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Jade Pillow Face Massage

More than just a face massage

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  • Reflections of the Face

    We all know that stress and tension are reflected in the face. When we look at someone, we can often tell how they are feeling. Did you know though that that what you see may also be layers of stress that have built up over years?

    As a hypnotherapist as well as practitioner of Tsuboki Japanese Face Massage, I can always tell when the work I have been doing with someone is having an effect without their saying anything. This is because it shows on their face. They may have resolved an old issue even a very old issue and it is visible on their face.

    Many people remark that I look much younger than I am. This isn’t just because I look after myself, eat well, exercise (including my face) and take adequate rest and relaxation. I believe it is also because I have resolved many old issues and beliefs, some through working with other therapists, but many I have resolved myself.

    When we experience life events whether we deem them positive or negative, we are designed to process them and move on. This means that the effects no longer stay with us. Most of us though have experienced events in life which have caused us distress that has never been fully resolved, or have caused us to have to lead our lives in ways that feel unnatural to our true essence.

    In response to these, the tissues of the body have contracted and not released, leading to ongoing muscular tension. This is as true of the muscles of the face as it is of the muscles of the back, for example. So in addition to the other things you might do to look after yourself and remain as stress-free as possible, resolving old issues can lead to a more relaxed face.

  • Ridoki Rollers: a Different Kind of Face Massage

    Yesterday, I went on a Tsuboki 2 course to refresh my skills. As we practised on each other with ridoki rollers, I was reminded just how unique they are and just what they contribute to Tsuboki face massage.

    Ridoki rollers are made of stainless steel and have numerous raised points on them. When used in Tsuboki, they are generally applied to the face before oil is added. Initially, they feel very cool to the face and this has the action of drawing the blood to the surface. As they are applied, the tissues of the face begin to warm up.

    The rollers are applied with a degree of pressure except for the areas around the eyes. Always, the pressure feels comfortable. Some of the movements applied are long sweeping ones, others are short and repetitive for instance around the cheekbones and sides of the mouth, yet others are applied horizontally, vertically and diagonally.

    As I was lying there whilst my partner was practising on me, I found the rhythmic movement of the rollers very soothing and almost hypnotic. My face began to warm up and at the end, I felt that my face had had a real workout - and that was before any other massage stroke was applied! We talked about the practice afterwards and agreed that the roller work, whilst only taking up about 5 minutes of the treatment, was a massage in itself. Later, I could still feel the warmth in my face from the roller work even though my skin did not show any redness.

    There are many cosmetic rollers available. Some of these are made of agate or jade and yet others have short needles to stimulate collagen production. What I like about the rollers used in Tsuboki is that when used skilfully by the practitioner, they really feel as though they are not only doing something good for the face but contributing to that relaxation that is so typical of Tsuboki.

  • Dry Techniques; Releasing the Fascia

    Of course I have plenty of clients who come for Tsuboki primarily for its natural face-lifting effects. The changes can be quite dramatic depending on the initial state of your face. Tsuboki incorporates some techniques which are done without oil that can be used on lines and wrinkles. With these techniques, you can work very specifically and in a detailed way on individual lines. It feels good too!

    The reason these hand movements are able to soften lines is because they stretch the fascia. Fascia is fine connective tissue (sometimes compared to clingfilm)that wraps around every bone, every muscle including individual fibres as well as organs of the body. It lies deep to the skin and is one continuous piece. With natural movement of the body over time as well as with over-use, restrictions can occur and because of the continuous nature of fascia, these restrictions can have a knock-on effect to other parts of the body. They also impede circulation to the tissues and allow metabolic waste products to build up.

    When these restrictions happen in the face, lines and wrinkles occur. The dry techniques used in Tsuboki release the fascia with a stretching motion. Because oil is not used, pressure can be applied to a deeper level than the skin so that the skin is not stretched. This direct attention to lines and wrinkles, together with the massage techniques of Tusboki softens them. Freeing the restrictions in the fascia restores blood circulation along with better oxygen supply to the tissues, and nutrients can once again reach the cells.

