hydrotherapy is a powerful healing method. Various hydrotherapy services can help relieve acne inflammation, depression, joint pain, sleep disorders, ease stress and fatigue, and prevent stiffness. There are few contraindications, thereby making these treatments extremely safe for most clients. The secret behind the efficacy of water therapies is due to the thermal stimuli it creates. From the moment the water touches the skin nerves begin carrying impulses to the brain that in return lessen the pain sensitivity, stimulate the blood circulation, and likewise the immune system.
In addition to hydrotherapy, detoxification via seaweed wraps and mud are excellent supplements to any individual. These services eliminate toxins through the sweating process; thus purging impurities and enhancing metabolic stimulation, blood circulation, and absorption of minerals and vitamins. This detoxification process helps relax the body and relieve daily stresses. In addition to the internal effect of the wrap, seaweed will work externally on the skin by toning, polishing, and smoothing. These benefits are achieved through the infusion of amino acids and vitamins that leave the feeling of tightness, reduces the appearance of fine lines, and promotes enough heat to help redistribute the fat deposits in our cells and diminish the look of cellulite dimpling.
Body treatments can also be done using a combination of a manual body massage followed by a wrap, or use of massage equipment. The purpose for either of these treatments is to assist the body in fighting dimpling and uneven skin texture. Some treatments even help reshape the abdomen, buttock, and/or thighs; especially after a pregnancy or sudden weight gain. Through the use of these methods clients should see an immediate result in her shape and her skin.
Detoxification, cellulite and body contouring, and lipolysis are all important areas in body treatments. However, we should also consider the appearance of skin caused by sun damage, laxity, and blemishes. In doing so, we will discuss light based therapies with the combination of radio frequency and without.
We will start by looking at Light Emitted Diodes (LED). The various colors in LED therapy perform different functions. Red light therapy can penetrate to the bloodstream and improve circulation; it increases cell energy, which stimulates skin fibroblasts to produce collagen and elastin, which leads to a reduction in inflammation and hyperpigmentation. Yellow light is used for photorejuvenation, and blue light is used to improve the symptoms of acneic skin. LED treatments are non-ablative, non-painful, and safe to be used on face and body.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) machines are devices that consist of flashlamps housed in a treatment tip. IPL is used for photorejuvenation treatments to improve the appearance of the skin by generating heat deep in the skin layer, which stimulates collagen production shrinking pores, reducing rhytids, improving acne scarring and pigmentation, as well as toning and tightening the appearance of the skin.
Fractional devices are a non-ablative laser system using an adjustable thermal energy. Treatments with these devices minimize or even eliminate the downtime and side effects of skin resurfacing. They provide an excellent treatment for pigmentation, acne scarred skin, and tightening.
Last but not least – lipolysis, or breaking down fat, can be done also via radio frequency devices, which are also non-ablative systems that use heat energy. Once applied to the skin, this thermal effect targets the enhancement of blood circulation and helps in the drainage of fatty deposits to the lymphatic systems. In these devices, "rf" is normally combined with an infrared light, suction, and mechanical massage to offer even better stimulation of cells.
There are no boundaries or limitations for body treatments and wrapping services, almost every client can benefit from one or more of these types of services. Men or women, in different ages or conditions, there are a wide variety of body products and devices to fit almost every individual looking for these types of services.
Body treatments can be for clients who seek help with weight loss, want to keep the skin feeling smoother and tighter, pre and post-op enhancement (abdominoplasty or liposuction procedures) to help skin heal better and healthier. They can also be performed for anybody that has a special occasion where they need to have softer, smoother skin; or even just as a luxury and pampering treatment for relaxation and stress relief.
As we all know, most of our clients have at least one area of their body that they would like to improve. Even most gorgeous models still need body treatments to maintain their beauty. Body treatments can be done as a series of treatments or as just a one time service and can be done in spas, salons, mobile salons, resorts, cruise ships, medical spas, and medical offices (check your state regulations regarding laws, rules, and limitations).
