A SIMPLE TENSION TEST
LOOK BETTER, FEEL BETTER, SLEEP BETTER.
Four-Minute Insurance from Wrinkles and Worry Lines
Three essential strokes
One minute each, fifty repetitions
Pressing the forehead
Rotating on the temples
Fingertip kneading the face
Inside the Face
We have seen how stressed muscles are stretched tight, then pumped up with adrenaline and bathed in acids until relaxation becomes nearly impossible. With no relief from tension, the muscles will finally lose their natural resiliency and begin to sag. Small ones usually collapse first, which is why the ravages of stress are so apparent on the surface of the face. But if the source of stress is removed soon enough, fatigued
muscles may be able to recover and you will witness a dramatic change; wrinkles that looked permanent begin to fade - transforming the whole face. Every massage
facial must deal with a curious, often ignored phenomenon: wrinkles are rarely caused by imperfections in the skin, but rather by weakening of the underlying muscles. Masseurs who do facials regularly begin to understand several cost-
effective facts of life:
Major nerves and blood vessels converge alIke lemples,
1. Mud, clay, and various specialized masks generate a unique feeling. They do not, however, provide a more effective way to clean the face than ordinary soap and water. Too much mud can destroy your hair.
2. Dabbing expensive cream, jelly, powder, oil, sauce, or extract on the face does nothing for existing wrinkles.
Too much dabbing can deplete your checking account.
3. Steaming the skin makes it look red for a while. This is not a sign of health, just a sign that the skin has been overheated. Too much steam can burn your face.
4. Contorting the face with specialized exercises once a month or so has no useful effect.
5. Silicone travels.
As certain as death and taxes, when the tiny subcutaneous muscles of expression lose their tone, the surface of the face will wrinkle. Exactly the same thing happens, on a larger scale, around the waistline or thighs when local muscles get flabby (try rubbing bee jelly on your thighs to tighten them up). Any treatment that is confined to the surface of the body will have little effect on wrinkles. You must reach inside the body to the source of the trouble. With certain modifications, massage techniques for firming up the fleshier parts of the body will work on the face. At its best, a facial massage can actually fulfill the promise of beauty creams and lotions by changing, in minutes, your partner's appearance. Wrinkles and crow's-feet may be permanent or they may be held in place by stress-tensed muscles. You'll find out which one after a first facial massage. Relax stressed muscles and the wrinkle, may vanish.
The strokes that follow are focused on the part of the face that controls the precise way your partner looks – the tiny muscles of expression. All the movements are confined to a small area - in some cases just a single finger is used. Nevertheless, the effects can be just as dramatic as strokes that require half an arm. Your partner will feel the difference immediately after you finish a facial massage.
Then he'll see the difference.
A Simple Tension Test
Occasionally, a masseur can discover precisely how much tension a partner has by simply observing the body during massage. Long after local muscles yield to massage, certain parts of the body stubbornly refuse to relax, indicating that stress still rules. One of the most obvious, here on the head, is the jaw. If the mouth refuses to open when you press down gently on the chin, your partner is not relaxed. Resist the temptation to share this piece of intelligence; people do not become relaxed when told to do so. Instead, continue massaging the muscles of the face, adding extra repetitions everywhere you feel the slightest tension. Try pressing down on the chin again in a minute or two. When the mouth opens easily you've succeeded in relaxing the head and face.
They need to worry and betray time with urgencies false and otherwise, purely anxious and whiny, their souls really won't be at peace unless they can latch on to an established and proven worry and having once found it they assume facial expressions to fit and go with it, which is, you see, unhappiness, and all the time it all flies by them and they know it and that too worries them no end.
- Neal Cassady, Scenes Along the Road
Four-Minute Insurance from Wrinkles and Worry Lines
~. u sc1e and Mood
: =-_ we read a face we're - - -:: noting the current _ : : f the subcutaneous
.. _:.es. The tiny muscles of ";.~e, some of the most
_ .;.:e structures anywhere . . :: ·Jody, are just inches
=--_ :he brain itself. Nor=_ :he facial muscles
: :: every emotional
.. _::e, but under stress they _ .::soluntarily freeze into _::. of rigid mask, an effect
C-:} as "body armor"; few - :~ . .::ans reach middle age _': "Jt experiencing it. The - -::nely animated faces of _ ::.:en can trade tears for
.:.. seconds, but with the
:: Jf body armorlater in :..: that changes. Suddenly :;.:ial muscles must go
_~h a ponderous shift-
:. gears with each new
- ::'In-even smiling
=:es complicated. As _-.:s moods flicker by dur::.:e day, muscles that once :~-_ed effortlessly quiver
- ::.ervous indecision.
