Give Your Face A Workout
We all exercise our bodies in one form or another from walking, cycling or going to the gym but have you ever thought about exercising your face?
Facial massage provides a highly effective workout for your face by stimulating blood flow, releasing tension and removing toxins. Plus, its wonderfully relaxing so is excellent for boosting mental health and calming the mind.
Muscles and connective tissue need to be supported throughout our body to maintain healthy looking skin, and facial massage helps to promote a youthful glow. Its rejuvenating effects can improve the overall appearance of the skin as well as helping ease congestion, sinus pressure and TMJ Syndrome (where people experience discomfort in the jaw and face) leading to earaches, lockjaw and headaches. I’ve experienced from it myself due to my jaw locking during dentistry and it can be very painful. I perform regular massage on my jawline, and use facial tools, as well as my hands to alleviate any pain.
There is nothing new about using a tool on your skin, they have been used for thousands’s of years to sculpt and tone but in the last few years the choice of tools from Gua shas and mushrooms, to rollers and facial spoons has grown hugely. Gua sha is based on an ancient Chinese healing technique whereby blood flow is stimulated using gemstones such as jade, rose quartz, amethyst and other stones like nephrite.
When using facial massage, it's important to always start the moves on the neck. This is where we hold stagnation and when we drain this area pathways are opened up allowing for lymphatic flow. All facial massage should start here before moving onto the face.
Lymphatic drainage is the talk of the town right now and this is one of the most important steps during a facial massage. The lymphatic system is the body’s waste disposal system and when our faces show signs of puffiness and dullness with puffy eyes and dark circles, it's a good indication that you need to get things moving. Lymph nodes need stimulating and this is all part of a good facial massage.
Have you heard of Buccal massage? Otherwise known as intra oral or inner mouth massage, the facial muscles are massaged from the inside of your mouth, reaching areas that can't be got to from the outside. It provides excellent relief if you grind your teeth and if you are stressed. It also encourages lymphatic drainage and can be an alternative to fillers and Botox; when muscles are tense they tend to sag and buccal has a lifting effect. Believe me, its fantastic.
Face Yoga is becoming increasingly popular. There are all sorts of exercises and stretches where you pull lots of funny faces that keep the face taut and toned. Strength training for your face and neck works on groups of muscles and when its done consistently you can notice areas starting to tighten. It also helps improve circulation and relieves tension.
So where do you start? You can do self massage at home - there are many tutorials online - or you can visit a therapist who specialises in facial massage. Once I’ve treated a client I advise them on certain exercises to do at home in between treatments and I highly recommend the use of a gua sha as, with regular use, the results can be incredible.
Facial massage is an non invasive way of supporting the skin for cell renewal, radiance, circulation, lifting and toning and increasing oxygen flow to wake it up. It releases tension, its feels good and once you start you’ll be addicted!