If you want glowing skin, then one of the best things you can do for it is to treat it to a regular facial massage.
Some may think this a self induldgent, fussy and unessecary part of their skincare routine, but if they aren't performing this wonderful treatment, they are missing out on a whole range of benefits.
Estheticians usually fall on one side or the other of applying massage in their facial services. Some dislike giving the 'fru fru' facial and want to concentrate on high powered products like acids and equipment and no fussy massage. In and out in 45 mins ... others like the whole taking your time experience and incorporate a 15-20 minute facial massage into the treatment. This can also include neck and shoulders.
It really depends on my client, what they prefer, what their needs are and how much time they have, but I've rarely had a client who once I lay my hands on them, doesn't appreciate the massage portion of my facial treatments and it's my favourite part of the treatment to perform.
In my esthetics training college, the moment I laid my hands on a client, I knew I was on the right path, doing what I'd become really good at. I felt a connection, a channeling of energy that calmed and soothed both myself and my client. I was told I had 'healing hands' which is why I encourage my clients the relax into the full experience.
Most sink into a deep state of relaxation and some fall fast asleep.
I've also seen emotional release and some tears. (which is perfectly normal and should be fully embraced).
We all know the benefits of a power nap, consider the luxury of being massaged while you take one.
It's not purely for relaxation purposes though.
Massage has physiological and physchological benefits. When the body senses touch, the reflex receptors respond by increasing blood flow, oxygen and lymph flow. The central nervous system calms and this promotes the sense of relaxation. A releasing of tension.
How often do we allow ourselves to sink into that feeling; of letting go of tension. To stop the mind chatter, the never ending check list of the things we have to get done, to simply give ourselves over into the hands of someone else for just a few minutes.
It's a powerful thing. Release.
Most people enjoy the benefits of skin rejuventation, but are surprised how a facial massage can improve their overall wellness.
For example, a study reported that massage significantly decreases cortisol levels (-31%), that's the chemical your body releases when stressed. Massage was also noted to increase levels of dopamine (+30%) and serotonin (+28%), the neurotransmitters that are responsible for feelings of happiness and self worth.
The visible benefits of facial massage include improvement in skin tone and texture, elasticity, helps in firming and lifting, smoothing fine lines, wrinkles and skin discolouration.
Oxygen rich blood is bought into the area and increases circulation which improves cellular turnover.
Luscious facials can involve combinations of classic massage techniques, Eastern style movements such as shiatsu, accupressure, and or tools such as Gua Sha, Kansa Wands, Hot Stones and Crystals. I use all of these in my treatments.
Massage also involve a combination or a specific movements which include:
Effleurage - A light stroking movement in a slow and rythmic manner.
Tapotement - Using the fingertips striking the skin in rapid like percussion.
Petrissage - This includes kneading, light pinching and squeezing targeting the deeper muscles.
Friction - This stimulates circulation and gland activity. In a circular manner, or with the fingers criss crossing in opposite directions. (think of the feeling of getting a chinese burn when you were a child).
When I see my clients I assess their skin, and make my choice of treatment based on the the skin analysis and the focus of the treatment.
Do they need a brightening treatment? Is their skin looking dull or sallow? Or is their skin Dry and Dehydrated and in need of juicy hydration? Perhaps they are feeling weary and worn down, and need of uplifting? Or perhaps their skin is feeling a bit stressed and in need of calming.
Each client will have different needs and the massage techniques used can address them.
So, treat yourself on a weekly basis at home. Take 30 mins to create a ritual for yourself. Turn down the lights, light some candles, put on some music you enjoy and indulge in a self care treatment, because you are worth it and your skin will thank you.
Book a facial once a month, or at least once a season to keep your skin in tip top condition.