Stressed? Can’t sleep? Glued to your phone or computer screen? There are so many reasons for why we hold tension in our face. And eventually this tension can lock into holding patterns - which can manifest as headaches, grinding jaw, 'tech neck' and frown lines, according to Expert Facialist, Michaela Bolder. But, fear not. ‘Deep pressure massage stimulates warmth and blood circulation, unlocking strain, and allowing facial muscles to relax,’ she says. So grab your favourite moisturiser or oil, and follow Michaella’s signature techniques below.
DIY Facial Massage At Home
‘Rest your thumb underneath your chin, and your index finger on top of your chin, pinch your fingers together and glide along the jawline to behind the ear to release hidden tension.'
'Next up, push your knuckles up and over the eyebrows from the centre of the brow bone outwards and under the eyes to awaken dull and heavy muscles.'
'Work the forehead in small, deep circular motions from the centre out towards the temples to free up muscle movement and ease stress here.' Finish with a Gua Sha tool to aid lymphatic drainage and remove toxins away from the face.
To see Michaela in action, watch her 10 minute facial massage tutorial here:
Facial Exercises To Unlock Tension
To break those involuntary holding patterns of tension, Dr John Tsagaris, a specialist in traditional Chinese medicine, recommends practising some simple exercises at home.
First up, the humble yawn. ‘Yawning releases facial muscles simply by stretching them,’ explains Tsagaris. ‘It also expands our lungs and hyper-oxygenates our body, allowing us to feel calmer and more relaxed.’
Then there’s the ‘smile stretch’. ‘An exaggerated smile is a very effective muscle relaxant technique. Using the muscles of the cheeks, pull the corners of your mouth toward your ears in a full smile, exposing most of the teeth. Hold this for 10 seconds and repeat.’ Smiling releases dopamine, endorphins and serotonin (all the happy chemicals) into the blood stream, lowering the heart rate and blood pressure while making the body relax. Double win!
Shop your DIY massage kit here:
DIY Facial Massage Kit
1. The White Company Rose Quartz Gua Sha, £20
2. Paula's Choice Moisture Renewal Oil Booster, £35
3. Yu Ling Jade Facial Roller, £26
4. Dr Dennis Gross B3 Adaptive SuperFoods Stress Rescue Super Serum, £75