Massage & Bodywork

September/October 2012

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TEN FOR TODAY movement. "It's an easy technique to employ before, during, and after a facial massage," says David Doubblestein, a certified lymphodema therapist and an instructor at the Chikly Health Institute in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. "It's easy to apply and very relaxing." 7. CONSIDER CRANIOSACRAL Craniosacral therapy is a gentle approach that involves palpating and evaluating the movement of the cerebrospinal fluid to release tension in the central nervous system. "We don't consider it massage per se, but it's a gentle lifting of the bones in the cranium," says Mya Bremen, a massage therapist and longtime practitioner at the Upledger Institute in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. 8. 9. INTRODUCE AYURVEDA For those drawn to ayurvedic therapies, shirodhara offers an unusual variation on facial massage. In shirodhara, the therapist doesn't initially touch the client, but instead holds a pot filled with oil, water, or buttermilk, and allows it to rhythmically drip down onto the client's forehead for 20 minutes. "The main benefit is that it relaxes and calms the mind," says Anupama KizhakkeVeettil, assistant professor at Southern California University of Health Sciences in Los Angeles. The oil flows from the client's head down into another vessel and is used later in a scalp, neck, and shoulder massage. TRY A TOUCH OF ACUPRESSURE Acupressure techniques can also inform facial massage. "In traditional Chinese medicine, healing comes from the inside out," says Joseph Carter, director of the Acupressure Institute in Berkeley, California. "The health of the face is an expression of the health of the internal organs." For example, one specific acupressure point near the jaw (known as Stomach 6) has to do with digestion, and as the musculature around it relaxes, metabolic by-product movement is facilitated and blood flow is enhanced. "Working on that point will relieve a headache or open sinuses, but its main use is to make facial muscles fuller, more relaxed, and well-irrigated with blood," Carter says. 10. PROLONG YOUR CAREER Because facial massage techniques are so gentle, they can extend a therapist's career. "I notice a lot of my students are in their late 40s to early 60s," Howard says. "They say they love the profession of massage, but they're wearing out and want to find something they can offer their clients without the fear of breaking down their own bodies. With this, they can create longevity in their career." Rebecca Jones is a tenured Massage & Bodywork freelance writer. She lives and writes in Denver, Colorado. Contact her at killarneyrose@ comcast.net. Visit the newly designed ABMP.com. Log in. Explore. Enjoy. 31

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