Speaking of the long-standing focus on healthy circulation in holistic medical traditions, another time-honored way of optimizing blood flow to the skin is now steadily gaining popularity in U.S. spas—facial massage.
In Europe, where I was trained, mastering traditional facial massage techniques is an essential step in an esthetician’s education. The European approach to massage incorporates many aspects of acupressure, shiatsu, and other holistic therapies used to treat stress, migraine headaches, PMS, sinus pain, and neuralgia.
Massage has been a an accepted treatment since medicine began. In many great civilizations of the past—including ancient China, Japan, Greece, Persia, and India—the practice of massage was regarded as an important method of maintaining wellness. In the Ayurvedic tradition, massage is believed to stimulate digestion, flush out toxins, and rejuvenate the body.
The results of recent research on the effectiveness of massage suggest it is a useful adjunct to medical care. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine cites scientific studies indicating that massage is effective in reducing heart rate and blood pressure, relieving pain, and improving health. Similar beneficial effects were found in a study of physiological and psychological stress in acute-care nurses.
An expert facial massage should be a regular part of your skin care regimen and is included in my European facial treatments. It’s a simple, safe and effective way to relax facial lines and bring a fresh, healthy glow to the complexion, while treating yourself to a delightfully refreshing experience.