Your client’s face is one of the most important parts of her body.
It is also one of the most exposed, leaving it vulnerable to outside influences. Skin is at constant risk from environmental factors such as weather, pollutants and free radicals. These sources can reach skin on a deeper cellular level. We as massage practitioners also know that emotions are harbored in the body, which can manifest into rapid maturing and aging of the skin.
Around the world and throughout time, people have been obsessed with the preservation and enhancement of beauty. Today, the goal is the same: We want to preserve the delicate nature of our skin’s health and vitality, and this desire fuels a multibillion-dollar industry. As holistic health practitioners, we understand that clients shouldn’t have to spend a fortune in order to achieve their desired facial goal. Real beauty is natural and comes from within.
A Growing Market
In the U.S., almost 10,000 people will turn 65 every day over the next two decades, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. As baby boomers age—the youngest among them are now 51—anti-aging and beauty-preservation techniques will continue to be in demand. This is especially true for natural techniques. In response to this demand, technologies have been created to focus on infusing products into the skin to deliver results, but these mechanisms can be pricey and their effects questionable.
Physicians also offer procedures that aid in the battle against aging—but treatments such as Botox, fillers and surgical face-lifts are not only expensive and invasive, they can have documented long-term or even irreversible side effects. And despite the many promises offered or the latest fad in ingredients, which do help to keep skin in better shape, there are no miracle face-lifts to be found in a jar.
Natural Facelift Massage
Since 2005, when I start practicing Natural Facelift Massage, I have been striving to answer the question, “What else can we do to rejuvenate and keep the face looking youthful?” And from the massage point of view, I always get the same answer: Massage delivers tighter skin, resulting in diminished wrinkles, crow’s feet, laugh lines and frown lines.
“I’ve been receiving regular massages for many years, and always thought the face isn’t necessarily a part of the body that requires massage,” said Natural Facelift Massage client Stacy Sheehan of East Hampton, New York. “After receiving my first sample session, I was surprised by the results,” she added.
“My face looked younger; most wrinkles diminished,” said Sheehan. “A fresh face appeared, lifted and stress-free.”
Natural Facelift Massage was created by Kundan and Narendra Mehta, who also brought Indian Head Massage to the West about 20 years ago. It has changed in some ways over time, but the basic sequence of movements remains the same. Natural Facelift Massage is a technique that uses various modalities, including myofascial release, energy balancing, healing pulse, ayurvedic pressure points and manual lymph drainage. It is completely natural, it uses no creams or lotions, and its roots stem from the practices of both Indian and Western influences. Results are visible after the first treatment, although at least six one-hour sessions at least once a week are recommended for the accumulative effects.
How it works is quite simple. The face and neck have a structure similar to the rest of the body: bones, muscles, skin, connective tissue, blood and lymph—and the face requires the same attention as the rest of the body to keep fit and healthy.
Specialized massage techniques and manual lymph drainage are perfect tools for that synchronization. Massage helps to increase circulation, promoting oxygenation of facial muscles and tissues. It also aids in the removal of adhesions and possible scar tissue between muscle fibers and fascia. Manual lymph drainage removes metabolic wastes by pushing them to lymph nodes for disposal. This paves the way for nutrients to flow through clean blood plasma, resulting in nourished and rejuvenated skin.
Natural Facelift Massage is also relaxing. Most clients fall asleep within the first five minutes of the massage. Facelift massage can also have benefits beyond the skin: Some clients have stated it improved their digestion. For other clients, it brought clarity to sinuses, and lessened or erased migraines and headaches.
“Natural Facelift Massage has been a great addition to my private practice,” said Kate Lane, L.M.T., L.C.I.C.I., of Ithaca, New York. “Not only does it provide astounding aesthetic results, it has many therapeutic applications as well.
“I have found it useful in relieving migraines and sinus pressure, providing relief to those who suffer from TMJ [problems], and increasing toxin elimination through lymphatic drainage,” Lane added. “Clients are always impressed with how rejuvenated they both look and feel.”
Extend Your Career
Natural Facelift Massage can be offered as a stand-alone therapy, or as a way of complementing a massage treatment, extending the session by 60 to 90 minutes. A massage therapist in private practice can charge between $100 and $200 for a Natural Facelift Massage session, depending on the length of session and the market she practices in.
Practitioners who attend a four-day Natural Facelift Massage seminar and complete case studies will be eligible to take an exam and become certified. After that, they can advertise on the Natural Facelift Massage website as certified practitioners. It is still a very new modality in the U.S., and client potential is huge. Natural Facelift Massage represents a low-impact technique that can help massage therapists extend their careers while providing a desired service.
“After 15 years, in 2010, I gave up massage therapy because it became strenuous for my body,” said Lisa Zimmer, L.M.T., of Manhattan, New York. She was introduced to Natural Facelift Massage and realized she could continue to practice the work she loved. She renewed her license, and now specializes in Natural Facelift Massage.
“It’s much easier on my body,” she said, “and delivers amazing results to my clients.”
Yuri Esperson, L.M.T., L.C.I.C.I., N.S.C.A., is a National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork-approved provider of continuing education. He is a teacher of Natural Facelift Massage and creator of Natural Facelift Self-Care Massage, Integrated Stretch and other techniques. He is also founder of Beyond the Touch Seminars International.