. : =: pts to moderate the - -:ssion inevitably back_ nat good is a stiff
. -: ~ lip if the lower one is ::ing violently?
.:n is contagious. The
. ' . if you're carrying too " .:. "::lody armor people
_- ,->,-oiding you. An expres: ~ two can be faked, but,
as every actor knows, the transitions between expressions are much more difficult . Facial body armor doesn't respond to creams, ointments, lotions, or powders . The only escape is to relax the tiny subcutaneous muscles of the face; five minutes of work for your masseur.
Say you're so nervous before
a very important meeting that you feel like climbing the walls. You find yourself pacing back and forth in your office like a caged animal. All that tension goes directly to the muscles of the face, where it becomes terribly public the moment the meeting begins. If you can't relax, others will find it difficult to do so as well. Suddenly, instead of sharingideasyou~esharing anxieties, and the whole tone of the meeting is changed. The next time you get wound up before a meeting, lean back and close your eyes for five minutes while somebody massages your face. Unwind with Super Massage. You'll go into the meeting rested and relaxed; your face will be more natural, more convincing.
Think of the scalp as the top of the face. If your partner is tense the scalp will feel tight, and that tension is transmitted directly to the delicate muscles of the face. You can't hope to relax the face if the scalp is tense.
Be sure your partner removes earrings and contact lenses before you begin massage of the scalp and face. When you're planning on massaging with oil, do this stroke at the beginning while your hands are still dry. Reach into your partner's hair and press down against the scalp with your fingertips - careful not to pull the hair. Other friction movements avoided bony parts of the body; this one seeks them out. You should be able to
feel the surface of the skull throughout scalp friction . Don't rub the scalp, push through it against the bone. Test the movement a few times before you begin. Scalp friction works best if you press the thumb and four fingers toward each other repeatedly. Move slowly from
the front of the hairline all the way to the back of the skull. Mter a few passes you will feel a tangible difference in the range of available movement beneath your fingertips.
Once the scalp becomes more supple, press down against it with the flat part of your open hands and circle, first with one hand then the other. Half the scalp will move under each hand.
Scalp massage also benefits the hair. Just beneath the surface of the scalp a rich group of blood vessels supplies the roots of the hair. Mter a few minutes of vigorous scalp friction the scalp is so oxygenated that the hair takes on the glossy textured look one usually expects to see only after an exercise session.
Pressing the Forehead
Have frontal headaches been a problem for your partner? This sumptuous two-hand press puts direct pressure on the whole surface of the forehead from temple to temple. Directly under your hands a large set of nerves emerges from the brain. Steady pressure will effectively soothe them.
Support your partner's head from below with a soft pillow, then get comfortable yourself. Sit above the top of your partner's head, close enough so you can reach all the way down to the chin. Carefully establish contact with one hand from temple to temple, distributing pressure from the fingertips to the base of the palm. This is your contact hand, the other hand is called the pressure hand. Adjust your contact hand until the pressures from the fingertips
to the base of the palm are equalized. When your hand feels comfortable and well fitted to your partner's forehead, bring down the pressure hand on top of it. Press moderately hard from above with your pressure hand. Hold at the point of maximum pressure for a silent, slow count of ten or twenty, then release your hands very slowly. Repeat this sequence three times that's often all it takes to get rid of some frontal headaches.
But whether or not the pain disappears right away, continue with facial massage for a while. Everyone wants a relaxed face.
Four-Minute Insurance from Wrinkle and Worry Lines
Rotating on the Temples
~- :;ou do nothing else on your - ~er's face you should at :..:st rotate your fingertips on -_, temples. Stressed people
_ ~ tomatically reach for the ::nples to get relief, but it :~ls so much better if some-: dy else does it for you.
Begin by pressing down lightly on the middle of the forehead with your thumbs. Then bring your fingertips around to rest on the two temples. Locate the definable ring of bone surrounding the temples and massage just inside the ring. Depending on the size relationship between your fingers and
your partner's head, two, maybe three, fingertips will fit comfortably inside the ring. Reach for the soft inner tissue. You can rotate both hands in the same direction or move in alternating directions - one hand circles up while the other moves down. Maintaining contact with your thumbs at the center of
the forehead ties the su:: ~ ~ together and adds to yc-.;.:contact area. Facial sue:,::-, on the jaw, sinuses, eyes . .o.=.:: cheeks all begin \\ith th::thumbs centered on this s :;:.::
As various strokes mo\-::- : -..:: from the center of the fcr-::-head, your facial massa~::acquires symmetry.
