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A facial: it's more--than meets the eye.

When someone says, "I just had a great facial," most people think of expensive creams and glamorous services that cost a bundle. The hype of the beauty industry has most people believing that a facial is nothing more than a pampering indulgence for special occasions. That could not be further from the truth. The health benefits of a facial far outweigh the beauty benefits. In tandem, however, they produce the healthy glow we all want.

The major health benefits of regular facials are regulation of the immune system, detoxification, reduction in fluid build-up, exfoliation, and stress relief. These benefits are achieved in a facial that incorporates lymphatic drainage, exfoliation treatments, acupressure, and aromatherapy.

The lymphatic system plays a vital role in the body by regulating the immune system. The lymph system, which is carried through a colorless fluid, runs alongside the blood vessel system. When the lymphatic system becomes blocked, lymphatic fluid builds up and the entire system can become toxic. Lymphatic drainage uses specific movements to clear the blockages, which helps remove metabolic wastes and toxins through the lymph nodes situated around the face and neck. The waste that is filtered through the lymph nodes is then eliminated from the body. The results improve the appearance of the skin by reducing puffiness, rejuvenating collagen fibers, and slowing the aging process. A facial also has a calming effect on the nervous system that helps reduce stress and tension.

Exfoliation is a process in which the top layers of the skin are removed, so that the newer, younger cells may reach the surface. As we age, this "sloughing off' process becomes slower and slower. As we have all heard, even the Great Smoky Mountains and surrounding areas, not to mention urban areas like Atlanta, Georgia, have a very high ozone rating. This smog rests on the skin, not only clogging pores, but also being absorbed into the skin's cells. These toxins are going directly through the skin into our bloodstreams. Monthly facials and a weekly routine of exfoliation can keep the skin clean and smooth with an even skin tone. Discolorations fade and often disappear. The skin looks and acts more like young skin.

Acupressure is effective as a health maintenance system to reduce stress, increase circulation and tune up your energy. The technique's purpose is to stimulate the body's own recuperative powers. Various points on the face and head are pressed to stimulate the body's electromagnetic energy. This stimulation removes blockages by diffusing lactic acid and carbon monoxide that accumulates in muscle tissue. Blood and lymph flow more freely and tension that is held in the face is relieved. Sinus problems and TMJ conditions also respond exceptionally well to acupressure.

Aromatherapy awakens and strengthens our vital energies and self-healing capabilities. Essential oils have the ability to directly affect the brain and the many psychological and physiological processes of the mind and body. Since they permeate to the deep levels of the skin, they nourish, tighten, cleanse, detoxify, increase blood circulation, calm and support the skin's functions.

A holistic facial uses pure botanical products and an emphasis on nurturing the body, mind, and soul. An energy based healing treatment, such as Healing Touch or Reiki, is used to help relax the mind and lull you into a restful state. The skin is cleansed, exfoliated, and the lymph flow is stimulated with facial massage and specific oils. This process purifies and strengthens the immune system, resulting in a skin that glows with healthy radiance. An appropriate mask is applied, followed by therapeutic and luxurious preparations that are prescribed for each particular skin type. A scalp massage is the final touch.

So in order to receive the many benefits related to your health, be sure to find an Esthetician who incorporates these holistic and healing techniques. Your skin and your health will benefit!

TRY THIS

Giving yourself a facial at home is always a chance to put your feet up and relax. Here are two natural recipes using ingredients that you can probably find in your fridge.

CUCUMBER MILK CLEANSER

Use a blender to liquefy one cucumber; strain to remove seeds. Mix together equal parts of cucumber juice and whole milk. Apply to skin with cotton ball and rinse immediately with cool water several times.. (Can be stored in refrigerator and used over the course of ONE week only).

AVOCADO MASK

Mash two tablespoons avocado; blend with two tablespoons honey and two drops lemon juice. Apply to clean skin; leave on for ten minutes. Rinse off with lukewarm water.

Julie Pagano is a licensed esthetician and makeup artist with over 25 years experience in skin care. Julie is located at Elements Spa and Shop in Brevard, NC. (828-884-2701)
COPYRIGHT 2005 Natural Arts
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Copyright 2005, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:natural beauty
Author:Pagano, Julie
Publication:New Life Journal
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2005
Words:785
Previous Article:New life events.
Next Article:A meditation vacation: empty your cup with Zen teachers Sunya Kjolhede and Lawson Sachter.
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