Massage Continuing Education: Massage for the Face

By Jennifer Shaw, Austin Massage Therapist and Guest Blogger

When I was in massage school, my instructor described massage for the face as a nice way to bring the client “back into her head” toward the end of a massage. I like that description. Often times, when receiving bodywork, we become someone headless, as the awareness shifts to the area of the body being worked or as the mind wanders into a deep state of relaxation all together. If the client’s awareness tracks the massage, then working the face toward the end of the massage will literally bring her “back into her head.”

If the client is in a deep state of relaxation, working on the face – especially around the eyes – will rouse her simply because it is an area we naturally are protective of. I find when I work my client’s face, even briefly, they are able to get up off the table without feeling completely disembodied but also without losing that nice “massage high,” we aim to provide when we perform massage therapy.

Beyond the energetic benefits of massaging the face, just like the rest of the body the face benefits from improved circulation, reduced muscle tension and relief from pain caused by headaches or TMJ. For those who have received cosmetic surgery, massage can promote healing and reduce the appearance of scar tissue.

I have several clients who insist that I skip their face. Many of these clients are worried either about wrinkles or about oily faces, but a majority of facial work can be done using shiatsu pressure points as opposed to strokes that would require more pulling of the skin or the use of a massage lubricant.

Check out this video from ExpertVilliage for some facial massage ideas.