16 May

Effleurage is usually the first massage stroke we learn as estheticians and beauty therapists when training in face massage. It is used to spread the massage medium evenly over the skin, warms up the skin and prepares for deeper movements. We know when performed correctly this feels amazing and now let’s look at its effects internally and externally.

Here are 5 amazing benefits of using this move;

1. Aids circulation

Our circulatory system consists of blood vessels transporting blood in opposite directions. Veins mostly carry blood back towards the heart and arteries mostly carry blood away from the heart. So, we have a venous circulatory system and an arterial circulatory system. 

Effleurage increases the venous circulation which carries deoxygenated blood and metabolic waste collected from the cells back to the heart. This in turn helps arterial blood flow by removing the congestion in the veins allowing fresh oxygen and nutrients to reach the cells. 

This action brings an internal nourishment to the skin. This is a vital requirement for the health of each cell.

2. Assists lymphatic flow

The circulatory system is intricately connected to the lymphatic system so when the blood flow increases the lymphatic circulation is also improved. This results in a faster removal of tissue fluid which contains waste products. 

Once taken up by lymphatic vessels, lymph, previously called tissue fluid, is filtered via the lymph nodes to clean and purify the lymph before it returns to the circulatory system. 

Additionally, increasing lymphatic flow circulates more lymphocytes which form an important immune function to protect us from harmful pathogens.

3. Lightly desquamates skin

Whilst effleurage isn’t considered a form of exfoliation in the esthetics world, gentle friction against the skin does dislodge surface skin cells ready to shed naturally. This serves as a cleansing and smoothing action on the skin surface as impurities are shed along with stratum corneum cells leaving the skin with a more refined texture.

4. Soothes nerve endings

Free nerve endings and Merkel’s discs are touch receptors housed in the skin which detect light, pleasant touch. In turn they relay electrical impulses to the brain that trigger the release of feel-good hormones and neurotransmitters increasing the sense of well-being, relaxation and assistance with stress reduction.

5. Relaxes muscles

By increasing circulation, the effects of friction and soothing nerve endings all contribute to relaxation of muscle tissue underlying the skin. When the muscles relax the attached overlying skin also smoothes out and relaxes. Successful massage will also slow heart rate, decrease blood pressure signs that the parasympathetic nervous system is in charge. 

This is the branch of the nervous system responsible for “rest & digest” and is the regenerating, repair mode for the skin, body and mind.

If you found this info useful, please leave a comment below and consider sharing it with fellow estheticians/beauty therapists.

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