When you learn bamboo massage for the face—a technique that is not demanding on the body—you're adding to your repertoire of massage knowledge.

The Kabuki sticks effleurage and petrissage the muscles of the face, neck and shoulders to release tension and relax facial muscles.

The face is a truly complex creation of skin, muscles and sinew—so why do we ignore it most of the time, suggesting a massage session that focuses on desk-ravaged shoulders or a treatment for overworked feet rather than a facial massage?

Over the years, I’ve noticed that clients often claim facial massages are messy, and sometimes simply unnecessary. My response is, “A face is just as important as your hands, hips and back, is it not?”

Indeed, it is, and it’s about time we acknowledge its importance.

While the hunch of your shoulders and noticeable limp speak volumes, so do the lines on your face and the dryness of your skin. When someone is sleep deprived, in pain, stressed or unwell, their face presents these issues like an open book.

The solution is simple: a facial massage.

Taking into account the structures of the visage, therapists can reduce tension, improve health and brighten overall appearance, along with a myriad of other advantages that are linked to the basic concept of hands-on therapy.

But coupled with all-natural elements of bamboo massage tools, and we suddenly see more than merely an improved completion.

With a small dab of rice oil and heated bamboo massage tools, clients will be relaxed into a whole new state of nirvana.

Even though this approach is a blending of these two techniques, it is considered to be primarily a massage and does not require the use of facial products.

A bamboo massage facial session is a unique add-on for massage therapists and estheticians alike.

Let’s Get To Know The Muscles Of The Face

Facial muscles require the same amount of TLC as the rest of the body. After all, they're just as important as any other muscle, yet they're often neglected.

Before applying bamboo facial massage techniques, it’s essential to understand the various muscles you’ll be working on, as well as their specific function.

Under the facial skin, there is a group of approximately 20 flat skeletal muscles. These facial muscles are positioned around facial openings, such as the ears, nose, eyes and mouth, or stretch across the skull and neck.

Each muscle has a different role to play in facial movement and control facial expressions.

Depending on their position, these muscles can be grouped into different categories. Now, let’s do a quick review of the primary muscles affected by a facial massage, as well as their various functions.

  • Orbicularis Oris: This muscle of the face encircles the mouth and helps to pucker the lips and close the mouth.
  • Depressor Labii Inferioris: Situated beneath the lower lip, this facial muscle assists in depressing the lower lip.
  • Levator Labii Superioris: Located above the upper lip, this muscle of the face helps to elevate the upper lip.
  • Buccinator: This muscle forms the anterior part of the cheek, the wall of the oral cavity, and the muscular base of the cheek. The Buccinator muscle aids in chewing and helps to hold food in the proper position, inside the mouth.
  • Mentalis: Between the chin and lower lip is a groove, and that’s the location of the mentalis muscle. Also known as the pouting muscle, Mentalis helps in contracting the chin.
  • Risorius: Known as the laughing muscle, Risorius forms the depression of the cheek, in the angle of the mouth. Unsurprisingly, this muscle helps one to smile. Zygomatic major and minor: Beneath the cheekbones is the zygomatic arch, formed by the zygomatic major and zygomatic minor muscles. While the major help in smiling, the minor aids in frowning.
  • Frontalis: This muscle of the face is also known as the epicranius muscle as it covers parts of the skull. Found near the frontal belly and occipital bone, this muscle helps in facial expression.


The Benefits Of Bamboo Facial Massage

Many clients aren’t aware of the benefits of a bamboo massage treatment. If they were, they’d make sure to ask their therapist for one at every appointment.

The truth is, there’s a lot more to a bamboo facial massage session than just a calming muscle rub.

Aside from that blissful state of relaxation, your clients are also profiting from rejuvenation benefits. Additionally, as with the rest of their body, facial muscles need movement and exercise to maintain health and keep them looking youthful.

The finger-like Yubi sticks are used to press the sinuses. This stick relieves the pressure that builds up in the sinus cavities.

The finger-like Yubi sticks are used to press the sinuses. This stick relieves the pressure that builds up in the sinus cavities.

  • Relieves Face and Neck Tension

As massage therapists, we’re well aware that muscles hold tension, and that includes the facial muscles. In fact, some clients keep the majority of their stress in their head and neck, making them prone to headaches, migraines and vertigo. Esthetically-speaking, more facial tension means more facial wrinkles. Bamboo massage techniques reduce tough tension while smoothing out and moisturizing skin.

  • Boosts And Improves Circulation

Facial muscles require the same amount of TLC as the rest of the body. After all, they’re just as important as any other muscle, yet they’re often neglected. Increase oxygen and blood flow to the face by using specialized bamboo facial massage maneuvers that address the entire face, forehead and neck.

Yubi sticks create effleurage strokes on the cheeks and forehead. This stick increases blood flow to the facial tissues.

Yubi sticks create effleurage strokes on the cheeks and forehead. This stick increases blood flow to the facial tissues.

  • Provides A Natural Facelift

Stimulating the face muscles with regular massage helps to bring oxygen to that area, which is a natural form of anti-aging skincare.

Enhanced blood flow to the locale increases collagen production, giving a healthy and natural glow to the complexion. It also helps tighten muscles, improve muscular strength and enhance tone.

  • Induces The State Of Nirvana

There is nothing as soothing as a professional bamboo facial massage. Since there are many nerve endings in the head, a facial massage produces a state of sheer relaxation.