Fingertip Kneading the Face
Kneading the muscles of expression is one of the most delicate operations in massage. Your partner will be very aware of your mood, so take an extra moment to compose yourself before starting-a gentle, confident manner is always helpful. Oil carefully; one or two drops on the fingertips will do. Have a soft towel ready to take off any excess.
Since the whole skull can move at almost any time during a facial massage, it's especially important to anchor each stroke. People are simply not accustomed to being touched anywhere on the head. However, the face, one of the most sensitive parts of the body, grows accustomed to massage rapidly. This stroke spreads sensation from the temples down to the jaw.
Knead the face from the corner of one eye to the chin. Pick up a tiny fold of flesh between your thumb and forefinger. Near the forehead you will be limited to two fingers, lower on the cheeks you can add one or two more. Avoid pinching or forcing the skin up. The rhythmic kneading motion here is exactly the same as it is on the fleshier parts of the body.
The thumbs and fingers of one hand pick up a fold of flesh while the fingers of the other hand remain open. Cover a whole side of the face from the forehead to the chin, kneading in small circles. This area is small enough to permit easy repetition of any stroke that your partner enjoys. At the back of the jaw, just below the ear, you will always feel a certain amount of extra tension. In fact, the muscles of the jaw are one of the points where stress registers first. Knead it a few extra times. You'll be returning to the jaw muscles soon with more specialized movements. As you knead your partner's face, subcutaneous circulation is stimulated and the muscles beneath the skin grow more supple. Kneading prepares the face for the strokes to follow.
Stroking the Sinuses
Four-Minute Insurance from Wrinkles and Worry Lines
: )f the more unfortunate . : ~ffects of stress is a nag-
_.:; :ow-level congestion-
:. 3ymptoms without the
:. The general tightening - joses down the vascular
-::n during vasoconstric-
. Jso affects the sinuses. _::hing becomes more
.-=:.-~lt, the voice breaks,
. ile throat is cleared to no _' The best solution is to
.:: the whole body, but one - ')metimes achieve satisfy.: :~sults by massaging the
: :.round the sinuses.
-'..\: the face, and your part-
- , ,::ongestion may vanish.
~l, once again, by lining
. :,ur thumbs at the middle _:~ forehead. The eyes,
like the temples, are set inside a ring of bone. Below the bottom of the ring, almost against the nose itself, you can feel the tissue soften. This is just below the spot where the lower sinuses begin. Reach down into that soft spot with your middle finger and trace an arc outward under the bony ring (as shown on p. 90). Then trace the same arc with all four fingers. Repeat the arc with all four fingers, staying just below the bone, at least three times. After the third repetition, reach into the sinus area with two fingers of each hand and apply spot friction. Finish with a long, leisurely forehead press.
Friction to the Jaw
The muscles of the jaw are one of the first areas of the face to register stress. Once the most powerful muscles of the face become tense, a kind of negative undertow is exerted on surrounding tissues. You see the effects immediately around the corners of the mouth and eyes, where smaller muscles are literally pulled out of shape by the inflexible jaw muscles. And they will stay that way, forming all kinds of alarming wrinkles, until the jaw is relaxed.
Center your thumbs C'L -::.: middle of the forehead ':':-.-=: reach down to the base ,:c~: jaw with all four fingers::: each hand (as show:} , r-.: contact area for this sp-e: ::==> tion movement is jus t ~:: -,', the ear and slightly fo:-.';=,:-:, Have your partner grit :-":'3 teeth for a moment ane: '::.: will feel a marked muse:;: :.: c:. centration at the base):- -::.;: jaw; this is the precise sr-:: :: focus your friction StIok;:, Anchor the head on one ;;:-=:: of the face while apply::r.~ pressure with your fr:c::,::: hand on the other. Ro:a:e =four fingertips against t:-.: thick jaw muscles and-=::::': be afraid to use extra PC:-3' sure. After massaging:::: side of the jaw, turn th:- ::;:-'--=: slightly, and massage t:-.;: other side of the ja\\-, \~::.: c::.-'want to cover each sid;: ::: -::.: jaw several times befc'c;: c::. :ing on to the next st::'c,i;;:
Relaxing the Muscles of Expression
Tension is stored in the shoulders, scalp, and jaws, but it registers first around the eyes and mouth. The muscles here are simply too delicate to resist the powerful forces exerted from above and below during stress. When they yield, people start looking stressed all the time: the expression freezes, smiling becomes awkward, and where clear-eyed serenity once prevailed, a half dozen crosspurpose facial twitches suddenlyappear. Happily, if you start massaging soon enough, all of these nasty little afflictions are only temporary. Once you've relaxed the neck, scalp, and jaw muscles, you're ready for the tiny, exquisitely sensitive muscles of expression.
