Health & Wellness

A little jelly does the feet good

Holistic healing using therapeutic techniques is the mantra at the boutique Amber Spa. As such, spa manager Carlethia Thurston is constantly working to offer the most current treatments to ensure the spa’s theme of restoration of soul, body and spirit in their sanctuary of holistic healing is carried through from you step through their doors and are taken away into your everyday life. And to be honest, there’s nothing like a day at the spa, especially at this frenetic time of year when shopping and parties abound, but just in time for the holidays, the Amber Spa at Warwick Paradise Island is offering a unique pedicure unlike any pedicure you may have had before – the jelly pedicure. It’s a treatment that stimulates nerves and relieves tired, aching muscles.

With a jelly pedicure, the water used to exfoliate and soak your feet turns into an encasing jelly right before your eyes. Instead of feeling as if you’re taking a foot bath, the jelly forms around the feet, locking your feet in warm jelly that retains heat for up to four times longer than a water soak, according to Thurston, for an even more relaxing and pain-relieving experience.

She describes the jelly pedicure as a “pedicure within a pedicure” owing to the fact that as your feet relax in the jelly, they’re also being exfoliated, and calluses and cuticles soften faster, making it easier for the therapist to remove dead skin from the feet.

“I was amazed by the jelly pedicure,” said Thurston who tested it for herself. “Not many things amaze me, but I was amazed,” she said of the experience that uses natural plant extracts and heat therapy to soothe aching joints and muscles.

She says the jelly pedicure is paraben-free, plant-based, and doesn’t have any fragrances, for people who are concerned about those issues. She said it’s also excellent for diabetics.

Additional exfoliation.

At Amber, you can enjoy the jelly pedicure experience with four different aromatherapy treatments – charcoal to detoxify, lavender for relaxation, milk and honey for dehydration, and peppermint and tea tree for those people that may have an issue with foot odor.

I love being pampered – so testing out Amber Spa’s new jelly pedicure treatment was definitely not a hardship.

I opted for the charcoal treatment for its detoxification properties.

To create the jelly, therapist Lynn Evans added a natural powder to help create the gelatin mixture, which when combined with water, began to form the gelatinous mixture before my eyes. During the process, Thurston shaped my nails, pushed back cuticles, and dry buffed my feet to accelerate callus removal. She then directed me to place my feet into the gel, and encouraged me to channel my inner child to come out and play during the approximate 10 minutes she placed me in the gel for. She encouraged me to wiggle my toes and to just generally have fun moving my feet around.

She then checked my feet for calluses, which she then buffs if warranted, before placing the feet back into the jelly for another two minutes.

Thurston then added a mixture of baking soda and natural mineral salts to the jelly to exfoliate the skin and feet from the knee down. This leaves your feet feeling nourished. The baking soda/salt also dissolves the gel and reverts it to the water stage.

A hot stone massage and polish job and my first jelly pedicure was complete. To be totally honesty, my feet really felt softer than after a regular pedicure.

Thurston and Evans, who have also tested the jelly pedicure and love the experience said their new jelly pedicure eliminates three phases for the technician – the callus treatment, cuticle treatment, and exfoliation steps – as the gel does all the work while the feet are encased, allowing the technician to then concentrate more time on the foot massage. At Amber Spa, they do a hot stone massage with the treatment, which Thurston said works well on tight, tense muscles.

Most people will agree that the opportunity to submerge their feet into warm water is a stress reliever after a tough day; the jelly variation of the pedicure does that as well as helps lock in moisture around the feet while keeping them warm for longer and helping improve the exfoliation process of the feet.

“We always try to be innovative, while sticking to our theme at Amber Spa, which is healing,” said Thurston. “In the spa world everything is evolving … everything is changing. Everyone wants to make things easier. Everyone wants to make things paraben-free, fragrance-free, and vegan and we work hard to ensure we give our clients that.”

They already optimize health and wellness with use of the Swiss Mila D’Opiz line, which aims to harmonize nature and natural things with quality skincare. She said it’s a line that keeps the minerals in the glacier water and one she likes for its anti-aging properties, making use of plant and fruit extract.

Since I was at Amber to experience the new jelly pedicure, I took advantage of the opportunity for a much-needed facial and left it up to Evans to determine which of their facials my skin needed at this time. She decided on the vitamin power, a treatment that I’ve had before, but that she said is a powerful anti-oxidant combination of vital vitamins A, C and E, through a special encapsulation technique that supports the micro circulation of the skin and reverses the damaging effects of environmental UV radiation, pollution as well as stress. It’s a treatment that’s also perfect for the cooler temperatures during winter. Evans combined the vitamin power facial with a light seven percent glycolic peel, which she said helps fine lines, wrinkles and also exfoliates.

Evans said a vitamin C masque was applied to help protect the skin as I went about the day from free radicals.

The result: people commented on my “glow” for the rest of the day.

Evans said her goal was to “re-nourish” my skin since it had been a few months since my last facial.

The good thing – I wasn’t too dehydrated, but she used a hydrating tonic to help add moisture to my skin and keep everything in balance, because like most people, I do have oily zones. And we all need facial care.

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Shavaughn Moss

Shavaughn Moss joined The Nassau Guardian as a sports reporter in 1989. She was later promoted to sports editor. Shavaughn covered every major athletic championship from the CARIFTA to Central American and Caribbean Championships through to World Championships and Olympics. Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.

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