HOW FACIALS HAVE THE POWER TO HEAL
In a society saturated with anxiety and depression, healing remedies are becoming highly researched and sought after. Not surprisingly, there is a relationship between mental health, well-being, and prominent skin disorders. The American Psychological Association reports those with certain skin
conditions such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis are significantly more likely to have a mental health condition such as depression; moreover, mental health can contribute and trigger skin problems. A report published by Harvard recognizes the mind-skin connection as a field called “psychodermatology.”
One of the biggest risk factors? Stress. Conditions such as eczema often flare-up right after a stressful life event, with similar occurrences happening with psoriasis. Treatments often involve mind-body techniques, such as relaxation, meditation, and hypnosis.
But what about facials? Is there healing power in facial massage? In January 2018, Vogue UK published an article entitled “Into The Light: Can A Facial Heal From Within?” They report that the best facial practitioners today are diving much deeper from the typical facial to deliver maximum benefits to the skin, body, and soul from the inside out. So, how do facials promote well-being and health, the state of complete physical, mental and social well-being? Anecdotally, many report that facial massage can be just as relaxing as a body massage.
A groundbreaking 2008 study published in the Journal of Biomedical Research revealed that facial massage reduced anxiety and negative mood status and increased sympathetic nervous activity. While there have long-been studies reporting the positive psychological and physiological effects of body massage, the research that exists on facial massage is limited. In the present study, the effects of a 45-minute facial massage on the activity of the autonomic nervous system, anxiety, and mood were studied in 32 healthy women. Anxiety and negative moods were significantly decreased, and overall, the results suggested that the facial massage had strong, beneficial effects on stress alleviation and psychological relaxation.
The benefits extend beyond psychological well-being and emotional relaxation, they also help to relieve tension, increase circulation, and act as a natural facelift. When facial and scalp muscles are tense, there’s a greater chance for wrinkles. Just as increased blood and oxygen flow stimulate relaxation and circulation throughout the body, face muscles act in a similar fashion. By stimulating the pressure points and relieving tension, blood flow is stimulated, providing benefits not only to the face, but throughout the body. Facial massage, in addition to boosting blood circulation, also brings oxygen to the skin. This leads to increased collagen production and a healthy, radiant glow to the face. Facial massage has the power to bring you back into the present moment, with mindfulness guiding stress and anxiety relief. The face reveals what is happening inside the body, illustrating feelings, thoughts, and emotions. Thus, when you’re stressed, it will show on the face regardless of your current skincare routine. Facial massage helps to promote well-being, and the peace it fosters will deliver healing that surpasses surface-level benefits.
APA. “Mental Health and Skin Connection.” American Psychiatric Association. July 5, 2017.
Baccari, Ava. “Anti-aging: The 5 Benefits of a Facial Massage.” Elle Canada. April 01, 2015.
Baird-Murray, Kathleen. “Into The Light: Can A Facial Heal From Within?” Vogue. January 24, 2018.
Hatayama, Tomoko, Shingo Kitamura, Chihiro Tamura, Mayumi Nagano, and Koichiro Ohnuki. “The
Facial Massage Reduced Anxiety and Negative Mood Status, and Increased Sympathetic Nervous
Activity.” Biomedical Research 29, no. 6 (2008): 317-20. doi:10.2220/biomedres.29.317.
Luttrell, Mary Hood. “7 Reasons to Start Giving Yourself Daily Facial Massage.” Peaceful Dumpling.
January 06, 2016.
Nichols, Helen. “11 Science-Backed Health Benefits of Facials.” Well-Being Secrets. December 12, 2017.
“Recognizing the Mind-skin Connection – Harvard Health.” Harvard Health Publishing. November 2016.