I would like to highlight the benefits of facial massage to broader audience.
The Science Of Facial Massage – Benefits Beyond Beauty
It might be a cliche that facial massage leads to relaxation. But how does it work? I have looked into all that is known about the physical and psychological benefits brought about by a structured, deep and long facial massage.
We are getting older and feel the need to stay looking young with the best anti-ageing skincare products and therapies. Touch, as a human need, is vital for our emotional and physical health and the face is the most accessible part of the human body. Regular facial massage is a health affirming, anti-ageing therapy with significant benefits for both skin and our psyche. It is an alternative to Botox, which has been shown to impact negatively on our social communication by changing our emotional experience. By evoking in-the-moment positive emotions, facial massage contributes to our well-being and it is its psychological effect which provides the rationale for the physiological basis underlying mechanical stimulation.
In order to be effective, clinically proven anti-ageing treatments have to stimulate the production of new, non-fragmented and well-organised collagen and/or papillary reconstruction in order to improve the appearance of aged skin. It is well-known that body massage impacts on vital body signs by inducing a state of relaxation and has a positive effect on neurosis, stress, pain, anxiety and depression. Stress has been shown to play a role in the onset of skin ageing and deterioration by compromising the epidermal barrier function and impairing the inflammatory response.
Facial massage is a form of psychological intervention; a relaxation technique with music and focused attention to the massaged area of the face. Research confirms that stress management techniques lead to reduction of skin disease symptoms.
Having done massage treatments on a day-to-day basis, I am able to compare published research to my client’s experiences. For more information about my treatments, please go to www.faceworkshops.com
Facial Massage & Relaxation At Home
- It is a nice feeling to indulge in a relaxing afternoon with a scented candle or calming eye pads but making time for relaxation in our demanding day to day life is essential for our health. Goal setting and stressful, aggressive work environment changes our hormones (adrenaline, testosterone levels are higher) and this can have a negative impact on our skin. As 80 – 90 % of illnesses are stress related, relaxation should be an important part of our life.
- The main benefits of a facial massage are calming effect, increased blood and lymph flow, muscle relaxation and increase in endorphins that make us feel good.
- Start with massaging decollete, shoulders and neck with flat hands. Sweep upwards and outwards in a slow motion, use organic plant oil and remove it with a hot flannel. Invest time into massaging the areas prone to sagging (use your thumbs and index fingers) to increase blood flow and slow down the ageing process.
Choose the Right Oil
- Use light oil with sensual, smooth feel (not a sticky base) and pleasant aroma that transports you to a far away place.
- Dim your lights, wrap in warm towels, light a scented candle – breathe deeply and listen to relaxing music.
Inspired by Pure Beauty (October 2011).
Inner Peace, Outer Beauty: Natural Japanese Health & Beauty Secrets Revealed by Michelle Dominique Leigh
Drink pure water, breathe good air, live in a clean house.
As your grow older, don’t envy the fresh blossoms of spring.
To have clear, smooth skin, care for it diligently by cleaning it completely, protecting it
with loofah vine-water, and keeping a relaxed mind.
Good skin comes from a clean body, so make sure to eat foods that purify the body.
Eat the peels, rinds, and skins of fruits and vegetables.
Too much makeup pollutes the skin.
If your bad skin is inherited, you can change its condition by eating properly.
Sleep at least eight hours a night, and go to bed before eleven.
Be in love.
Be active. Get exercise. Enjoy your life.
Don’t sit around worrying.
Control your desires. Don’t always want what you can’t have. This unsatisfied yearning
habit makes a woman ugly.
Accept your age and the changes in your beauty.
A beautiful old woman is beautiful because her mind and spirit are wise and graceful.
At the age of forty, the mind is visible on the face.
Practice facial massage every day to prevent wrinkles, lines, and age spots, and to keep the skin fresh and supple.
If you are tired or suffering from stress, you must exercise.
Eat a wide variety of foods.
