Facial massage is so relaxing and relieves A LOT of tension so it makes perfect sense to do it right before bed. This is great routine to start adding to your nightly ritual.
I originally posted that I began facial massage in the hopes of slimming my face. My face gets noticeably “puffy” or “droopy” looking for a number of reasons. Some of the main ones are connected to what I eat (and drink!), how rested I am, and mood. Currently, it’s allergy season and I have been having a heck-of-a-time ridding myself of sinus headaches. I have found that daily facial massage is a great way to relieve that built up pressure around my brows, eyes, and cheeks. Focusing on my “slimmer face” is no longer the goal from repeatedly doing these exercises….it has now shifted to just improving my overall feelings and health.
The first time I had acupuncture, the woman was sticking needles directly into my face after smooshing my face around saying, “Feels crunchy, huh?” She poked around for a bit and would rub around in the same spots and say, “See. No more crunchy.” I didn’t realize that so much tension was held in my face and was having a direct impact on how my face appeared.
After spending time at a yoga retreat, I remember people were saying to me, “Wow! Your whole face looks different!” Not only had a lost some weight, I also was more relaxed. So, it makes sense…if you’re relaxing more often than stressing, your face is going to naturally appear brighter, clearer, and more supple.
Of course, I still want a slim face and after putting on a bit of poundage this year, I am willing to try any hack. I could never guarantee that this will give you a slimmer face but there are those people out there who will claim that. I won’t post before and afters as I originally planned because pictures can be totally misleading. Is my face slimmer from practicing this? I don’t really know for sure…I’m trying to be less vain and I’m focusing more on how good it feels!
*A note before we begin: I started out using jojoba oil with essential oils, but I was not properly removing the oil from my neck and chest before bed. I’m the type of person who, if I sleep with a necklace on, I will have a broken out chest in the morning. Needless to say, my entire neck and chest suffered a bit from this from not properly removing oil. I suggest washing your face with a mild cleanser, performing the facial exercises, and doing a full body shower after. I do have extremely sensitive skin and I’m still not sure why this happened. Any answers or explanations are welcomed!
So, let’s talk facial massage! Where do you start? I thought you’d never ask!
Let’s start with facial mapping. Facial mapping is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and many times a doctor can look at your face and imply certain complications. Our internal “battles” can surface in physical characteristics. What’s one of the main symptoms of jaundice? Yellowing of the eyes. Your eyes are the windows to….your liver. So. Take a long look at your face. Do you have swelling in your cheeks? Do you have dark circles under your eyes? All of these could be signs of underlying conditions. Facial massage can help relieve these physical characteristics, but pay mind to the fact that there may be something else causing it to happen.
Water retention is something I struggle with constantly. I know this is related to my digestion, liver, and kidneys. I can put on 5 pounds in a matter of a few days and shed it just as quick. Massaging the lymphatic tissues under your facial skin can be very beneficial in removing water retention and essentially toxins from your body. Our body has an entire lymphatic system and our face holds just a portion of it. I’ll share more of what I’ve learned about the lymphatic system with you when I post on dry brushing.
With that being said, start by stimulating your lymphatic system. A good place to begin removing those toxins AND tension is right above your collarbone. To find this pressure point start by gently placing your fingertips to your jawline. Your pinkies should touch together softly. Now gently trace your finger tips down your neck and where your two ring fingers fall, you want to begin by pressing gently into that hollow spot. Press for about 50 repetitions to get the draining to begin.
- This is the step in which I get my oil warmed up between my hands. I use about a medium pressure to circle over my skin, always going upwards and out. I never circle down as this can increase wrinkles! I circles a few times over my cheeks and then move both hands to my forehead and circle there.
- Next, I begin stimulating the points on my neck. Take your first three fingers and gently circle upwards and out on each side of your neck. This spot is about 3 inches down from your ear. Switch between the sides and circle about 25 times. Take your knuckles and GENTLY brush from each of these points down to the hollow of your collarbone. See how I’m slowly draining into those lower points?
- I now take my vulcan fingers from each hand and place two fingers behind and two fingers in front of each ear. I gently press and circle 25 times here. Take your knuckles and slowly drag them down to your collarbone a few times.
Time to get into those facial muscles! I will give you a few massage techniques for different parts of your face. You may only want to add a few or all of them.
Start by taking your knuckles and trace the underside of your cheek bones. This may actually feel a little harsh at first but you are clearing out tension. You’re going to notice that your skin begins to feel a little hot or looks a tiny bit red. That’s okay! You’re increasing circulation! Trace the cheek bones about 15 times, and then switch to your finger tips. Take your fingers from both hands and alternate their contact by gently gliding your fingers over each cheek up and to your ear 20 times. Switch sides. Repeat. Drag your knuckles down your neck and to your collarbone a few times.
Start by doing those up and out circles on your cheeks and jaw. Now, take either your pointer and middle fingers OR knuckles and trace your jawline upward. This may also feel a bit uncomfortable and “crunchy.” Repeat 20-25 times. Slide your knuckles down your neck and to your collarbone a few times.
Use your ring finger for anything involving eyes. This skin is so delicate. First, pinch the three points on each eye brow for about 10 seconds each. It will feel a little uncomfortable as your release a lot of tension. Next, take your ring finger and start at the inside arch of each eyebrow. Trace your eyebrow and circle INTO the inside corner of your eye. This may seem a little reversed BUT your tear duct is a natural lymph “watershed” where all the gunk will flow. Do this circling for 20 repetitions.
To end, you can repeat circular motions, trace your neckline to your collarbone, or gently “tap” on your face with just the very tippy tips of your fingers to increase that circulation. Be sure to rinse and wash your face thoroughly!
I hope these steps and pictures give you a little idea on how to do it yourself. It’s really hard to find good pictures to replicate all I do…no luck finding the vulcan fingers behind the ear. And PS….I CLAIM NO RIGHTS TO ANY OF THESE PHOTOS. Just trying to help my sistas out.
What’s your favorite facial massage technique? Anyone out there have before and afters? I would love to hear from you! I’m currently using almond oil and my essential oil mix, and once I get my shop back up and running, I’m going to be making oils specifically for facial massage. Have a relaxing weekend and take care of that pretty face of yours.