The relaxation of a face massage combined with the healing and restorative powers of reflexology... Where do we sign up?!
I always thought reflexology was strictly something that was practised on the feet. I had it years ago and found it to be the most effective relaxation technique ever for me - I'm fine with anyone (literally, anyone) touching my feet for an hour. I had tried to relax via many different techniques, but could never quiet my brain enough to enjoy or feel the benefits of meditation. So in a way, I look at my regular reflexology appointments as enforced meditation - which I'll admit, sounds like a bit of a contradiction.
When I first heard about facial reflexology, it really appealed to me. Traditionally, reflexology is based on the principle that areas in the feet, hands and other parts of the body relate to the internal organs and other structures of the body. Pressure is applied to various points (reflex zones) to encourage healing and wellbeing. I asked reflexology expert Niamh Tansey (@ReflexologybyNiamh on Insta and Facebook) to talk us through what exactly the facial version is, and what a session involves.
"Facial reflexology works on the same principles as foot reflexology," explains Niamh. "It is a non-invasive, holistic treatment that focuses on reflexes/pressure points on the face which once stimulated send messages to specific parts of the body, helping to stimulate the body’s own body's healing process, improve circulation and nerve supply as well as release the body of toxins."
"Facial reflexology brings all the benefits of foot reflexology but not only does it aim to help clients improve their health and wellbeing, the unique benefit is that it also can help give them the complexion a younger, radiant glow as well as leaving the skin to appear tighter, smoother and plumper over a series of treatments. Facial reflexology is considered a natural alternative to Botox. This treatment is not only deeply relaxing but can also help reduce stress, tension, anxiety as well as migraines, sinus problems, IBS, joint pain, insomnia, and can help relax you if you are trying to conceive."
DURING A SESSION
"Each one starts with a short consultation and once you are comfortable on massage table, I cleanse the face and then apply the award-winning Zone Face Lift Elixir Facial Oil before beginning the treatment. The oil used enhances the experience of the treatment, as it provides added benefits such as nourishing and revitalising the skin. I then use gentle pressure on different reflex points on the face. I also use a range of massage and natural facelift techniques to smooth out wrinkles and rejuvenate the face. This experience is very relaxing, and some clients even fall asleep."
HOW MANY SESSIONS ARE NEEDED?
When it comes to reflexology, one treatment gives me instant and lasting results. I feel lighter, more calm, and have a general sense of "I'm doing something good for my health" - but I do go for repeat treatments. Not because I'm advised to, but because I really genuinely want to and love taking the time out for myself. Niamh says ideally, four sessions of facial reflexology will give a client marked improvements overall.
"If the client had certain ailments or issues such as stress, tension, anxiety as well as migraines, sinus problems, IBS, joint pain, insomnia, dry skin etc, I would recommend four to six sessions. If the client wants to see a visible difference in their face/appearance and feel better about themselves, I would recommend the same amount to get the client really feeling and looking good, inside and out.
"You would hope for the face to feel and look smoother, more toned and more relaxed as you increase the circulation. A treatment will also help to release muscle tension and and improve skin tone, and makes the whole body relaxed and rebalanced."
DON'T TOUCH MY FEET!
Lots of people struggle with the idea of reflexology because it involves their feet being touched, but would still love to try a reflexology treatment. Niamh says facial reflexology is ideal for those clients.
"I find a lot of clients come for facial reflexology just to relax, and I find clients who’ve always wanted to try foot reflexology but don’t like their feet being touched opt for the facial reflexology, knowing they are getting the same benefits as the foot reflexology plus more. It is still relatively new in Ireland and is only now starting to take off here compared to in the UK. For me, it has been about educating the client about the benefits and how it can help them. It has created some excitement with my existing clients who are now requesting foot and facial reflexology combination treatments for the ultimate head to toe experience."