TAKE YEARS OFF YOUR LOOK
Do you look older than you feel? You don’t have to have cosmetic surgery to take years off your look. Facial acupressure, an ancient practice derived from Traditional Chinese medicine, involves lightly pressing certain points on the face. It can tighten the skin, create a youthful glow and promote the production of collagen, all without having to go under the knife.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Traditional Chinese medicine focuses on restoring balance throughout the body and promoting the flow of energy, called qi (pronounced chee). Qi is circulated along a network of channels called meridians. There are 12 meridians in the body, each relating to a vital organ, such as the stomach, large intestine, gallbladder and bladder.
When the meridians become clogged because of poor diet, stress, dehydration or other factors, skin can age prematurely. When you put pressure on points on your face and open these pathways, circulation is improved, bringing blood and energy to the skin and other organs.
Digestion also is improved, ensuring the absorption of nutrients that are beneficial to the skin. And the lymphatic system, which drains damaging toxins and waste from the body, is stimulated. Improving the movement of qi and opening meridians result in a more youthful appearance. This may sound strange to you, but the techniques really do work, and they are very safe. If you do the exercises for 15 minutes a day, you will start to notice a difference within a week to 10 days.
Acupressure face-lifts aren’t difficult to do. Just remember these guidelines…
Set aside five minutes for the “pre-facial warm-up” and at least 10 minutes a day for the face-lift. To begin, choose one or two points to treat each day. As you become more experienced, you can spend more time and treat more points.
Don’t worry about finding the exact point—as long as you are in the general area, you will affect each point along the pathway. As you continue, you will become more sensitive to the energy flow and your fingers will instinctively go to the correct points.
Touch and press each point with steady, gentle pressure on both sides of your face. Release after one minute.
Important: Don’t pull your skin, which is extremely delicate on the face. Just press with the pads of your fingers.
THE ACUPRESSURE FACE-LIFT
A successful acupressure face-lift isn’t just “physical”—to reduce stress and help restore the flow of qi, there is a mental component, too…
Pre-Facial Warm-Up: Sit away from distractions, where you feel safe, tranquil and nurtured. Begin to breathe steadily through your nose. Picture every part of your body, every pore, every cell receiving nourishment. Sit quietly, and relax your mind. As you breathe out, let go of stress. As you breathe in, repeat to yourself, I let go of old thoughts. I work on myself to replenish myself at the cellular level. Or you can make up your own affirmation. Do this for five minutes. Continue to be aware of your breath while doing the following exercises. While you focus on each affirmation, take a deep breath to the count of five, hold it for a count of five, breathe out to the count of five, and let your mind focus on your breath.
The gallbladder meridian is a yang, or active, meridian and is the partner of the liver. The liver controls the eyes.
Benefits: Stimulating the gallbladder meridian from the forehead improves circulation and stimulates collagen production, tightening skin and reducing forehead wrinkles. It also brightens eyes and improves mental clarity.
How to do it: Place your middle three fingers right above the middle of the eyebrow at the highest point in the indentation of your forehead. Gently touch the skin as you say your affirmation.
Suggested affirmation: I release the negativity of the past and bring health and wellness into every pore of my being.
This point also works on the gallbladder meridian. The name refers to the acupressure point on the face—and the fact that it influences the eyes.
Benefits: Increases blood flow to the eyes, restoring youthfulness to the skin around the eyes, particularly lessening crow’s-feet—those stubborn wrinkles on the outer corner of the eye. This meridian also relates to decision-making, and by stimulating it, you can choose to create a more positive state of mind and physical health.
How to do it: Place the middle three fingers in the hollows next to the eyes, and close your eyes. Do both eyes at once.
Suggested affirmation: As I move forward, I make the decision to release negative thought patterns and have a positive state of mind and inner well-being.
This point, on the stomach meridian, promotes digestion.
Benefits: By stimulating the stomach pathway, nutrients are better absorbed, resulting in healthier-looking skin. This point also increases circulation and aids in the removal of toxins, which reduces the swelling and puffiness under the eyes.
How to do it: Place your middle three fingers in the indentations under the eyes. Close your eyes.
Suggested affirmation: I receive all that life offers to nourish me. I connect with my inner self.
On the large intestine meridian, this point is located next to the sinuses, aiding deep breathing.
Benefits: Stimulates circulation and collagen production in the area under the nose, helping to eradicate fine lines and tighten skin in this area. Improves sense of smell and eases sinus congestion.
How to do it: Place your middle three fingers next to your nose so that your ring fingers line up with the bottom of the nose. Gently touch the point.
Suggested affirmation: I release my difficulties and problems regarding my spiritual essence, and I come home to my soul for guidance and protection.
This point, along the stomach meridian, is located on the lower part of the jaw, acting like a hinge that helps the jaw relax.
Benefits: Relaxes the cheek muscles and stimulates the production of collagen, smoothing the skin. Also relieves pain from teeth grinding and jaw tightness. Improves hearing and helps you to filter out negative self-talk.
How to do it: The jaw hinge is located about two inches from the tip of your earlobe. You can find it by opening and closing your mouth. Press gently upward as you breathe. Feel your jaw relax as you let go of stress.
Suggested affirmation: I deserve to receive the best that life has to offer.