Incorporating hot and cold stone techniques into facial massages can be incredibly beneficial for the skin. While hot stones can help to warm the face and the neck while relieving tension from tense muscles, the cold stones can work to lift and tone the muscles. Dale Montelione Grust, licensed massage therapist, founder and director of the Center for Therapeutic Massage, walked through the benefits of massage and provided a facial protocol for using hot and cold stones in a facial massage during the Face & Body spa conference in Rosemont, IL on July 28, 2019.
Way to Heat Stones
When it comes to heating the stones, there are numerous methods you can partake in in your facility. Here we are discussing the different ways you can heat up your stones in your facility.
Water bath. The benefits of a water bath is how quickly they heat up, and it will not overheat the stones or make them too hot. However, this method can be a bit messy, and you need to be very careful with this because if you do not properly heat the stones
Heating pad. This is excellent if you are only heating a couple of stones. While they do take a long time heat and reheat the pad, this is a less expensive option to heat your stones.
Towel cabinet. You have to be careful when using this method because the stones can get too hot very quickly. Be sure to give proper time to let the stones cool down before using them on a client. One way to do this is to use your own hands; this will cool down the stones while also warming up your hands.
Portable stone heater. Grust explained how she would not personally recommend these, as they are very expensive, and they do not tend to last long.
Heating the Stones
“Never ever place a hot stone directly on the skin after heating it up. This is how a lot of lawsuits happen from people getting burned,” Grust warned when discussing how to heat up a stone. Instead be sure to introduce the stones to the client. It takes a second for the body to register that the stone is not as shockingly hot as it initially believed it was, so it is important for your clients comfort to slowly introduce the stones to the client. A good note is that if the stone is too hot for you to hold, it should not be placed on the client yet.
A tip that Grust shared was that if the stones are initially too hot to place on the face, feel free to first massage them into your clients scalp. Gently glide over the hair as you give the stones some time to cool down before applying them to the face. This also allows your client to be introduced to the heat without it being a shocking experience.
Cleaning the Stones
There are different tools you can use to clean your stones from soap and water to a hospital grade disinfectant. It is beneficial for your clients safety to use a medial grade disinfectant to make sure it is really clean. You do not want to pass germs along from client to client.
Soap and water does work well to kill the bacteria. However, this does not work to kill the viruses like the hospital grade disinfectant. PureGreen 24 is said to help kill viruses like MRSA, so this also works really well to make sure you are keeping your tools as clean as possible from client to client.
All the Right Moves
While circular strokes is going to be the main way that you use the hot and cold stones along the face, there are many different places that you can use this technique. When used with warm stones this can help to release tension from the face while also reducing fine lines and wrinkles. When you do this same type of stroke with a sweeping motion and cold stones it encourages lymphatic drainage and continues to reduce tension in the face. The combination of the two has you increasing circulation and bring blood flow back into the client’s facial structure. Grust shared some hot tips on where to use the circular strokes and what benefits that have for the skin.
Forehead first. Start on the forehead after you have introduced the hot stones to the scalp. Use the flat surface of the angled end of the stone to make slow circular motions along the bands of the forehead. Start at the hairline and slowly work your way down.
Hot tip. Be conscious of moving the muscles under the stone and not just glide the stones around on the face.
Orbicularis oculi. Starting at the bridge of the nose, use circular movements to work three points along the brow working outward. Then, do this same three point motion under the eye. After you have finished with this part, continue these circular motions using the smooth surface of the angled end and dragging down the nasolabial fold. This will help to drain the sinuses.
Down the jaw. Using the back side of the angled surface, work downward from the nostrils to the upper lip. Then, use the round end of the stone to work in circular motions along the jawline starting at the chin and working upward.
Cooling down. Instead of using circular motions, the cold stones will incorporate sweeping motions into the facial. Work similarly to the hot stones starting at the forehead and moving downward, and use the angled end of the stone to make sweeping motions in the same places. Repeat this along the full face three times.
Going up. Now, work backwards starting at the jawline and going up to the forehead. Instead of using sweeping motions from inward to outward, using sweeping motions going upwards. You will want to repeat this two to three times around the entire face.
When it comes to incorporating these movements and techniques into a facial, Grust explains how you can add it or parts of it onto your regular facials as an add on service. While this entire facial can be used as a stand alone service, incorporating hot and cold stone massages into your facials can easily be incorporated into the menu that you already have.