Usually, when you think about getting a facial, you think about the benefit to your skin. It cleanses the pores, helps reduce wrinkles and swelling, and can give you that extra hydration boost you need. But have you ever considered how a facial can affect your immunity, release tension and lower stress levels?
Our face is the part of ourselves from which we meet the world. We both express and protect ourselves through the structures of our face. It is home to almost 20 different surface muscles that control our expressions and help us communicate. These muscles hold tension from daily stress, whether it be in the forehead, jaw or around the mouth. When these muscles are massaged in a therapeutic way, this tension is released, and your face is able to let go of the stress it has been carrying.
Our face is also where we bring in air and food, and thus is where the majority of germs are able to enter our system. This makes our face a major player in our immune system, and it is home to dozens of lymph nodes and white blood cells. These lymph nodes, along with their associated vessels, are not only important players in our immune system, but also help to filter and clean our blood and fluids.
When our skin and muscles are touched and massaged, our parasympathetic nervous system is activated. This is the part of our nervous system that stimulates our digestive system, causes us to release hormones that relax the mind and body, and induces a state of peaceful awareness. It is one of the reasons that human touch feels so relaxing to us ‒ our body literally reacts by shifting toward a restful state.
We can also look at the face from an eastern, Chinese medicine perspective. Our face is home to many acupressure points ‒ almost every single meridian in the body starts or ends somewhere in our face or on our head. Stimulating these points can create a wide variety of effects, from clearing the sinuses, to getting rid of a headache, to calming the mind.
In addition to addressing the above, we also include aromatherapy as a part of our facial experience. The different scents can trigger a variety of emotional and physical responses ‒ such as an elevated mood, a clear and focused mental state, and release of tension.
All of these systems ‒ muscular, lymphatic, nervous and energetic ‒ are stimulated and affected when you receive a facial. From the moment your esthetician has you take a couple deep breaths, to the first touch of a warm cloth on your face, your nervous system will start to relax. As they massage your facial muscles, layers of stress will have the opportunity to melt away. When acupressure points are stimulated, you might feel a relief of pressure in your sinuses or your head. Or you might feel a release of tension that translates through your whole body.
At Osmosis one of our deeply held values is a dedication to continued growth, both professionally and personally. As such, our estheticians have many opportunities throughout the year to increase their skills through a variety of training. In the past 6 months alone they have undergone a facial massage skill sharing class, a cupping training, and product knowledge workshops.
Our goal is always to be offering more than just skincare, but rather a relaxation experience that not only brings you to a state of tranquility but also induces a whole body therapeutic experience.
Written by Heather Bishop, Spa Services Manager at Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary, April 2023