We have all heard that great massage is deeply relaxing. Is this true? Well, not necessarily. Some massage techniques, especially on the body can be quite painful and far from relaxing. I remember one time going to a sports massage therapist to help breakdown scar tissue from a knee operation. It was excruciatingly painful and drove me to screaming profanities my mother would be appalled at coming from her sweet daughter’s mouth! So no, not all great massage is relaxing but luckily for us estheticians we can employ relaxation massage that has huge benefits on the client’s skin.
Today, I’ll focus on one specific benefit of relaxation massage and that is its ability to reduce stress. Why is this important in esthetics? Because stress leads to inflammation in the body and therefore the skin.
Stress is a natural bodily function. It keeps us safe and away from danger. We have all of the hormones and neurotransmitters that are released when we perceive a stressful situation. Short term stress such as slamming on your brakes when the car in front of you comes to a screeching halt or if you hear footsteps behind you if out alone in the dark, adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol is secreted as a response.
Your heart beats faster, blood rushes from the center of the body (away from digestion) to the limbs so you get ready to run and your lungs breathe more efficiently. We know this as the Fight or Flight response. Once the threat has been removed. The body calms back down and once again we feel safe. This type of stress is called acute stress.
However, if you’re in a constant state of stress this is referred to as chronic stress. The body then constantly secretes the stress hormones and after a while instead of cortisol reducing inflammation the cells no longer respond and internal inflammation remains.
Apart from having detrimental effects on many body’s systems such as digestion, immune system and blood pressure, inflammation is also responsible for prematurely aging skin, acne and hyperpigmentation.
Using slow, light pressure with rhythmical movements as taught in this stress reducing face massage, aka, European Aromatherapy face massage, you will transport your clients to a zone of tranquility and deep relaxation. This allows the body to go parasympathetic mode also known as rest and digest, the opposite of fight and flight mode, giving the skin and all cells of the body chance to rejuvenate.
In summary, relaxation massage reduces stress, specifically cortisol levels, which in turn reduces inflammation and encourages rejuvenation improving the health and appearance of the skin.