Don’t complain: don’t be envious; don’t be irritated. Your health will deteriorate and your skin will look terrible.
If your shoulders are tense or stiff, you will have lines and wrinkles on your face.
Enjoy lovemaking. You will have glowing, shiny skin and a relaxed face.
Enjoy nature. Be tranquil and calm. Eat simple foods.
You can tighten your skin by massaging it: face, head, and neck.
If you breathe deeply, you’ll become strong and healthy and more attractive.
Everybody gets wrinkles, but try to prevent ugly wrinkles by controlling your mind and emotions. Wrinkles are a reflection of your thoughts and feelings.
Clean skin, not makeup, is the secret of beautiful skin.
If you just cleanse, nourish, and massage your skin, it will function well and look good.
Marketing agency, Sturm und Drang, were interviewed by Cossma Magazine recently and revealed the cultural codes of beauty across continents. Europe, US and Japan are distinctly different in the perception and meaning of beauty.
In Europe, particularly in Germany, true beauty is not visible on the surface. It comes from your personality; it is all about charisma and individuality. German beauty routines are fairly uncomplicated and take about 20 minutes a day. The focus is on the eyes and how we express our personality through our eyes. It is all about how we feel, what we eat and how we look after our soul. It is not about applying a product onto the surface. To respond to advertising, the Germans need “a reason to believe”; they are always asking questions and looking for “the truth”.
In the US, beauty is all about shine – glossy hair and “whiter than white” teeth. Beauty comes from the outside and American women put lots of effort into making themselves look attractive. Their routine is about an hour a day and a lot stricter than in Europe. However, it is limited to their professional life and happily abandoned at weekends. It says, “I am in control”. Advertising in the US focuses on the benefit, on the “object of desire”, on visual attributes. “This is it. Do you want it? What you see is what you get”.
Beauty in Japan is all about purity “down to the pore”. It is all about looking young! Japanese women spend 2 hours a day on their beauty routines, particularly cleansing, detoxing and UV protection – applying as many as 5 layers of skincare. Being cute equals being sexy. Advertising is about the context of the product usage. “How do I feel afterwards?”
Richard Lewis, the crosscultural guru, suggests that Britain’s cultural position mirrors the geographical – it is between the US and continental Europe. Do you feel that may be true for how we perceive beauty too?
Watching the commemorations of the events of 20 years ago, when the Berlin Wall came down and the Velvet Revolution took place - I was a student in my first year at University studying biochemistry then – has made me think about where my love for skincare comes from. I was born in Tabor, a small town in southern Bohemia. Skin biology and plants in skincare always fascinated me and, like any girl at that age, I wanted to look beautiful. The Czechs have quite a strong tradition of herbal remedies as well as spa therapy – not many people know that the famous London facialist, Eve Lom, as well as the “10 Years Younger” Channel 4 celebrity surgeon, Jan Stanek, are also Czech.”
In my second year of University, the government opened a new route to professional qualification for people who had A-levels, so I qualified as a beauty therapist. I loved it and had about 20 clients on my books till I graduated in 1994. My MSc. is in self-tanning of the skin. During my studies, I was fortunate enough to work for Shiseido in Japan and later for La Prairie in Switzerland. I found travelling the world amazing! These cultures place a great emphasis on skincare – my stay in Japan in particular was truly inspirational. I went on to do a PhD in Transdermal Absorptions (research into plant compounds – phytoestrogens – passing through the skin with a therapeutic effect) in Finland and moved to the UK in 1998 to work in the wound-healing industry (Smith and Nephew) in roles ranging from skincare science to strategic marketing.
People’s faces interest me – they convey so much about our feelings and life experiences! Recently, I went back to the Eastern therapies by qualifying as a facial reflexologist as I believe they offer huge benefits that can offset the ever-so-busy British lifestyle. Facial yoga and anti-ageing massage should not be a luxury but a part of our everyday life as much as a good book or a nice cup of coffee!