We’re all familiar with what happens during a basic facial. And there’s nothing wrong with steaming, masking and extractions, if that’s what you feel like you need. But a new raft of cutting-edge facials promises to do all that and more, combining elements of traditional facials with healing modalities like acupuncture, energy healing and craniosacral therapy. Because sure, a facial can lift your cheekbones and give you a certain glow. But if it can also help you release reserves of emotional tension, or address imbalances in your body writ large? We’re all ears. Herewith, a few of our favorite new cutting-edge facials, which just might lift your spirits, along with your jawline:
JESSICA BOWERS: During a session with New York City’s Jessica Bowers, don’t be surprised to feel a major shift in your energy. Because Bowers doesn’t just soothe, sculpt and lift your face — she does so in a way that drops you back into your entire body and quiets your mind. Out of a cozy West Village atelier, Bowers combines Reiki with more traditional facial techniques, helping you release stagnant energy while she expertly tends to your face. She’s big on facial massage — including the lips — and also on tarot. You’ll leave a treatment feeling as though you’ve just awoken from a very deep and necessary sleep, and also somehow with a spring in your step. That Bowers gives you the face to match how wonderful you feel is just the icing on the cake.
ORA ACUPUNCTURE FACIAL: New York City wellness sanctuary ORA is famed for its expert acupuncturists. And although they’ll be happy to work anywhere else on your body, one of ORA’s specialties is acupuncture facials. During an acupuncture facial, an aesthetician will use traditional Chinese medicine principles to treat a raft of skin conditions and their related underlying causes. Just like in a traditional acupuncture session, your pulse will be taken and your tongue examined before a series of fine needles are inserted into specific points on your face that correspond to whatever is in need of special attention. The aesthetic results include everything from increased collagen production to the diminishment of fine lines and wrinkles, but the emotional and other health benefits are also profound. Devotees report lowered anxiety, better sleep, increased blood circulation and more balanced hormones.
NASYA FACIAL: Surya Spa in Los Angeles is famous for its panchakarma treatments, which are three-to-28-day Ayurvedic experiences that aim to restore a person’s entire mind, body and spirit. But for those who can’t commit to more than an afternoon, Surya’s Nasya treatment offers all the benefits of a traditional facial, along with so much more. The treatment focuses on the face, neck and shoulders, and uses a combination of herbalized oils, vigorous massage, Ayurvedic bone and wood tools, steams and oil to open up the entire respiratory system and clear the mind. The results are nothing short of sublime. You’ll look calm, dewy, glowing and lifted, but the treatment’s real gift is the serenity it imparts: you may just find yourself blissfully unbothered in even L.A.’s notorious traffic on the way home.
MYOFASCIAL FACIAL: You’ve heard of fascia, the tiny ligaments in your body that connect your joints and bones. And you may even be familiar with foam rolling — a process that helps keep your fascia supple, fluid and working well. But did you know that your face has fascia, and that it too can benefit from being worked on? Facialists across the country are getting in on the action with new myofascial facials. To start with, the aesthetician will perform myofascial release, working along the upper back and shoulders to determine where there are knots in the muscles and whether these knots are impacting the face. Next, gua sha or jade rollers are used to release tight muscles and promote lymphatic drainage, followed by cupping and tapping. The results include not just a visibly relaxed face, but also better posture and a sense of ease throughout the entire body.
LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE: The lymph system is responsible for moving waste, inflammation and buildup out of your body. And your face is no exception. Lymphatic drainage facials are meant to sculpt and lift your entire face, while simultaneously removing toxins and bloat. Through a combination of gua sha and a sculpting wand, clients leave with their faces chiseled. But the benefits don’t end there. Lymphatic drainage also boosts immunity, and has been proven to lessen the chances of catching a cold. We like The Tox — a mecca for lymphatic drainage with outposts on both the East and West coasts.
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