Facial Massage for Getting Rid of Wrinkles

In spite of all that has been said for and against wrinkle removers, I do not hesitate to declare that massage after the Swedish system is the only reliable and lasting method of so strengthening the facial muscles that they will support and hold the fatty tissues firmly as in healthy youth.

When the muscles of the face relax, the underpinning, so to speak, of the structure, becomes weak and flabby; and the face presents a withered, shrunken look because the tissues are weakened and impoverished and have nothing stable to rest on.

If the arm or leg were to present the appearance of shrinking and withering apparent in the face of almost every woman over fifty, all physicians of all schools would agree that the patient required massage, friction, gymnastics, and perhaps electricity to strengthen the weakened muscles. There have, indeed, been cures of seemingly hopeless paralysis, by massage, continuously, systematically, and scientifically given.

If a shrunken arm may be restored to symmetry and perfect contour, why not a shrunken cheek? Obviously ne result is as logical as the other. The great difficulty is that in treating an arm or leg we follow our physician’s advice and secure a scientific masseur; but for some inexplicable reason, we trust our faces, whose delicate anatomy and muscular structure we know next to nothing about ourselves, to the first woman whose sign “facial treatment” or “facial massage” meets our eyes on the street, and who is just one degree more ignorant than we ourselves.

No woman is competent to give beneficial massage to the face unless she has studied its anatomy, knows every nerve and muscle in its construction, and has practiced the giving of facial gymnastics for at least a twelvemonth under one of the professors of the Swedish school.

I suppose I am acquainted with nearly every so-called method of giving so-called massage in this country. It is utter nonsense to talk of different methods. There is only one real way of properly administering true facial gymnastics, and that is after the school founded by the great Ling, the originator of the system. Where a woman can afford to employ a skillful masseuse of course she should do so. First-class Swedish graduates receive naturally good pay for their services, and but recently have been unwilling to give facial treatments alone, but there are two or three experts in this line who now give the facial treatment at prices not high when the quality of the service rendered is considered.

Frequently, however, to a woman who needs facial massage, even one dollar is far beyond her means, and in such cases the subject may do the work herself on her own face-and it is work and not play, let it be understood, and fatiguing work, too, when properly done.

The word massage is derived from the Greek masso, to knead. It does not, as many alleged operators appear to consider, mean to pinch, or punch, or bruise, or beat the tender flesh and nerves until the victim is as sore as a pugilist after a prize fight.

Before a woman gives herself massage, she should study the plate given in this book, showing the muscular construction of the face and throat, and she should recollect that the muscles must be developed by the exercise -which is given them in the various motions. All the important facial and throat muscles are manipulated, the operator anointing her fingers with a tissue or skinfeeding unguent, or skin food, which has usually a basis of lanolin, because of its penetrating qualities, and is gently rubbed into the skin. It is quite wonderful to see how gratefully the skin accepts nourishment in this way. I am never tired of watching and marveling at the sensibility, the responsiveness, and the power of its resistance.

The skin combines within itself the powers of an organ of excretion, secretion, respiration, and nutrition. After it has absorbed the skin food it requires, it will accept no more for the time being, and the operator may commence the smoothing out process. All lines should be smoothed out-that is, they should be treated with the thumb and forefinger in an opposite direction to their formation. My own masseuse says:

” In giving massage, the patient’s face is first bathed in warm water and carefully dried with a soft towel. I use a little cream or skin food to anoint my fingers during the treatment.” The first picture shows the movement for obliterating horizontal lines and furrows in the brow. This is the rotary motion, as shown in the diagram. It is reversed in the work on the brow, but always backward on the temples.

It has been well said that a woman cannot afford to shed many tears after she is five and twenty, or if she does it will be at the expense of the beauty of her eyes, as the lachrymal glands are relaxed by weeping and the orbicular tissues (the orbicularis is the circular muscle of the eyelid) become emaciated, causing the disfigurement known as drooping eyelids, and nothing but the most skillful manipulation can restore the contour of those delicate tissues.

The temporal muscle is the one to be operated upon. The muscle is fan shaped. Its fibers arise from the aponeurosis of the forehead. The operator must exercise great skill and care to locate this muscle, giving it the proper rotary movement, thus forcing the blood to the surface, which will nutrify and rebuild the fatty tissues and restore the temple and nasal contour.

The principal muscle of the cheek, called the trumpeter’s muscle, is a flat mus cle which forms the wall of the cheek. It derives its name from its being much used in blowing the trumpet. But several other muscles enter into its formation, and these become relaxed from a disorganized system, sluggish blood, and many other causes. The glands shrink, the fatty tissues emaciate, and then we have sunken cheeks.

The operator must know how to locate these muscles, beginning at the origin of the trumpeter’s muscle and manipulating upward to the predominating muscle above the ear, finishing the work on this muscle with the rotary movement which will force the circulation through the relaxed muscles, invigorate and rebuild the tissues. This movement, in connection with the manipulation of the mahler or cheek muscles, will completely obliterate the lines of care, but in giving these movements, special attention must be paid to the chin, as the contour of this most important feature can be diminished or abnormally enlarged by improper manipulation. Illustration No. 5 shows the manipulation of the cheek muscles. This is a sort of clawing movement. The muscles must be accurately located and the motion light and quick. Generally speaking, all facial massage movements are outward and upward.

Hollow cheeks fill out in an amazing way when this manipulation is properly and persistently given

Most women begin to show age by a relaxed condition of the muscles of the neck and throat, and no woman, I am sure, has ever seen this first sign of advancing years without a sinking of the heart. I do not hesitate to say that by care the contour of the neck and throat can be positively restored to the firmness and beauty of youth, in all cases where there is not some wasting disease and where the subject is not over sixty years of age.

Where the muscles are much relaxed, they are actually sensitive to the touch, and they suffer punishment at the first treatment if they are properly manipulated.

The maasseuse employed by me says: “My patients frequently declare at the first treatment: ` I can never stand it,’ but before I have given them the third they will tell me, ‘You have coaxed my throat into an insatiate demand for the exercise you give it, just as my lungs demand fresh air.”‘