During this deep state of tranquility, dopamine and serotonin—the “feel good” hormones—are released into the bloodstream.

In essence, bamboo facial massage doesn’t just affect your facial muscles; it also affects your mind, energy and consciousness.

The Sake Stick rolls to create a myofascial stretch. It slides effortlessly in between the nose, eyes and around the face.

The Sake Stick rolls to create a myofascial stretch. It slides effortlessly in between the nose, eyes and around the face.

An Overview of the Physical and Mental Benefits of Massage Therapy

As therapists, we see a multitude of health benefits firsthand every time we treat clients.

Some claim this natural therapy has improved their sleep while others insist it has lowered their blood pressure.

Sure, we’ve learned about the many positive results of massage on the body in school, but how many therapists can name each and every health and mental benefit as they’re reading this article?

Do you realize how many changes take place in your client’s body during a one-hour session? In merely 60 minutes, the person on your mat or table will experience improved sleep, reduced stress, a stronger immune system, less headaches, lower blood pressure—and the list goes on and on.

The truth is, relaxing tense muscles is just the tip of the iceberg, it’s merely the superficial label attached to massage therapists everywhere.

In the end, our clients are in for so much more during their appointment than merely less tension in their upper traps.

  • Relieves Muscle Pain

If there’s one thing that massage therapy is known for, it’s muscle pain relief. Often, the vast majority of clients that seek out massage are looking for help with their muscle tension and pain.

By stimulating the release of the body’s “feel-good” hormones—endorphins—muscle manipulation helps with conditions such as neck and back pain, persistent headaches and migraines, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, to name just a few.

The wonderful thing about massage treatments is, it decreases the need for certain pain medication as it naturally relieves pain, regardless of its root cause.

  • Promotes Flexibility and Relieves Inflammatory Conditions

Massage can treat inflammatory conditions such as bursitis and arthritis by relaxing and loosening muscles.

With frequent therapy, clients gain a wider range of motion and increased joint flexibility. Thanks to regular massage, clients see a marked improvement in movement, a physical fluidity that decreases the likelihood of muscle injuries.

  • Improves the Lymphatic System

A healthy lymphatic system results in lower susceptibility to various illnesses. But that’s now all, your body also benefits from a heightened ability to heal itself due to a healthy lymphatic system.

Massage therapy sessions stimulate this system, enhancing the body’s natural defense mechanisms and immunity.

  • Improves Circulation

Massage therapy improves blood circulation, thus resulting in a better supply of nutrients to cells throughout the body, as well as better cell waste material transport.

Additionally, this circulatory improvement encourages healthier, softer and clearer skin, and that’s because skin cells are more nourished with oxygen and nutrients.

  • Therapeutic Abilities

In hospital and clinic settings, massage therapy is regularly used to treat surgery and trauma patients to help them rehabilitate and recover. In some states, post-operative massage is employed to reduce in-hospital stays.

  • Relieves Stress

During a massage session, cortisol is released into the system. This different kind of hormone is in charge of lowering the body’s stress levels.

The great thing about lower stress levels is, the body has an easier time to heal itself. Furthermore, this relaxed state decreases anxiety, makes it easier to breathe and lowers blood pressure levels.

On top of all these advantages, massage also satisfies the body’s inherent need for touch. As such, regular sessions promote the sensation of being nurtured thus improving emotional well-being. The end result is lowered anxiety and stress levels.

  • Improves Concentration

Concentration and focus are promoted via the calm and relaxed state that massage induces. This tranquil frame of mind perpetuates productivity and creatively. Also, massage therapy makes people more mindful of their body, which assists them in identifying what their body needs.

  • Promotes Better Sleep

For some individuals, sleep is unattainable, and those who suffer from depression, anxiety or other issues that result in nighttime tossing and turning this problem can seem like it takes over your life.

As massage promotes the relaxation of both body and mind, it’s a great way to help the body learn to “switch off” for the night. Fatigue, lack of concentration, and irritability are all results of lack of sleep, since our nightly rest is the time where the body refreshes, rebuilds and heals itself.

Bamboo Massage Can Save Your Hands

Injury is a common occurrence among massage practitioners and other manual therapies, but it can be prevented. Without a doubt, massage therapy is physically demanding.

We’re in a field that promotes health and well-being to clients, only to ignore our own physical ailments and emotional issues.

Even if you’ve been a bodyworker for years, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a nice, long, lucrative career. That’s why it’s vital that massage therapists not underestimate the risks involved in pursuing such a physically demanding vocation.

At some juncture in your career, you’re likely to suffer an injury, be it a work-related incident or burnout.

If you haven’t considered the importance of self-care, then you’re walking a dangerous road.

When you learn bamboo massage for the face—a technique that is not demanding on the body—you’re adding to your repertoire of massage knowledge, all while saving your precious hands.

About the Authors:

Michelle Mace-Lambert, LMT, is founder of Barefoot Masters, and has been instructing courses in barefoot techniques for several years. She has traveled to Asia and studied chavutti thirummal techniques with the master himself, Prabhat Menon. She offers nine different hand-saving techniques and over a dozen CE classes for massage. As a 20-year veteran of massage, her passion is to create career-saving options for massage therapists. She wrote “With Ashiatsu, You Hold Your Client in Your Two Feet” for massagemag.com.