the purpose of reading on further is to look at some options of how to enhance and “add on” to a body service. Now, being the never-ending educator that I am, I am going to challenge each of you reading this article to do a little bit of research on your own. My job is to provide you with some nifty new ideas for “beefing up” your body care services; your job is to research further into the specifics of these ideas as well as any additional training that may be required.
I am forcing you to put some serious effort and consideration into integrating specialized therapies and add-on treatments into your practice, and why? Because what you do is not fluff-n-buff. What you do is a direct reflection of the skin care profession. To add on a simple service for the sake of a quick buck, discredits you, your practice, and your profession. To add on a service for the sake of your clients’ health, beauty, and well-being, while also making an “extra buck” is professional business.
Remember, you work on the largest organ of the human body; therefore you not only influence how the whole body functions and feels, but with specialized add-on therapies you can influence mood, spirit, confidence, and smiles.
Enhancing a body service can be done with an add-on service as well as an add-on product. Let’s start first with services.
Hand and Foot Treatments
These are basic add-ons that have been around for ages. But… are most frequently parts of the body that are the least tended. Think about how much each of us, as humans, enjoy the simple gesture of a handshake, or holding anothers’ hand. Human touch is the most powerful form of communication in the universe, and you possess the ability to use it, and use it a lot. Small, gentle circular motions, integrated with smooth effleurage strokes on either the hands or the feet have the ability to softly stimulate millions of nerve endings that directly link to every single part of the rest of the body. How awesome is that? A simple hand or foot massage takes no longer than 10 to 15 minutes, and can be done while your client is resting during the body service itself and add an additional $10 to 20 onto the service.
Many complementary and alternative medicine practitioners believe that an invisible energy force flows through the human body. Illness, fatigue and physical ailmants are created when this energy flow is blocked or unbalanced. Different traditions call this energy by different names, such as chi, prana, and life force, and unblocking or re-balancing the energy force is the goal of these therapies.
Acupuncture refers to the use of the insertion of needles into points along energy pathways in your body, restoring your natural energy.
Therapeutic touch, or healing touch practitioners use their hands above or on the body, using a gentle touch, with the intent of affecting the body’s energy fields.
Reiki is a centuries-old practice that involves light touch over different parts of the body in an ordered sequence.
Aromatherapy is a generic term that refers to any of the various traditions that make use of essential oils sometimes in combination with other alternative practices. It is a form of alternative medicine that uses volatile liquid plant materials, known as essential oils, and other aromatic compounds from plants for the purpose of affecting a person’s mood, skin conditions, psychological disposition, or health.
In France, where it originated, aromatherapy is incorporated into mainstream medicine. The use of the antiseptic, antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties of oils in the control of infections is emphasized over the approaches familiar in the U.S.
Aromatherapy can easily and effectively be incorporated into all types of body services, as long as the practitioner is well educated in the precise uses and physiological effects of the oils that are used.
Forms of Massage
Reflexology involves massaging, squeezing, or pressing specific points of the feet, hands, and ears with the intent of having a direct impact on specific organs and parts of the body, as a means of encouraging overall health throughout. This theory is based on a perceived energetic flow of “meridians” in the body.
Stone massage uses cold or water-heated stones to apply pressure and heat to the body. Specialized stones coated in oil can also be used by the practitioner delivering various massaging strokes.
Color is simply energy — energy made visible. As human beings, it’s the only energy we can actually see. This energy directly reflects the physiological and physical functioning of the human body. In simplest forms; day brings bright, warm colors, with action, activity, and an increase in metabolic rate – night brings cool, dark hues, with rest, inaction, and
- RED is often associated with vitality, energy, and courage. Red is also believed to improve energy and self-confidence, increases heart rate, brain activity, respiration, and blood pressure, and gives energy and self-confidence.
- ORANGE is often associated with happiness, confidence, and independence. It is believed to energize, remove inhibitions, improve sociability, and stimulate the appetite and digestive system.
- YELLOW is often associated with wisdom, clarity, and awareness. It is believed to relieve depression, improves memory, increases energy, awareness, perception, and comprehension.
- GREEN is often associated with peace, love, and balance. It is believed to be both mentally and physically soothing and relaxing. Green also plays a role in alleviating anxiety, nervousness and depression, and promoting overall self-control.
- BLUE is often associated with relaxation, health, and knowledge. Blue appears to be calming and soothing while also enhancing communication and the ability to make decisions.
- VIOLET is often associated with wisdom, inspiration, and creativity. Violet has many benefits such as relieving tension, suppressing appetite, promoting inner strength, kindness, and creativity.
I always hate this part of my job: convincing each of you that “selling” really is part of an aesthetician’s job, but it’s actually your responsibility! As skin care professionals, our job is to assist our clients in beautifying their skin and promoting the overall health of the skin, of the face, and the body. With that in mind… it goes back to your professional responisbility to suggest to your clients the products that you have that will serve those purposes. If you are going to spend an hour (or more) of your valuable time, why would you discredit the efficacy and necessity of your services by allowing your clients to go home and use products on their skin from the drug store.
If you have just completed a cellulite treatment, offer a retail cellulite gel to be applied at night time to continue the powerful benefits of your professional service. If it’s an exfoliating body treatment that your client has just had, send them home with a gentle all-over exfoliant to be used in the shower and followed up with a rich, hydrating, smoothing, and firming body lotion, or a product specifically designed with an alpha hydroxy acid.
Many aestheticians have bravely treaded into the nutritional area and even affiliated with a nutritionist. This is a fabulous way of integrating healthy skin, with healthy body, and being able to pair up what “we” do on the outside, with what is necessary for the inside. Many skin care lines now offer complimentary vitmain and mineral supplements that promote youth, beauty, health, and vitality.
Making the most of your existing business is the way to succeed in the aesthetic profession. One client for life, is worth 15 for a month. Its costs far more time, money, and effort to continually build new business, than to keep building off of the business that you have. Not to mention, happy, beautiful, youthful, healthy clients will refer more businesss your way!
In closing, I absolutely MUST include my own little “disclaimer”. What we do affects our clients in so many different ways; please don’t pick up a quick book or read an article and consider yourself an expert in aromatherapy, reiki, or light therapy… please take the responsibility to be completely knowledgeable about any service that you offer or product that you recommend. Your knowledge and education will guarantee your success, not to mention your credibility!
Michelle D’Allaird is a New York State licensed aesthetician and International CIDESCO Diplomat. She is the owner of the Aesthetic Science Institute aesthetic schools in Syracuse and Latham, New York. She is a consultant and educator for international cosmetic companies around the world. D’Allaird is a contributing author to major industry trade magazines, as well as a host and speaker for International Congress of Esthetics & Spa conferences in Miami, Philadelphia, Dallas, and Long Beach. She is also a co-author of Salon Fundamentals aesthetics textbook. Her expertise lies in education and curriculum development for aesthetic, medical, and laser courses.