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Skin Brushing Body Exfoliation & Body Wraps

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Skin Brushing/Body Exfoliation
  3. Body Wraps
  4. Bibliography:


In this report the research will be on the following spa treatments: Body brushing and body exfoliation, Saunas and also Body wraps. This report will focus on the history behind each individual treatment and how they came to be modernised as the ones that are used today in salons around the world. It will look into how each of these spa treatments have their own specific benefits and effects for and on the body, it will also include the contra-indications that a therapist has to be aware of for each of these treatments that will prevent it to take place. It will identify any if there are any special care conditions and contra-actions that could go alongside each of these treatments and how the therapist should act if faced with any of these to help the client be as comfortable as possible when receiving a treatment.

Skin Brushing/Body Exfoliation

Dry skin brushing or also known as body brushing is a technique or skin therapy that has been around for centuries and was used throughout almost every civilisation, from the Ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks to the Chinese and Japanese. (Stass & Co | Plastic Free Beauty, 2018) Dry brushing or garshana as it is known in Ayurvedic medicine, took place every morning before bathing to help stimulate blood circulation. Each of these civilisations used a different piece of equipment to perform a skin brushing treatment and over the years it has evolved into the brush that is now used today in many salon across the world. This a treatment that uses the power of touch to help revitalize the senses and boost the bodies circulation. By doing body exfoliation it helps to enhance the body’s natural exfoliation process to allow the new younger and more nourished cells to appear therefore giving the appearance of brighter healthier skin and improving the skins tone and its texture.

Skin brushing can stimulate the lymphatic system helping to take the waste materials from the tissues to the lymph nodes known as lymphatic drainage. It also helps to aid in the removal of dead skin cells, reduces cellulite and reduces fluid retention. Dry skin brushing is a natural and gentle technique that involves no harsh chemicals on the skin which is why it makes it such a popular pre-treatment to other treatments such as manual massage and body wraps. (, 2018) (Robertsen, 2013)

Body exfoliation can be done with products that contain abrasives, by chemicals, machinery or with a body brush. A salt and oil scrub can be used as part of body exfoliation which is particularly useful for clients that have dry and rough skin as it will help to leave the skin feeling more nourished and softer. Most salt scrubs are blended with different oils such as lavender oil which is calming and soothing on the skin and also almond oil which contains vitamins A,B&E which are needed for the skin to be healthy. (Ishga Training Manual, 2018) The kind of brush that is used in a salon environment to perform a body brushing treatment is a natural hair brush as these are gentle and nicer for the skin, the brush is moved in the direction of the lymph nodes which will help to aid in lymphatic drainage.

There are a few contra-indications to skin brushing/body exfoliation that a therapist must be aware of as these will prevent any treatment from taking place, these include:

  • Very Sensitive Skin
  • Open wounds
  • Skin Diseases or Disorders – psoriasis, eczema.
  • Varicose Veins
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Heart Diseases/Disorders
  • Cancer – Can be easily stimulated and may move to other areas in the body.
  • Pregnancy – GP letter required if client really wants treatment done.
  • Inflamed skin – Due to sunburn or allergies. (Resources, Maguire and Maguire, 2018)

Special care conditions that may arise when performing a body brushing treatment would be to be careful on any areas that have open cuts or abrasions to prevent them from becoming worse, painful or infected and also if the client has any active skin conditions as they could become more red and irritated. A contra-action of skin brushing/body exfoliation is erythema due to the skin being stimulated by the brushes natural bristles and by the salts abrasiveness, therapist should be aware to not go over that certain area too many times to prevent discomfort to the client. A client may feel the need to go to the toilet more than normal due to the toxins being released from the body and advise them to rest as much as they can and assure them that these contra-actions will only last up to 24 hours. (Ishga Training Manual, 2018)Saunas.

The history of the sauna dates back to over almost 2000 years ago in Finland where they originate from, these saunas where a way of life to the Finnish people and the earliest information there is on these saunas dates back to the year 1112. It is thought that the very first “fixed” sauna was nothing but a large pit dug into the ground with a large fire that was covered but it soon moved above ground and evolved into a cabin with wooden logs and rocks that had a small vent in the wall to allow the steam to escape. These rocks where heated to a high temperature in a stone stove by a fire and once the smoke had cleared it was then that people could enter the sauna, the residual heat from the stones kept the sauna warm for hours. This type of sauna was the custom for hundreds of years and it is also where the beliefs and most sauna traditions stem from. (, 2018) Saunas where first introduced to America by the Finnish when some moved over there in the 1600’s.

In the 1920’s the smoke saunas where being replaced by iron stoves that released the smoke through a chimney and by the 1950’s modern life and the invention of the electric sauna stoves had arrived and soon spread back to Finland the origin of the sauna as we know it today. (Tylö Life, 2018) There are many health benefits that using a sauna has on the body as they can help to relieve pain as the increase of circulation can help to improve stiff muscles and their movement along with reducing any pain that could be there. Due to this increase in circulation it can help to induce relaxation and promote a feeling of well-being in the client. If a client suffers from asthma they may find that sitting in a sauna for around 20 minutes may relieve their symptoms slightly as it will open the airways allowing them to breath easier. (Yamini Ranchod, 2018)

There are some contra-indications to saunas that a therapist must be aware of as these prohibit the treatment from taking place, these are:

  • Pregnancy
  • Insensitivity to heat
  • Haemophilia Fever
  • Alcohol abuse

The special care conditions that a therapist must be aware of before a client may use a sauna are the following:

  • On any medication
  • Elderly clients
  • Blood pressure(JACUZZI Saunas – Clearlight Infrared Saunas™, 2018)

A client must always have a doctors letter with them if they are wanting the treatment to take place and must be presented to the therapist to be kept with their consultation record. A contra-action to a sauna treatment would be dehydration, the therapist must be aware that due to the increase in heat, sweat and fluid loss from the body the client may experience some symptoms of dehydration.

