FACE MASSAGE DOES MORE THAN RELAX
Facial Massage reduces anxiety and alleviates negative mood in healthy adult
women, according to recent research. Not only did it calm the participants
during the treatment, but raised them to a greater state of alertness after the
treatment, causing the authors to use the phrase ‘a refreshed state of mind’.
The study involved 32 healthy Japanese women, ranging in age from 20 to 40
who each received the face Massage.
Outcome measures were evaluated immediately before and after each facial
Massage. These measures included electro-cardiogram (ECG) recordings to
Each issue I will feature one of
my favourite healing music CDs.
The music I write about is music
I have worked with in my
M a s s a g e t re a t m e n t s f o r
thousands of hours, yet it still
inspires and uplifts me every
time I hear it anew. The best
priced location to get any of
these pieces is probably the web
as many are imports.
I thought I would feature a
p i e c e o f m u s i c I
particularly like to have
playing when I have a face
Massage. This is such a
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time favourite song of
Lucinda’s; Into the Deep.
It sends shivers down my
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If you want your soul
lifted, then this music does
© 2012 The NO HANDS Massage Company Ltd
evaluate intervals between heart beats, as well as
parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous activity.
The Profile of Mood Status was also used to
determine the current mood state of each subject,
and the State Trait Anxiety Inventory was used to
measure participants’ anxiety levels.
Results of the research revealed that
parasympathetic nervous activity increased
during the Massage, and sympathetic nervous
activity increased after the facial Massage.
Parasympathetic ner vous activity is
responsible for rest and recovery, resulting in
a relaxed physical state. On the contrary, sympathetic nervous activity is in charge
of the “fight or flight” response, resulting in a stimulated physical state.
The study also showed that both anxiety and negative mood decreased
significantly after the hands-on intervention, based on the scores from the Profile
of Mood Status and State Trait Anxiety Inventory.
Based on this data, the authors theorised facial
Massage may bring about not only relaxation
benefits, but it also may have a stimulating
effect, or refreshment.
“These results suggest that the facial Massage
had strong effects on stress alleviation, or
psychological relaxation. The increased
sympathetic nervous activity following the facial
Massage (…) might be a positive reaction to a
stressor, which is classified as eustress. Such a
mixed status of psychologically relaxed and
physically-activated might well be regarded as
refreshment rather than relaxation.”
Authors: Tomoko Hatayama, Shingo Kitamura, Chihiro Tamura, Mayumi Nagano and Koichiro
Ohnuki. Source: User Science Institute, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan. Originally
published in Biomedical Research (2008) 29 (6): 317-320.