  • Feed Your Skin With Oil

    Like any other massage, Tsuboki Japanese Face Massage uses oil, in this case Camellia Oil known for its non-allergenic properties. Of course, we use it to provide slippage for the massage movements but I think it is worth also looking at how using oil on the skin in general is beneficial.

    Recently, I came across a video on you tube by Dr. John Douillard, a chiropractor with an Ayurvedic training who advocates a variety of health practices and use of oils and herbs from the Ayurvedic tradition.

    I found the video which is posted below absolutely fascinating. Western thought is that since oil molecules are too large to penetrate the epidermis, their benefit in skin care is negligible. However, Dr. Douillard posits that the friendly bacteria, of which there are millions naturally living in our skin, eat oil. The body naturally produces oils such as sebum which these bacteria feed off. Any oil applied topically will also nourish these bacteria.

    In the normal course of events, when we wash with products such as soap, we wash off the natural oils and bacteria has nothing off which to feed and cannot maintain the optimum health of the skin. By putting oil on our skin on daily, the bacteria converts it to free fatty acids which support the health and radiance of the skin.

    Apparently, the benefits of oil to the skin have been known for thousands of years and daily massaging with oil is a common Ayurvedic practice. Some years ago when reading the book “Perfect Health” by Deepak Chopra, I came across the practice of self-massaging the entire body with warm sesame oil. I have gone through periods of doing this practice and have found it to be a very pleasant one. Knowing how friendly bacteria feeds on oil and converts it, I intend to re-instate my personal practice of this. If you want to do it yourself, the instructions are below.

    I have also not used any proprietary brand of moisturiser on my face for many years. It just didn’t feel right to me to do so once I developed my knowledge of complementary therapies. For years I have been making my own creams using oils, shea butter and essential oils, or simply using oil on my face. They are fairly basic but when putting them on, I feel I am doing something really good for my skin.

    In his video, Dr. Douillard goes on to talk about how oil can be used instead of soap for cleaning the body, how herbs infused in oil are even better for the health of the skin and body and how oil can be used to benefit the tissues of the inside of the mouth and digestive tract.

    Here is the video.

  • When Were You Last Still?

    My initial attraction to Tsuboki Japanese Face Massage was curiosity about a therapy I had never heard of . Something about what I read about it made me travel to Sheffield to get trained rather than waiting until a course took place nearer to my home.

    Apart from the sheer pleasure of having such a detailed and luxurious treatment to the face, what took my completely by surprise was the level of relaxation I both experienced and observed in those on whom I practised in the class. I would describe it as being akin to the “still point” I was familiar with from my craniosacral therapy training and the mid to deep level trance state of hypnosis. In both these states of awareness, the mind becomes still, thought is largely suspended and a sense of harmony pervades the body and mind.

    This result was unexpected. For me, it was one I had not experienced from full body massage or indeed any other treatment apart from the ones mentioned above. It was also an exciting discovery for it showed me that Tsuboki face treatment was really about so much more than indulgence, having a treat or natural face lifting. It meant that I could really see that it could remind people what deep relaxation feels like and the therapeutic effects of giving oneself the space to experience that from time to time.

    The stillpoint of craniosacral therapy gently shifts the central nervous system from its usual state of alertness to one of stillness. We feel different. The “fight/flight response” is in abeyance and we glimpse other possibilities. It would be good wouldn’t it to let go of old tensions.

    Similarly, the hypnotic trance state (you know, the one you experience before falling asleep) is characterised by changes in brainwave patterns. We are shifted out of our waking alertness into a different realm, one where we can access more of our resources that we can harness to experience life differently.

    When I was completing my training and practising on anyone who would allow me, I did a few treatments on someone who had had some mental health issues. After the second treatment, that person said “something” had lifted off them. Similarly, I once treated someone who presented at the first session as uptight and monosyllabic. A very different person turned up for their second session and after 3 sessions, reported that the treatments “had changed my life”.

    Of course, it is difficult to isolate one aspect of treatment from the others. Tsuboki is deeply nurturing as well as being a detailed and thorough treatment. I wonder though whether going to a deep place of relaxation allowed a shift for both these people that allowed them to release some old tensions, reviving hidden resources that would enable them to experience life differently.


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