Client Consultation and Analysis
Whether for traditional or newer body treatments, a good consultation is a must. You need to go over the client's health and medical history. You will want to check for diseases and conditions, review any medications and herbal supplements, ask about allergies and any previous reaction to ingredients (if not sure conduct a patch test) or light therapy treatment reaction (phototoxic and/or photoallergies), check what type of diet they normally follow and their lifestyle, review all the contraindications, explain the treatments, and the outcomes. Discuss fees and home maintenance protocols. You must inform your client about post-treatment instructions whenever they apply. For your legal protection, be sure to always obtain a signed client consent form. Finally, because it is better to take precautions than not, have your clients sign the consultation/record card before the treatment commences.
Once the consultation is complete it is highly recommended to perform a skin analysis before the treatment, to assure that the procedure fits the client's request and is appropriate for her skin type and condition. It is critical to analyze skin; checking for any suspicious, open, or raised lesions. Ask questions if you find any scars, bruises, or varicose veins; check for sun burns or blistering; ask client when they last shaved, waxed, or received a laser hair removal treatment. Skin analysis will help prevent reactions and mistakes.
During the treatment, never leave your client unattended. Stay in the service room and use a digital non-noisy clock to time the treatment. Check with your client if any signs of reaction start to occur (itching, burning, swelling, abnormal change of her skin color). During the processing time you can read a book or listen to the music along with your client, but never leave the room and get distracted. Reaction on the face from a product can be noticed and controlled quickly; whereas, reaction during a full body treatment is more difficult to see and controlled if you are not attentive. Another option would be to offer the client a mini relaxation facial, scalp massage, manicure, or pedicure if the treatment allows.
Finally, as practitioners we are responsible for reading and educating ourselves about every product line we use (it is recommended to request MSDS if available). The areas you want to check in regards to your product line are; the benefits, advantages, and disadvantages of every ingredient on the label. Look for a line that best suits your prospective client's goals and expectations and what is considered safe treatments. In addition to all these important steps, you also need to practice aseptic techniques in dealing with your clients or handling products and supplies. All health care workers are concerned about HIV/AIDS, hepatitis b virus, and other infectious diseases, because we may be exposed to blood, bodily fluids, or other potentially infectious materials. Therefore, we are at risk and must practice "universal precautions" to protect ourselves and our clients (bloodborne diseases can be contacted through relatively minor breaks in the skin. Even a small crack from chapped skin, which may not be visible to the naked eye, can be a possible infection site, tiny nicks around cuticles, or any small scratch or excoriation can allow the transmission of bacteria).
It is also recommended to use disposable supplies and linens for body treatments to avoid direct contact with the client's perspiration and toxins. Use a wooden, disposable spatula to take products out of jars and containers, avoid cross-contamination for any products.
Body treatments are one of the most wonderful treatments we can offer in our facilities, results may vary but we are offering the most therapeutic and best relaxation moment to our clients.
Fadia Hoyek has over 15 years experience in the skin care and aesthetic industry. Hoyek originally began her career as a school teacher in 1988 and earned her first european skin care certification in 1991. She has since moved to Florida, where she completed her skin care training by earning a full specialist license, an associate degree in skin care concentrating on advanced paramedical skin care, and a body wrapping license. She later earned a license in electrolysis and passed her CCE and CME to become fully certified as a clinical and medical hair removal specialist in Florida. Hoyek has worked as an instructor, consultant, and a practitioner in many day spas, and medical spas in Boca Raton, Fla. She is an approved provider by the Board of Cosmetology in Florida. She has written skin care courses and workshop materials on body wrapping for licensure. Hoyek provided the electrolysis program for her workplace and the laser and light-based hair removal course. Currently, Hoyek holds a position as an instructor of electrolysis, laser hair removal, body wrapping, and other related workshops at the Florida College of Natural Health. Throughout her career has has been recognized many times as a dedicated employee at her workplace. She was awarded the Golden Touch award in 2002, and she has been a member of the Society for Clinical and Medical Hair Removal for more than four years.