One of the most important steps in a holistic facial ritual is the massage. Performing a massage with loving intention allows us to not only fully connect with our clients on an energetic level, it also allows the client to drift into a meditative, blissful state.
Massage supports the overall wellness of a person, as well as supporting healthy skin function. Our skin is interconnected to every part of us, so we have the ability to make an impact on the whole body. Here are just some of the ways we treat the whole person through massage…
Through sensory nerves that lie in the dermal layer of the skin, we calm and soothe the central nervous system. Nerve cells, called receptors, react to outside stimulation (like massage) and send messages to the brain to allow the body to relax. Many people are walking around daily in a state of chronic stress without even realizing it. Stress, if not managed, will start to manifest in the body as well as the skin. By switching the clients nervous system from the sympathetic, or fight or flight state, to the parasympathetic, the rest and digest state, we give the clients body and mind space to start the healing process.
With massage we are assisting the immune system in the body. Lymphatic vessels and nodes are found just below our skin. The lymphatic system does not have a pump like the circulatory system, so it solely relies on movement for its constant flow. When we don’t move our body, our lymphatic system becomes stagnant. We have lymph vessels and nodes all around our head and neck, and by gentle massage we help move the stagnation and create flow in the tissues, allow lymph to filter unwanted pathogens and deliver nutrients to the tissues.
Lying just below the dermis we have our superficial fascia, which is connected to every part of the body, like wearing footed pajamas with a hood. Fascia gives strength and support to our skin. Just like muscle tissue, fascia can become tight and restricted, which impacts our range of motion, as well as the circulation of blood, lymph, and nutrients throughout our body. Massage breaks up tension and adhesions in this fascial layer, allowing proper movement and flow of nutrients to the skin.
Massage is the “holistic” approach to whole body healing during facial treatments. It is not an “optional” step in our protocols, and should not be viewed as just relaxation even though that is one of its major benefits. Massage is what allows us to have the mind-body-spirit connection.