A magic wand for eternal youth and flawless beauty would be rad, but holistic beauty isn’t about erasing ‘symptoms’ – we want to understand the underlying cause of our beauty woes, right? There’s obviously a place for Western medicine in our lives, but lately, we’re totally into immersing ourselves in the Eastern approach to beauty and aging…
East Coast acupuncturist and esthetician Shellie Goldstein, author of Your Best Face Now, explains how facial acupressure works and why you should be doing it daily. No tools necessary, all you need is your own two hands. If you want to bump it up a notch, splurge on an acupressure tool. Shellie makes a pretty cool one that takes acupressure and throws in some magnetic therapy, vibration, and germanium. It may not be a magic wand, but it’s the newest beauty gadget we’re dying to try.
Here’s Shellie with the lowdown on facial acupressure and the systems we can treat for optimal beauty…
Acupuncture and acupressure are ancient Chinese healing techniques that have been acknowledged for their effectiveness by Western medicine and supported by thousands of scientific studies. These studies indicate that acupuncture can ameliorate dozens of conditions from hiccups and constipation, to allergies, insomnia, fatigue and musculoskeletal pain.
When it comes to aging though, Western and Eastern medicine don’t always see eye to eye. While Western medicine view signs of aging such as wrinkles, sagging muscles, dull, dry, or a lusterless complexion from the inevitable standpoint of age, excess sun exposure, and possibly our genes; Chinese medicine (CM) looks at it in terms of an imbalance in your qi, meridians, and organs.
In CM, balance or harmony, is maintained by an energy known as qi that flows throughout your body via specific pathways called meridians, in and around body systems referred to as organs. Unlike the Western anatomical organs, these organs are powerhouse networks that keep your body healthy, vibrant and strong. Acupuncture points, conveniently numbered along the meridians, when correctly stimulated by an acupuncture needle or an acupressure instrument (which can be a tool designed for this purpose or even your fingers) can adjust the flow of qi in the meridians and organ systems to reduce wrinkles, lift sagging cheek muscles, even improve skin color, texture and overall health.
There are 10 primary organs paired into 5 organ systems, all of which are involved in the cosmetic symptoms mentioned above. They are:
The primary organ system for overall aging is the kidneys/bladder(K/BL). The K/BL system is like the building blocks of your body. The kidneys store the qi of your body and support the growth and development of all of the meridians and organs. The aging process is governed by the health and vitality of this paired system.
The spleen/stomach (SP/ST) are responsible for nourishing the muscles and muscle tone of your face and body. When this system is strong, your face muscles are naturally firm, contoured and lifted.
The Liver/Gall Bladder:
The liver/gall bladder (LV/GB) control muscle contraction. The LV/GB is one of the primary organ systems affecting the muscles of the face (combined with SP/ST). The LV is responsible for the contraction of your muscles, and governs the process that prevents skin from wrinkling by maintaining a harmonious flow of qi in your face and throughout your body and organs. When your LV qi moves smoothly, muscles contract and relax smoothly and the muscles and muscle attachments- your skin, ligaments, and tendons- move fluidly as well. When you have a healthy LV/GB system your skin is wrinkle-free, soft, and smooth because the muscles and skin of your face move back and forth evenly.
Lungs/large intestines govern the skin.
Heart/small intestines oversee circulation.
Anti-Wrinkle Facial Acupressure
Eye strain, or aesthenopia, is an ophthalmic condition that causes certain eye muscles to tighten. It usually occurs after reading, computer work, or other close tedious visual tasks, ant it can cause headaches, eye pain, and wrinkles. To alleviate and prevent eye strain, treat your BL, GB and your ST by massaging the points shown in the diagram.
Step 1: Massage:
With the pad of your finger or an acupressure beauty tool, massage each of the above points for 10 seconds. (Use medium pressure around the eyes and light pressure under the eyes.)
Step 2: Connect the points:
Finish by connecting the points from steps 1-6 in a continuous sweeping stroke starting at the inner eye area, then moving up, and around the entire eye area.
Step 3: Repeat:
Repeat 3 times on both sides throughout the day as needed or desired.