What if we told you the secret to a flawless face was literally at your fingertips. Here’s your happy news for the day: it is. We asked Hollywood’s holistic skin whisperer, Allison Marks, to talk to us about facial acupressure, and how to put it to work at home. The process is simple, soothing and has some major benefits – from wiping away fine lines and blasting stagnation to boosting energy and bringing it into balance. Learn all about key facial pressure points below…
Sometimes even the best products are not enough alone to cure skin problems. Many of us regularly receive body massages to relieve tension but don’t think of the face in the same way. Pressure-point massage combines lymphatic drainage to eliminate toxins and relax facial tension. The technique improves circulation by gently enhancing the metabolism of the skin while relaxing strained and tired facial muscles. The movements work along the lymphatic points of the face, pumping out stagnant fluids that often cause puffiness, sallowness and sluggish skin, therefore hindering vitality and radiance. All skin types benefit, from the most sensitive to acne prone and aging.
Perform the routine below any time of day to help soothe, revive and rebalance your energy (e.g., after staring at your computer or to enliven your face before an evening out). Just make sure your hands are clean before touching your skin!
Facial Pressure Points Massage for Beauty
Perform each movement three times, holding for a count of three breaths while using the cushioned pad of fingertips. Exhale as you press on the point, release while inhaling.
Pro Tip: Place a few drops of facial oil into palms and inhale for aromatherapy benefits before the pressure point massage. For aging/lackluster skin, use geranium, rosewood and orange. For congested/acne breakout-prone skin, try ylang ylang, lavender and cedarwood. For sensitive skin, choose lavender, sandalwood and geranium.
Eye Area | Apply pressure above and under the eyes. Begin at inner eyebrow, move to hollow at middle of eyebrow, out to temple, finishing beneath the middle of the eye area on the hollow at the zygomatic bone.
+inner eye socket: pain and swelling in eye area
+mid eyebrow: sinus and headache relief
+temples: tension headaches
+under eyes: helps relieve eye pressure
Benefits: Working around the eyes is favorable as this is the area responsible for frowning, squinting and wrinkling. Releasing pressure here assists with eliminating aging signs like crow’s feet, deep lines and wrinkles.
Nose | Press at either side of the nostril.
Benefits: Clears sinus tension and allergies.
Cheeks | Release and slide to the ‘glow point’ beneath the cheekbone.
Benefits: Helps ease tension in cheek and jaw.
Ears | Glide to the hollow just in front of the ear and press.
Benefits: Releases tension in the jaw.
Lips | Use fingertips from both index fingers on middle of lip, moving out towards edge of lip. Continue pattern to under lip, finish at middle of lip, press and release. (Photo not included.)
Benefits: Releases tension held in the lips.
Jaw | Press and release at center point of jaw.
Benefits: Releases jaw tension from grinding teeth.
Neck | Glide down the neck with open fingers towards the collarbone.
Benefits: Drains and carries away toxins within lymph fluid.
The Anti-Aging Eye Massage: Using Acupressure For Beauty
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.