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Treatment Styles, Spiced Up

By Noreen Young March 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine

Is it time to spice things up? Has doing facials, applying makeup or giving massages become too routine or boring for you? One of the best ways to counteract possible monotony is to keep up with changes in times, trends and technology. Bringing your services to a more exciting level by incorporating new techniques and styles will create not only a better experience for your client, but also for you.
      Take a different perspective on your usual style, as well as the room you perform treatments in, when doing a facial, makeup application or body treatment. Many trends as of late are coming from Asian countries and neighboring areas, and introducing some of these ideas into your spa can be a breath of fresh air. Asians have long utilized crystals in healing, as well as to help maintain the natural balance of the body and its flow of energy. Feng shui principles also help to balance and harmonize, and soothing hot and cold stone therapy is a continuingly popular trend.

Getting jaded
      While you might consider incorporating any of these techniques into your spa routine, there’s a new tool on the block that really isn’t new at all, and it just might be what you’ve been looking for to add more interest to your menu—the jade roller. Asian emperors and empresses used jade face, eye and body rollers centuries ago, and spa professionals are once again beginning to see their advantages. The roller can help to lift and tone the skin, bring a glow to the complexion, and relax the facial muscles and body. It can even help clients achieve a more peaceful state of mind. Here, several of the ways the jade roller can be used on the face and body are explored.

 Facials. The jade roller can be used in the beginning, middle or end of a facial, and can be paired with a serum, moisturizer or massage oil to give even the most basic treatment a shot of life. In the eye areas, for example, begin by applying an eye gel to the appropriate areas and then roll the jade roller in gentle motions both clockwise and counterclockwise. Continue by applying the skin treatment product of your choice to the face and using the roller in smooth, easy, upward movements.
      A handy technique for knowing which areas of the face might require the most treatment is for you to pretend you are the client and think about what issues you might like addressed on your face. Are your eyes looking tired? Is the skin looking dull and lackluster? Are you feeling like your face is falling and your muscle tone has disappeared? Talk with your client about the areas they would like to focus on, but also develop techniques for treating these common trouble areas.

 Massage. Jade roller techniques can be utilized in massage in many different ways, as well. A one-sided sumo roller made of sturdy, thick jade can be used for a facial massage. For the best results, roll on the face in upward lifting motions, away from the jowls or marionette lines. Follow that by rolling over the forehead or simply over the center of the forehead, treating the “number 11” furrow. Next, move on to incorporating the roller into your usual body massage routine.
      Massage therapists use the jade roller to help them treat their clients for carpal tunnel, and some incorporate the roller into a routine across the front of the arms and down the back of the calves when doing a massage. Clients can enjoy the soothing, relaxing movements of the cool roller, as well as the benefits it provides for the skin.
      Enhance the experience with a refreshing iced or hot jasmine tea, and find music with an Asian-American twist to accompany the treatment. You might also use an exotic herbal infusion to help balance out clients’ chi when using the jade roller treatment, and complete the service by retailing skin care products.

      Eye treatments. In any eye treatment service or before applying eye makeup, place a small amount of jojoba or eye gel or cream on the eyelid and under the eyes. Use the roller to massage and relax the eyelid area, moving in circular motions. The nature of the jade stone can make this treatment cool and soothing, helping to decrease inflammation and smooth out fine lines and wrinkles around the eye. People with allergies, computer eyes, and even those with a cold or flu can potentially see great results from this type of treatment. It also simply helps clients feel good.

    Makeup application. After an application of a facial serum, cream or eye gel, using the jade roller before applying makeup can help give the face a great lift. The duo-sided eye-and-face roller can be combined with blending potions to revitalize the complexion before a makeup application, and rolling around the eyes and face helps to rev up the blood flow, giving the skin a gentle, miniature workout. Upon completion of the treatment, the skin has a definite glow and will look great with any combination of colors on the eyes, cheeks and lips.

One professional to another
      Spas around the country are finding unique ways to incorporate the jade roller into some of their own signature facial treatments. The Body Anew spa in Bel Air, Maryland, has paired the roller with the spa’s acupuncture face lift. Following the treatment, a dash of lavender-scented pearl cream is applied and the roller is used on the face. The spa has begun offering this service in a series of 10 treatments and compares the results of the facial as similar to those of a Botox* treatment.
      The jade roller is getting good reviews from spas in other locales, as well. Summer Perry, an esthetician and massage therapist who owns the Summer Skin Care Institute in St. Augustine, Florida, says, “I use the eye and face roller in my facials and massage. I even incorporate it in my light therapy facials. Clients can get bored with your facials or treatments and with coming to you. They will move on if you do not add some new twists to your services.
      “You have all kinds of clients, and they are all going to like different things,” Perry continues. “Experiment to see what works for you and your clients. The great part about adding a face-and-eye jade roller to your treatments is that it is not that costly—it’s reasonable and affordable.”

Get rolling
      When looking to enliven your spa and the treatments you provide, remember that looking back can help. Everything ancient is new again, from Chinese herbs to jade skin rollers. Clients are seeking spas that offer exotic, specialized services, so after exploring these ancient tools and beauty traditions, you should publicize your efforts with them. Run ads in your local newspaper, send out postcards and offer special introductory pricing. People aren’t likely to come in for treatments unless you let them know about the fabulous options you have to offer. Consider mailing an invitation for a treatment to local celebrities, newscasters, realtors or even the town mayor and office staff. You’ll never know what will happen until you try.
 Open your eyes to something new. Change is indeed good for the soul, the client, you and your business. Be the spa in your area everyone wants to go to by offering new and exciting treatments and techniques. Natural stone healing therapies can be the newest surprise that makes your next facial, massage or makeover absolute skin bliss.

* Botox is a registered trade name of Allergan, Inc., Irvine, CA.