In recent years, acupressure and acupuncture have moved from a little-known, holistic health practice to a proven, mainstream, medical treatment.
Acupressure (much like acupuncture, but without using needles) is a 5,000-year-old Chinese medical practice used to relieve pain, reduce stress, and promote health and wellness through unblocking or stimulating certain meridians (or Qi) found all over the body and face.
Treating the acupoints of the face promotes the flow of Qi and increases blood flow throughout the skin, while helping to remove toxins. Cosmetic acupressure can help the face look healthier from the inside out.
Acupressure relies on the same system of channels and points as acupuncture, stimulating the points by applying gentle pressure on specific areas of the face or body instead of inserting needles. Acupressure is safe, effective, and easy to learn, making it a wonderful addition to any facial treatment.
Massaging trigger points is simple, soothing, and will help with all types of facial concerns – from reducing fine lines to diminishing stagnation or edema – by bringing skin into better balance by increasing oxygenation and blood flow.
Do not worry about locating exact points of pressure. The face and scalp are rich with trigger points and any point that is tender should receive extra attention. Always start with singular pressure for approximately 30 to 60 seconds, followed by small, circular motions around the designated area.
Adding a few drops of a favorite essential oil to the facial massage oil or skin care product can also create an extra rejuvenating and fragrant experience. First, place a few drops of essential oil into the palms and rest the cupped hands over the client’s nose to inhale for aromatherapy benefits before the pressure point massage. Begin with a quick, soothing, all-over facial massage, including the neck and clavicle area in uplifting, gentle strokes.
Third Eye Point
The “third eye” is one of the most common acupressure points, found exactly in between the eyebrows, where the bridge of the nose meets the forehead. Apply mild pressure on this point with the index finger for 60 seconds. This area, and the surrounding eye area, is directly related to the endocrine or pituitary gland and will improve skin texture, reduce inflammation, and improve overall skin texture when pressure is applied. This point is also used to relieve sinus congestion, hay fever, and allergy symptoms.
Eye Socket and Temple Points
From there, carry over to the eyebrows and follow the line directly over the center of the eyebrow, about a half inch up. Massage for 60 seconds. Next, shift to the temples to increase relaxation and stress reduction. Many instinctively rub this area when they have a headache – and for good reason. Follow around the eye socket bone and apply pressure, then massage exactly in the middle, about one inch directly below the pupil. With the thumbs, follow the socket bone around to the top of the nose, right where the eyebrows start, on either side of the bridge. Apply gentle pressure only to reduce eye swelling.
Find the points at the base of the cheekbone on both sides of the face. Place index fingers on both points and massage for up to 60 seconds. This point is helpful for reducing blemish marks and acne, as well as improving tone and relieving sinus congestion.
Continue onto either side of the nose on the skin fold and, then, move down to the lip area, focusing on either corner. Be sure to ask the client if the pressure is too great or if they are experiencing any discomfort.
The jawline is an important pressure area for overall appearance and sagging cheeks. Move in circular motions, downwards from the earlobe, behind the jaws, and just below the jaw bones, for improvement in skin luster and muscle tone.
As an added bonus, massaging certain points along the ears and the earlobes can have an incredibly soothing result. These points are very effective at relieving stress and anxiety that can show up on the face and have a positive balancing effect on the autonomic system and endocrine system.
Skull and Spine
Some of the best pressure points for stress relief can be found on the backside of the neck just below the head, on the base of the skull where the spine is attached. Apply mild pressure with the index fingers for two to three minutes to relieve overall body stress and eye strain.
Finish off the acupressure facial experience with an all-over scalp massage, concentrating on the hairline area for maximum skin benefits.
These massage techniques can also be used personally and daily for enhanced muscular tone and overall skin appearance.