Facial massage is a very popular Western beauty treatment to slow down the aging process and achieve younger-looking and healthier skin. It is also used to relieve stress, migraine headaches, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and sinus congestion. It may involve a whole massage session, a portion of a whole-body massage or a partial of a facial treatment. A professional massage therapist, an esthetician, or a cosmetologist can do facial massage. Simple massage can also be done at home. Massage of the face is usually done with the hands; however, mechanical massaging devices are also used in beauty salons or spas. A small amount of oil or lotion is often applied to facilitate movement over the delicate facial areas.
In Eastern therapies, facial massage is part of a full-body treatment in which pressure points on the face and neck are stimulated in order to release blockages in the flow of qi, or vital energy. Lotions or oils are not used on the face in acupressure, shiatsu, or yoga techniques of facial massage. The Chinese tui na has been handed down from generation to generation, so the art was never lost.
People of all cultures have used massage for pain relief, healing and cosmetic improvement since ancient times. The first written record of massage therapy is a Chinese medical text dating from the third century B.C. The ancient Greeks, Persians, Japanese and Indians also recorded the use of massage treatment in great detail in their early medical literature.
The Western version of facial massage as a cosmetic treatment is a relatively recent twentieth-century innovation. It has become especially popular in Europe. Many of the best-known European practitioners have set up shop in the United States and taught others. This form of facial massage has generally been regarded as belonging more to estheticians and makeup artist than to massage therapists.