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Natural Awakenings Washington DC Metro

Facial Rejuvenation Massage

Jan 04, 2014 03:54AM

These days, I am as concerned with staving off the signs of encroaching age as the next senescent Gen-Xer. However, I want to maintain my youthful appearance without resorting to surgery or Botox injections for as long as possible. In my tireless research on the subject, I have discovered the numerous benefits of various non-invasive skin care treatments that rejuvenate aging skin. My interest was piqued when I learned of a face-lift facial massage system put together by a licensed massage therapist here in Washington, D.C.

Combining the elements of three anti-aging massage methods that she has studied, Lisa Schumacher of Balancentering created a powerful anti-aging treatment that she calls Saving Face. I tried it out for myself and was surprised to see modest but noticeable results after just one treatment.

Saving Face blends the best of the Bellanina facelift massage method, the Burnham system of facial rejuvenation and traditional facial micro cupping. Each method brings specific benefits to your skin, and each one produces a distinctive feeling as it is being performed.

After gently cleansing my skin, Schumacher began the treatment with the light touch of the soothing, yet energizing, Burnham system. Developed by Dr. Linda Burnham, a naturopathic physician, this massage focuses on 12 major nerve points in the face and head. Following a carefully planned sequence (named the “butterfly sequence”) of patterned strokes and manipulation of pressure points, the nerve centers of the head are activated and healing energy is released throughout the body. Based in reflexology and nerve rejuvenation, the Burnham method awakens the body’s inner healing and rejuvenation.

Micro cupping is next. Many of you are familiar with cupping—a traditional Chinese treatment for various ailments that involves the application of glass cups to the skin. The suction creates a gentle vacuum that stimulates lymphatic drainage and eliminates toxins. The same principles apply to facial micro cupping, only the cups used are much smaller and will leave nary a red mark on your face.

Facial micro cupping is popular in Europe and Asia, with good reason. It fights the signs of aging by improving circulation, reducing puffiness by draining stagnant fluids and toxins, and improving skin tone and texture. It is rumored to work wonders in controlling acne and rosacea. It also relaxes tight facial and neck muscles and softens the appearance of wrinkles. The treatment is comfortable—as its name implies, tiny “micro” cups exert extremely gentle pressure on the skin. During my experience, the pressure intensified at a few points along my jaw line, which, as Schumacher explained, were areas of stagnation. Schumacher also worked around my eyes, which showed markedly reduced puffiness post-treatment

The Bellanina facelift massage concluded the treatment. Created by aesthetician and massage therapist Nina Howard, this technique is based on the principles of acupressure and lymphatic drainage massage. It stimulates the metabolic processes to improve facial circulation, strengthen capillaries, cleanse the lymph system and clear the skin. Pressing facial acupressure points activates the flow of  ”qi” (life force or energy) throughout the body’s various meridians, which over time can result in firmer, clearer and more vibrant skin.

The massage is preceded by a deeply relaxing application of warm towels suffused in aromatherapy essences, to open the pores and hydrate the skin. I must note that the botanically-based Bellanina skin care products used throughout the treatment were wonderful. The facial finished with an application of the Bellanina signature Honeylift masque, leaving my skin feeling smooth and lifted.

The entire Saving Face facial lasts about an hour and 10 minutes and includes a fabulous hand and foot massage. Although I saw an immediate improvement in my skin tone and lift around my eyes, you typically need at least four to six treatments for more lasting results. According to Schumacher, this treatment is perfect for people in their 30s and 40s who are starting to combat the first signs of aging. It can help you maintain your youthful complexion and hopefully, hold off on going under the knife indefinitely.

Lia Phipps, a native Washingtonian and beauty blogger for, is an interior designer with an irrepressible, life-long fascination with health and beauty. 

To learn more about facial rejuvenation massage, call 202-244-9588 or visit

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