To complement the article “Signature Services: The Ultimate Branding Tool” in the August 2014 issue of MASSAGE Magazine. Summary: Facial massage can be a valuable add-on service for massage therapists to consider offering to clients. It has many health and cosmetic selling points; requires no additional tools; and can be offered alone or as part of a more comprehensive session.

We are part of a society that marches to the pulse of stress, and many of us feel those effects in the muscles of our faces and jaws. In fact, according to research published in February by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 10 to 15 percent of people in the U.S. currently suffer from some form of temporomandibular joint dysfunction.

In addition to feeling good and being good for skin, facial massage can play a role in counteracting the effects of stress.

If you don’t already include jaw work in sessions, you can easily introduce facial massage to an existing session or create a separate session out of it. My clients include singers and actors, who rely highly on their voice as their instrument, so any help in the maintenance and repair of that instrument is not only greatly appreciated, but crucial to their livelihood. The day-to-day wear and tear of grinding teeth, or even bad dental work, can make the average person let out a cry of relief with any attention you pay to the jaw, attaching muscles and the face overall.

Although facial massage is not a facial, it has cosmetic selling points, too. It can be a natural step in repair, increasing circulation to the skin, which helps bring skin the nutrients it needs for growth as well as recovery from damage. Healthy skin always looks more youthful. This is by far facial massage’s greatest selling point.

The tools needed for a facial massage are readily available. Your hands, and if you so desire, some oil—although my preference for facial massage leans toward dry work. Some therapists like to use oil; however, you should never use more than you can precisely control, as your surface area is small. It is not a great feeling for the client on the table to have oil running into her hair.

Just one facial massage session can produce such a visible difference in how a client feels as well as moves, repeat business will not be a hard sell. Your clients will leave their sessions with a more relaxed, rejuvenated look and feeling in their face and jaw.

Laurie Towers MugLaurie Towers is CEO of Physical Advantage (www.physical-knead.com) and Bridal Body Shop (www.thebridalbodyshop.com) in New York, New York. She is noted in professional sports and performing arts for her rehabilitative massage. Towers’ career as a licensed massage therapist stands alongside years of bodybuilding and sports activities as well as extensive work as a personal trainer.