Due to the increase in temperatures a client may feel dizziness or nausea, the therapist must make sure that the client doesn’t spend too long inside the sauna and that they have a glass of water ready for them when the leave sauna to help with any feelings of dehydration or nausea. Also make sure that the clients dizziness has passed before they leave the salon. They may also feel tired due to the relaxing nature of this treatment and assure them that any of these symptoms will pass in the next 24 hours.

Body Wraps

Body wraps have been around and used for centuries which date back to the Ancient Egyptians and are thought to be one of the first spa treatments to be invented, it is from the Egyptians that the ‘mummifying’ or ‘wrapping’ technique of this treatment was developed to the one that is used today by therapists. Body wraps were also used by the Chinese, Romans and Japanese, they would use herbal body wraps to act as both a medical treatment and a beauty treatment. Body wraps were introduced to America in the early 1960’s and where a massive hit due to the instant and visible inch loss that accompanied a body wrap treatment. (, 2018) (Vita Talalay, 2018)Apart from promoting relaxation there are many benefits that body wraps have on the skin and body. They help to detoxify the body by boosting the metabolism and lymphatic system and ridding the body of any toxins.

There is noticeable temporary weight and inch loss by receiving a detoxing body wrap it helps the body to sweat off any excess water and toxins which helps to improve the contours of body, tightens the skin and tones the body allowing the client to lose up to a dress size. Almost every type of body wrap contains a moisturiser that will help to hydrate and smooth the skin giving it a brighter and improved appearance. (Garden and Health, 2018) One of the most popular body wraps is the seaweed wrap which also incorporates the use of a salt and oil scrub. Seaweed is a power anti-oxidant and natural inflammatory, that contain many B vitamins which are useful in helping to protect the skins surface. It is also found to contain anti-aging properties along with helping to detox, tone the skin and even reduce cellulite which is what makes this type of wrap so popular in a salon environment.

There are a many contra-indications that must be taken into consideration when a therapist is going to perform body wrap treatment and how these will prevent a client from receiving said treatment, these are:

  • High and low blood pressure
  • Pregnancy
  • Open wounds
  • Skin diseases and disorders
  • Pacemaker
  • Diabetes
  • Severe varicose veins
  • Epilepsy
  • Overactive thyroid
  • Heart disorders
  • Blood disorders (haemophilia)
  • Diabetes
  • Severe infection or fever
  • Joint injury – for the first 48 hours(Lake Mary Spa Facials, 2018)

The contra-actions to body wraps that a therapist must take into account are claustrophobia, even if a client does not suffer from claustrophobia normally it still may be possible for the client to experience this as their body is wrapped tightly. As a therapist just by simply loosening the towels around their body and staying beside them during the treatment will help to elevate any anxiety they may have.

Overheating is also another contra-action to a body wrap treatment. Therapist should make sure that there is available drinking water for the client in case they start to become to warm, therapist can also remove the blanket covering the clients body to help cool down the body. A client may also feel tired or have heightened emotions due to the relaxation and detoxifying nature of a body wrap treatment, they may also find that they may need to go to the toilet more than usual, this is just due to the toxins leaving the body.

Therapist should advise a client to rest as much as possible after a treatment. After this treatment has been performed the therapist will give their client some aftercare to follow to ensure they receive the maximum effect of their treatment and to ensure that they experience no negative side effects.

  • No heat treatments for 24 hours.
  • Ensure client to keep warm and avoid exposure to direct heat
  • No alcohol and avoid caffeine for 24 hours
  • Drink plenty of water after treatment(, 2018)


  1. Vita Talalay. (2018). Beauty and Health Benefits of Body Wraps. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 Sep. 2018].
  2. Lake Mary Spa Facials. (2018). Body Wrap Contraindications – Lake Mary Spa Facials. [online] Available at: [Accessed 21 Sep. 2018].
  3. (2018). Body Wraps Chapter 7. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 Sep. 2018].
  4. (2018). Dry Skin Brushing. [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 Sep. 2018].
  5. Garden, H. and Health, S. (2018). 5 Benefits of Body Wraps. [online] HowStuffWorks. Available at: [Accessed 20 Sep. 2018].
  6. (2018). History of Body Wraps. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 Sep. 2018].
  7. Tyl Life. (2018). History of the sauna. [online] Available at: [Accessed 21 Sep. 2018].
  8. JACUZZI Saunas – Clearlight Infrared Saunas™. (2018). Infrared Sauna Contraindications | JACUZZI Saunas – Clearlight Infrared Saunas™. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 Sep. 2018].
  9. Ishga Training Manual. (2018). Scotland: Hebridean Spa ltd, pp.24.[Accessed 21 Sep. 2018]
  10. Ishga Training Manual. (2018). Scotland: Hebridean Spa ltd, pp.34-35. [Accessed 21 Sep. 2018]
  11. Robertsen, C. (2013). The Dry Skin Brushing Guide Book. Mind Body Spirit Center.
  12. Resources, P., Maguire, J. and Maguire, J. (2018). The Definitive Guide On How To Dry Skin Brush – Well Org. [online] Well Org. Available at: [Accessed 6 Sep. 2018].
  13. (2018). Sauna Kit, Sauna Heater, Sauna, Modular Sauna – Finlandia Sauna, Saunas, Sauna Accessories. [online] Available at: [Accessed 21 Sep. 2018].
  14. Stass & Co | Plastic Free Beauty. (2018). The History of the Body Brush. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Sep. 2018].
  15. Yamini Ranchod, M. (2018). Sauna: Health benefits, risks, and precautions. [online] Medical News Today. Available at: [Accessed 24 Sep. 2018].

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