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"Spice It Up" Reflexology Treatment

November 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine

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The Spa at Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, New York, is introducing a new treatment this winter designed to recharge guests after a long day of cold-weather activities that include ice-skating, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Barbara Stirewalt, spa director, created the “Spice It Up!” Reflexology treatment to complement the holiday ambiance that guests experience at the facility. It combines the traditional techniques of reflexology with a light application of holiday-scented oils, including ginger, frankincense, orange and juniper berry.

Reflexology

According to the foundational principle of reflexology, called zone theory, energy streams through the body in 10 vertical zones. Pressing into a reflexology zone on the hands or feet balances the flow of energy throughout the related body zone.

Reflexology encourages muscles to relax and blood vessels to dilate, reducing circulatory restrictions. The uninhibited blood flow delivers abundant oxygen and nutrients to all cells, and transports toxins to organs that are responsible for elimination. Reflexology also works through the nervous system. Applying deep pressure alleviates congestion in nerve endings, enhancing circulation in the hands and feet, and soothing areas throughout the body that are connected to the cleared nerves.

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Treatment: “Spice It Up!” Reflexology

Length of treatment: 50 minutes

Cost: $100

Contraindications: Pregnancy, athlete’s foot or other foot fungus, allergies to blended ingredients

Supplies and equipment needed:

Two hot hand towels

Witch hazel spritzer

Hand-blended oil in a jojoba base containing pure essential oils of orange, frankincense, juniper berry and ginger

Hot spiced apple cider

Ginger cookies

Preparation:

Place towels in a hot cabinet.

Prepare oil and witch hazel spritzer.

Step 1: Consult with the client in the treatment room. Determine any allergies or skin concerns, and inquire if any medications are being taken.

Step 2: Wash your hands before beginning.

Step 3: Start by asking the client to lie on their back Make them comfortable by positioning a bolster beneath their knees and neck. Discuss any issues the individual might like to address. Verify that the music selection and the volume level are enjoyable.

Step 4: Use preheated hand towels spritzed with witch hazel to warm and clean the client’s hands and feet.

Step 5: Apply a few drops of the “Spice It Up!” oil blend to your hands. Rub them together, and cradle your hands over the individual’s face. Ask them to take a few deep breaths.

Step 6: Perform basic warming effleurage to prepare the hands for reflexology. Execute standard deep reflexology, with an extra emphasis on shiatsu point large intestine four. Spend a maximum of eight minutes per hand.

Step 7: Begin warming foot effleurage followed by deep reflexology, with an extra emphasis on critical shiatsu foot points. Spend a maximum of 15 minutes per foot.

Step 8: When finished with both feet and hands, dry them with the edge of the draping sheet. Lower the table, and place the client’s slippers on the floor at the side of the massage table. Drape their robe over the same side.

Step 9: Provide an area of relaxation where the individual can enjoy hot spiced apple cider and ginger cookies.

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