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The Art and Science of Facial Massage

By: Lydia Sarfati
Posted: March 26, 2009, from the April 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
woman getting facial massage

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Estheticians need to completely understand the histology and structure of the body in order to deliver a good massage because a massage does not merely serve a cosmetic function; it is therapeutic and heals both psyche and skin. Understanding the lymphatic system and the location of the lymph nodes allows for better purification of the skin, and knowledge of muscle composition allows for a better tension-reducing massage.

The network of bones that gives skin its shape serves as an attachment to muscles, protects inner organs and acts as levers to provide body movement. The human body consists of 206 bones, and 22 of those compose the skull. The skull consists of two parts: the cranium—eight bones, and the face—14 bones. Knowledge of the shape and function of the facial muscles is important in order to release the tension and pressure from your clients’ faces. Following are the various muscles of the face.

Buccinator. Compresses the cheeks and expels air between the lips

Corrugator supercilii. Draws the eyebrows down and in, as in frowning

Depressor anguli oris. Pulls the angle of the mouth downward