Facial Recognition

Unlock the ancient secrets behind facial massage, and give yourself a little taste
of the spa.

The skin on the face gets a lot of love—there’s a plethora of skin care lines and rituals that promise a more youthful glow. But did you know that just below the surface the face holds other secrets to feeling and looking your best? From pressure point massage that de-stresses the nervous system to lymphatic drainage that clears stagnant buildups in the sinuses, here are a few ways to boost your health by taking care of your face.

PRESSURE POINTS MASSAGE

Pressure point self-massage on the face is easy, and you can do it anywhere. Because many of the points are known to encourage relaxation, try this massage while in the bath or sauna or before bed.

The Technique

Using one or two fingers, whichever feels comfortable to you, start by pressing on one of the pressure points. Hold the pressure for one to two minutes. Then move your finger in a small circle about the size of a dime. Reverse the direction and do another set of circular motions, roughly one minute in each direction.

The points

There are dozens of pressure points on the face. Below is a beginner’s guide. You can think about them as following a heart shape on your face, with the bottom point on the chin.

  • Middle of the chin, directly under the mouth: Increases blood circulation to the whole face, eases jaw tension.
  • Cheek indentions, just below your cheekbones: Eases jaw tension, encourages brightness in the cheeks.
  • Under eyes, directly under the pupils at the edge of the cheekbone: Alleviates tired eyes and bags under your eyes.
  • Temple, in the center of the soft tissue: Eases headaches and relieves overall tension.
  • Directly above the pupils, located at the crest of the eyebrow bone: Alleviates headaches, relieves tension in the forehead.
  • Third eye, the space in between eyebrows: Promotes overall relaxation and a sense of calmness.
  • Top of the jawbone, under the earlobes: Helpful for those who grind their teeth, or hold tension in their jaw

GUA SHA

The gua sha is an ancient Chinese massage tool; the term means “to scrape away stagnation.” The tool is often made of precious stones, such as jade or quartz. While it can be used on the whole body, the gua sha is especially effective on the face because you can practice the scraping yourself. It’s known for encouraging sinus and lymph drainage while increasing circulation, relaxation and stress relief. Due to its ability to bring more blood to the face and promote healing, it’s often touted for wrinkle-reducing effects and increased elasticity.

The Technique

Start with clean skin. Add a few drops of a neutral oil, such as jojoba or grape-seed oil. Traditionally, gua sha starts with the neck area. Hold the tool in one hand and pull the skin of the neck taut. Using downward strokes, gently scrape the tool from the chin toward your collarbone. Once you are ready for the face, switch to upward motions, and start from the center features (your nose, mouth, eyes) and move outward.

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