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Tuesday, 24 May 2011 19:11

Gemstone Facials

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Gemstones are so fascinating! The color properties, myths, and legends are diverse and intriguing. Folklore about stones has been revered and honored for centuries in all cultures. There has been so much buzz regarding gemstone facials, but is it hype or is there real benefit to the skin?
The radical change to our environment and lifestyle leaves skin deficient and degenerative. Skin conditions like inflammation, pigmentations, skin cancer, and blemishes are on the rise. These changes necessitate the need to seek innovative modalities and solutions. We have moved beyond skin type and skin condition. Most skin conditions we see today lack nutrients and are in dire need of supplementation and detoxification. As we learn more about the harsh side effects of synthetics and chemicals and the impersonal spirit of machinery, we turn back to nature for the answers.

Ancient modalities like gemstone therapy are returning as a viable approach to treating modern skin conditions. Gemstones can be used on a metaphysical level, providing energetic shifts, which allows individuals to release emotions. This type of application of gemstones is outside of our licensure and takes years of study to cultivate. Chakra or metaphysical work with gemstones cannot be performed in a 60 minute facial. It is the physical properties of the stone that provide therapeutic value and can improve several modern day skin conditions.

History of Gemstones
According to Maria Leach's Standard Dictionary of Folklore, belief in the supernatural properties of precious stones goes back beyond recorded history. An early cuneiform tablet gives a list of stones facilitating conception and birth and inducing love and hate. These ideas of the ancients were woven into the astrological cosmos of the Babylonians, but the early Greek lapidaries were essentially medicinal. The early Christian church opposed magic and condemned engraved talismans, but tolerated the use of medicinal amulets, and developed a symbolism of its own based on the gems of Exodus and the Apocalypse. In 1672 Robert Boyle wrote a book called: An Essay About the Organic Virtues of Gems. In this essay Boyle writes: "Bodies that were a while before in the form of waters were reduced to stone. Even diamonds themselves were once fluid."

Physical Properties
Gemstones are composed of many elements. There is water that Robert Boyle speaks of: Water that becomes reduced into a solid earth element. That earth element is comprised of minerals, clays, and electricity. Septarian for example formed 50 to 70 million years ago as a result of volcanic eruptions. Dead Sea life was chemically attracted to the sediment around them, forming mud balls. As the ocean receded, the balls dried and cracked. Due to their bentonite content they also shrank in size, creating the cracks inside. As decomposed shells seeped down into the cracks in the mud balls, calcite crystals formed. The outer thin walls of calcite then transformed into aragonite.
Frictional electricity, or an electrostatic charge created by rubbing, is common in many gems. The ability of the gem to attract light objects is dependent upon the charge and was probably first recognized in amber more than 2,500 years ago. The Greek name for amber is "elektron," origin of our word electricity.
Pressure electricity is found in minerals that have polar axes or lack a center of crystalline symmetry. The crystal axes have different properties at the opposite ends of the polar axis, and when pressure is exerted at these ends, electricity can flow creating opposite positive and negative ends.
Some stones are good conductors of heat, such as quartz, which draws heat away from the body when held and thus feels cold to the touch. Heat is conducted differently in various minerals according to their crystal system. A poor thermal conductor, such as amber, feels warm to the touch because it does not conduct heat away from the body.
It is true of basalt stones. Spas incorporated hot stone massage into facials, body massage, and nail treatments in the 1990s. Basalt contains magnetic or titanic iron, which retains heat. Stones retaining heat are wonderful therapy for tight muscles, but a disaster for facial therapy, especially with as much inflammation as we are seeing.

Minerals and Gemstones
Massage wands: Each stone can support the skin in very direct ways. The mineral's composition and crystalline structure impart the various physical properties that characterize each specimen. The high mineral content supplements our skin overcoming deficiencies. Here are a few minerals and their benefit.

  • Calcium and magnesium protects cell membrane, regulates nerve impulse, and relaxes and constricts blood vessels.
    Zinc boosts skin's immune response and regulates oil glands.
  • Copper helps with cross-linking of collagen and elastin and maintains the integrity of connective tissue.
  • Iron aids in oxygenating skin tissue.

Gemstones like Tiger Iron are used in skin treatments to aid in oxygenating skin and reduce bruising. Amazonite is used to stimulate cell regeneration and aid tissue after trauma or injury. It is beneficial for skin that is over stressed. Amazonite is extremely cooling to the skin and therefore beneficial in caring for inflammatory conditions, such as oncology patients, rosacea, post peel, etc. Kyanite is used to repair tissue after trauma. Sodalite is used for hydrating skin cells and water retention or swelling.

Gemstone massage wands can be used to manipulate skin tissue in several ways. Performing Lymphatic Drainage by pumping the tissue with the gemstones reduces inflammation and swelling and introduces minerals that aid in recuperation of traumatized skin. Using the tips of the stones, you can perform acupressure, thus sedating the sympathetic nervous system while activating the parasympathetic nervous system. Acupressure with gemstones relaxes facial tension and reduces overactive nerve impulses, thereby balancing all skin conditions. Since gemstones create frictional electricity, they can act as catalyst thus driving product deeper into the skin.
Loose gemstone specimens can also be incorporated in facials by using them in compress water. Place stones in a bowl of fresh water. (Note: Use a glass bowl – no metal or plastic.) Let stones sit in water for 10 minutes. Place a soft towel in gemstone water and then compress the face and décolleté. Gemstones will mineralize water providing nutritional supplementation to the skin. To add additional minerals to your treatments, I suggest incorporating herbs, clays, and salts.

Caring for Stones
Since gemstones are an organic material proper care of the stones is essential. After each use, wash stones with a gentle chemical free soap and water. Mix five drops each of tea tree and lemongrass essential oil in a little distilled water for a natural sanitation. Then soak in salt water. This will remove negative energy and help to restore mineral composition. The stones are very fragile. They should be kept in a box with a soft cotton divide. The stones should never touch each other or be left in a box loose without protection. They can roll off a workstation so never leave them lying loose on a cart. To restore the energy of stones they should periodically be placed in the sun.

Why Now?
Adding innovative services that have value is paramount. The relevance of your service should consider what type of results you want to achieve and if it fits your philosophy as a practitioner. Don't just offer a service because it is popular. Learn the effects that your treatments have on the skin tissue and how it truly can benefit your client.
Gemstone therapy is not a trend. Trends come and go, but gemstone therapy has been here for centuries and is finding its way back to the healing arts. Techniques like gemstone therapy can eclipse standard skin care because our bodies recognize the organic nature of the earth. As we move away from harmful synthetic ingredients and mechanical devices, learning about alternative ingredients and tools can set you on the path to a green holistic practice.

Anne Willis has been part of the aesthetic industry for more than 30 years. She offers premier educational programs and customized training to schools and spas and is CEO of De La Terre Skincare. Her programs are taught throughout the country delivering innovative solutions and quality support. The highest standard for education insures maximum success for your staff and the facility. 828-230-5125, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., www.anncwillis.com

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