Cold mitten friction is a simple washing with cold water accompanied with friction from mitts, towels and/or a loofah.
You may be surprised to discover how much value (and virtually no cost) this simple modality adds to a reflexology session.
The application of cold initially sets vasoconstriction (constriction of the blood vessels) into play, quickly followed by vasodilation (dilation of the blood vessels), which together increase the circulation and elimination of excess heat in the superficial tissues and blood vessels, resulting in a decrease in visceral (organ) congestion.
Rapid movement of stagnant blood allows fresh blood to flood the area, bringing along with it much-needed oxygen and red and white blood cells. Tissue tone is enhanced and metabolism is stimulated.
When to Consider Adding:
- as a way to finish a hot stone treatment or when the client exhibits and/or complains of feeling hot
- client complains of low energy
- poor circulation in the extremities, indicated by cold hands and/or feet
- diagnosis of anemia
- nervous exhaustion
Points to Consider First:
- warm the feet or hands first; this is easily accomplished by giving a reflexology session and/or hot soak
- watch for signs of chilling, such as shivering
- skin lesions; do not offer cold (or heat)
- contraindication for cold, such as Raynaud’s Disease
- aversion/intolerance to cold; never force a client to endure if they don’t want it!
I like to add cold mitten friction therapy to my hand reflexology sessions.
Following a reflexology session, I will quickly submerge one hand in a basin of cold water and remove immediately. Holding the hand over the basin I will then briskly and quickly scrub the hand with a “scrub glove”, as pictured with this post. They can be purchased at dollar stores, drug stores, big box stores and of course, Amazon. I will have submerged my gloved hands into the water first to soften the glove fibers and get the glove wet. (Added bonus to these gloves, they can be re-used. Throw in the washing machine; air-dry. Simple)
You may choose to add in an exfoliation agent such as an essential oil-infused salt or sugar scrub. Just put a little on your wet, gloved hand and scrub away. Remember, that you are not doing massage. The action is quick and vigorous, not slow.
Once done (it only takes a few moments), quickly submerge the hand in water again, to cleanse off any scrub agent you may have used, and dry thoroughly with a thick, dry towel.
Repeat with the other hand and then massage some soothing lotion into the now smoothed exfoliated hands. Your client will love the feel of their new skin and soon afterwards experience warmth in their body as enlivened blood is coursing through their arteries and veins.
Do any of you do versions of a cold mitten friction therapy in your practices already? If so, what do you do?
Thank you Karen for the information! I always appreciate receiving your emails.
Quick question, could we use these mittens with warm or hot water for cases of Raynaud’s Disease, cold feet, low circulation and numbness in the feet?
Thank you very much for sharing!
Karen Ball says
You certainly can, Lise. You won’t get the benefits of cold – you’ll get the benefits of hot – although for someone with Raynaud’s disease, there are no benefits to submitting the hands to cold.
Deeana Logan says
How do you purchase or make cloth friction mitts?
Karen Ball says
Bath and beauty stores carry them, Deeana. Or you can contact a woman named Gilda Strutz at firstname.lastname@example.org. She makes ‘scrubbies’ that I use. They are not in the shape of a glove, but squares. They are great for many uses in addition to body scrubbing.