At-home paraffin-wax therapy softens the skin and eases the pain of sore joints and muscles. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center applies paraffin wax when using heat therapy for arthritis patients. Paraffin wax absorbs and retains heat; this heat transfers to your tissues and joints when you apply the wax to your skin. The heat also opens your pores and increases blood circulation in your skin, leaving it softer than before the treatment.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Double boiler
- 1.36 Kilogram paraffin wax
- 88.7ml vegetable oil
- 20 drops scented oil
- 2 drops olive oil
- Spray cooking oil
- Plastic tub large enough for your feet
- Large sandwich bags
Wash and dry your body part that you are going to treat.
Put water in the bottom portion of the double boiler and bring it to a boil on your hob.
Put the top section on the double boiler. Make sure the boiling water does not touch the bottom of the upper pan.
Place the blocks of paraffin wax in the double boiler. The wax melts faster if you chop the blocks up into sections and put them in the pan a few at a time.
Add three ounces of vegetable oil to the wax. Wait until the all of the wax melts before you add the oil.
Add the scented oil to the mixture in your double boiler. Stir the mixture well.
Spray the inside of the tub with the cooking spray.
Pour the wax mixture carefully in the tub.
Spread olive oil over the body part that you are going to treat with wax.
Wait for a skim of wax to appear on the top of the wax.
Test the temperature of the wax by putting a little wax on the inside of your wrist. If it feels too warm, wait five minutes and test again.
Dip your body part into the wax repeatedly. Dipping your hands, feet and even your elbows is a simple procedure, but be careful if you are dipping your knees as it can be hard to maintain balance. You want to build up several layers of wax, so allow a brief drying time between dips.
Place your feet or hands in a baggie. If you are dipping your elbows or knees, wrap them loosely with cling film.
Cover the plastic with a blanket or towel to hold in the heat. You can use a towel fresh from the dryer to keep the wax warmer longer.
Wait 30 minutes before you remove the wax. Pull the wax away from your skin, starting at the top and working down.
Tips and warnings
- Prescented wax pellets and blocks are available for purchase. If you use prescented wax, omit the scented oil.
- Save the used wax, you can melt and use it again. It retains dead skin cells, so reusing more than once is not recommended.
- Try to prevent cracks in the wax by keeping the treated body part as still as possible.
- Paraffin wax is flammable and could ignite if it is exposed to an open flame. Electric stoves are safer when melting wax than gas stoves.
- Be careful when treating an older person with paraffin therapy; their skin can be very thin and easy to burn.
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