May 23, 2023
While facial reflexology may be an emerging trend in the beauty industry, people have practiced this skincare technique for thousands of years to improve their appearance, sleep, and health. It's based on the belief that we can diagnose and alleviate health conditions—or at the very least, enhance a lackluster complexion and reduce unwanted aches or pains.
So, it's an incredible idea, right? Yes! (When you do it right!)
You know when they say the magic touch? This is it.
Though various techniques exist, the general concept of facial reflexology suggests that you can achieve healing by stimulating the meridian points on the face that correspond with different organs in the body. It goes back to traditional Chinese medicine, which considers the face a microsystem of the internal organs.
You might already know a bit about face mapping—the ancient Chinese belief that a person's skin reflects their inner health. Facial reflexology uses facial mapping to help bring the body into health and balance. The following parts of the face correlate with the following systems:
According to reflexology beliefs, skin conditions like acne, inflammation, and edema suggest concerns with the correlating organs. For example, breakouts limited to the chin or jawline may indicate a hormonal imbalance, while puffiness of the eyes could be related to an allergy.
Now it's important to note that stimulating these regions through reflexology does not affect the organs directly. Instead, adverse symptoms may be relieved thanks to the message reflexology sends to the brain.
Benefits include healthier skin, body detoxification, pain relief (think headaches and sinus pressure), reduced anxiety, and better sleep.
Though the science to support claims made by facial reflexology is a bit limited, some small-scale trials and anecdotal evidence support it. And reflexology can improve overall health, bettering the skin's hydration and clarity.
As an esthetician who swears by it, let me tell you it works.
But—and the but is big—you must do it correctly.
First, start with clean hands and skin. Then gently apply pressure to specific points (I listed a few below). I usually do this in pairs, gliding my fingers toward the hairline - but not always to the side. Take your time to ensure a rhythm of deep breaths with each technique.
You can teach this to clients for at-home use and with the recommendation of at-home devices like jade rollers, wands, or gua sha stones—but I have to say hands are best.
I also like to pair facial reflexology with lymphatic drainage, another special massage technique in esthetics. After finishing the reflexology routine, I incorporate a lymphatic drainage technique by gliding my hands out to each side after activating midline points such as Bitong and Quan Liao.
Try this method on yourself and then spoil your clients! Here are a few pressure points to get started.
Make small circular motions with your fingertips for 30-second intervals where your hairline meets the corner of your forehead. Tou Wei can aid in hormonal imbalance, eyelid twitching, and headaches.
Using your index and middle fingers, apply pressure in circular motions to the temples while taking ten deep breaths. Then, pause for two breaths before releasing the applied pressure. Taiyang can relieve stress and treat tension headaches.
To clear sinus congestion, apply pressure with your middle finger to the point below the nostril where the nasolabial groove meets the nose. Repeat small circles until congestion subsides.
For glowing skin, shine the apple! Focus on the notch underneath the corner of your eye on the zygomatic bone. Stimulate this point by applying pressure and rubbing in a circular motion for 15-second intervals.
Are you feeling rejuvenated?
Yes, facial reflexology provides immediate and actual results—when it's done right. I encourage you to continue learning about these benefits and mastering your technique with me! It's just one of the many ways we can build success in our skincare business. For more on massage techniques like lymphatic drainage, check out my blog.
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