Again, most strokes will work best if you keep the thumbs centered on the middle of the forehead. Reach down with your fingers to do the massage.
The muscles of the face before and after massage.
Four-Minute Insurance from Wrinkles and Worry Lines
Eye massage works above and beside the eyes as well as directly over the eyelid itself (the thinnest-skinned part of the body). Begin directly above the eyebrow with a four-finger friction stroke. To isolate the effects, anchor close by over the other eye. Rotate your friction hand in tiny circles. The skin will form tiny folds in front of your hand. Move back and forth across half the forehead, then switch hands so you can apply friction above the other eye. Then reach down and do the sides of the eyes with what is, really, a variation of the temple stroke. To get closer to the eye your rotating hand works outside the bony circle.
This is the home of the infamous crow's-feet wrinkles. As you massage, depleted muscles are flooded with oxygen while acidic wastes are driven out of the tissues. Sometimes you can actually see your partner's coloration change from a pale, sickly hue to a vibrant glow as you massage.
Did you know that you can actually put down all four fingers on the top of your partner's eye? Direct eye massage is a delicious experience, all the more so since most people have never even considered it. Center your thumbs on the forehead, then carefully lower both little fingers onto the inside corners of the eyes. Move out toward the corner of the eye, resting the balls of your fingers against the bony upper rim of the eye. Very light contact with the eye is sufficient. As the little finger begins to move, bring down the other fingers one at a time. Turning the hands as your fingers slide out toward the corners of the eyes permits all four fingers to descend and glide, one after the other, across the eye. As you repeat this stroke, return to the starting position and try it on the bottom rim of the eyes.
-::-his movement will distort
- Jur partner's lips into some
::range and wonderful ;:lapes. Relaxing the general .:.:ea around the mouth makes : :rokes for specific muscle ;-;-oups at the corners of the -:JS far more effective.
cheeks will move, begin rotating both hands. With your thumbs centered on the forehead, reach down to the cheeks and rotate slowly, using the flat surface of all four fingers. The stroke works best when the hands turn in opposing circles:
one hand up while the other is down.
3egin by extending one hand '-sainst a cheek, holding it ;:ill, and rotating with the : ':her hand on the opposite :ieek (as shown). Once you :et a sense of how far the
Normally one of the most animated and mobile parts of the body, the area around the mouth is always noticed socially. When the expression changes it usually happens here first. In stressful situations, however, local muscles are kept so unnaturally taut that their resiliency begins to disappear. When relaxation finally does come, the face simply collapses. Precisely because it is so visible, this is one of the most distressing stress patterns anywhere on the body. Stress begins to pull the expression out of shape at the corners of the mouth. Here's how to put it right.
Once again, don't massage the mouth until you've relaxed the larger muscles of the face and shoulders. Tension here is always amplified by outside forces.
Anchoring on the side of the face gives extra support to your partner's head throughout this delicate movement . Reach down to the corner of the mouth with the forefinger and middle fingers of one hand. Right next to the corner of the lips you can feel the spot where the muscles converge. Press there and begin rotating your fingertips, first in one direction then in the opposite direction. This will momentarily distort your partner's features, but, in fact, the rubbery effect is exactly what it takes to restore the natural mobility of the face. Turn your partner's head to one side and, beginning at the corner of the lips and working outward, knead each side of the mouth with your fingertips (as shown). Then tun: the head to the center and grasp both cheeks with the whole surface of your hand5. Rotate slowly. Finish with
a hand-over-hand pulling stroke, starting at each corne:of the mouth and ending all the way back at the base of the ear. Maintain tension cr: the corner of the mouL'1 :'5 you pull.
Taken from SUPER MASSAGE, Simple Techniques for instant relaxation by GORDON INKELES (Author of the ART OF SENSUAL MASSAGE) Copyright 1988 Gordon Inkeles, first published in Great Britain in 1989 by Judy Piatkus (Publishers)Ltd of 5Windmill Street, London W1, Printed and bound in Great Britain by Butler & Tanner Ltd, Frome and London, Designed and produced by Jon Goodchild/Triad, Photographed by Gordon Inkeles, Illustrations by Sigga Bjornsson, Reprinted in 1989 and twice in 1990. Page 155.
(Sorry. Due to the urgency of education on this site, spelling will be corrected at a later stage….All photos in the script have been left out)
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