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Make a Point to Stand Out!!!

Coming up on my 18th year of being a skin therapist, I reflect back on all my tools that I use in my arson for anti-aging, relaxation, result orientation skin care and acne problems. One of the most tried and true treatments that I incorporate with every facial that I perform are pressure points. I first learned about pressure points at the Aveda Institute during my education for getting my aesthetics license. I remember sitting with my class outside (being that it was Minneapolis we didn’t get outside much). I had a fellow students head in my lap while she laid in the grass and I learned the technique. 90% of my new clients say, “I have never had a facial like that before!” I believe I stand out because I give them a pressure point massage. I want you as a therapist to have a technique that stands out from the rest. For me, I stand out because of my  pressure point massage and the use of high frequency, I’ll explain the importance of High Frequency in a future blog and featured article for Les Nouvelles Esthetique and Spa magazine.
You can incorporate pressure points at any time, with any facial. For example, if I cannot perform a massage due to red and irritated skin (roseacea, acne or post exfoliation treatment), I simply perform the main 15 points on the face. This relaxes the client, their muscles, increases blood flow, all the while not rubbing their face and increasing the irritation. I like to perform pressure points while they have a hydrating mask on; I perform right through the mask. You can also perform pressure points during the facial massage. I believe as Aestheticians, we are all our own chefs in the kitchen. We have our own flow, use different ingredients and liken our facial to our menu. There are no right or wrongs to when we perform pressure points on our clients.
There are fifteen points on the face that represent areas and systems within the body.
Facial Pressure Point Massage Chart

Facial Pressure Point Massage Chart

There are several types of pressure points – each is applied differently and each creates a different effect. Most pressure points are located on pathways on the nervous system. Some pressure points produce pain when struck, pressed, or rubbed, depending on the point itself. These points are also referred to as nerve centers. In acupressure, you compress key energy points on the skin’s surface with your fingers to stimulate your body’s natural healing abilities. Different kinds of pressure on the pressure points achieves different results, but the most common type of acupressure application is firm, prolonged pressure, from 1 to 3 minutes. You locate a point; sink in gradually with your finger, thumb, heel, or side of your hand; and hold it for at least 1 minute to calm and relax the nervous system. The depth to which you sink into a point should be enough to cause your partner to perceive it as a “good hurt”—a bit tender but so it feels as if it’s doing some good. Also remember to never break contact, rotate back and forth with your hands.
reflexologyfacemapkey
It’s important that both you and your partner breathe fully and deeply during the application of acupressure. Your partner’s deep breathing allows the points to release pain and tension and promote the flow of healing energy throughout the body. Your partner will feel her ability to regulate the steady amount of pressure you’re exerting with your finger, as the pressure increases on her inhalations and decreases with her exhalations, regardless of where on the body you are pressing. Your deep and steady breath will not only help keep you focused and centered on what you’re doing, but will also remind your partner to maintain a steady breathing pattern.
  • Never apply any finger pressure in a jarring or abrupt way.
  • Never loose contact
  • Remeber to breathe with your clients
  • Avoid areas of broken skin or recent scars.
I find the following pressure points to be the best during a facial pressure point massage:
The Third Eye Pressure Point
The Third Eye point is in the indentation at the bridge of the nose between the eyebrows. This is a useful point for relieving anxiety, stress, chronic fatigue, and headaches. I like to start with this pressure point.
The Gallbladder 2- headache pain
The Gallbladder 2 is a fingertip-size point where the top of the ear joins side of the face and is useful for alleviating headache pain, especially vascular headaches and migraines.
Shoulder Well
The Shoulder Well point is on the highest part of the shoulder, slightly closer to the neck than midway between the base of the neck and the outer point of the shoulder. It relieves anxiety, fatigue, shoulder tension, and headaches.
Drilling Bamboo pressure points

The Drilling Bamboo points are in the indentation of the inner eye socket just below the middle point of the eyebrows. They relieve sinus pain and congestion and eyestrain.

The Welcoming Perfume pressure points

The Welcoming Perfume points are just to the sides of the nostrils, by the nasal crease. These points are good for sinus congestion and pain.
The Facial Beauty pressure points

The Facial Beauty points lie directly below the pupils of the eyes as your partner is looking straight ahead, just under the edge of the cheekbone. These points help sinus pain and congestion, as well as eye fatigue.

Water is important because an increase in blood circulation means the body will get rid of waste quicker, it will make your reflexology treatment so much more successful if you follow these last two steps.1 Get the person receiving face reflexology a big glass of water. 2 Tell them to take it easy for the rest of the day and keep up the water

Relaxation is important. It allows people to stop and take time out from the stresses and obligations of life, relaxing is the same as hitting a reset button and these buttons are pressure points! And often can make us more efficient and happy just for having done it. Helping someone relax is helping them stay healthy. I encourage you to try, practice and stand out!

Look for this article in Les Nouvelles Esthetique & Spa magazine, Feb 2013 www.LNEONLINE.com

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The Cell Cycle

A Journey lasting 4 to 6 weeks…
Aging is a part of life, if we could stop the process, we would all be millionaires. The cell renewal rate slows down when we age. This is because there is less blood circulation, less oxygen is delivered to skin cells, so they are not replaced as quickly.
Cell turnover rate slows down so new cells take longer to reach the surface. This leads to a buildup of dull, devitalized, dead surface cells and rough skin texture. When this build up occurs, skin conditions such as hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone and texture, fine lines and wrinkles, pore size enlargement are more prevalent.
As a skin therapist, it is crucial to explain how the cell cycle works in order for your clients to understand what exfoliation treatments will be chosen and why they will need more than just one to do the trick.  I like to think of weekly treatments as if you are chiseling, little by little at the skin by way of a controlled trauma (exfoliation treatments such as peels, microdermabrasion and enzymes), until you get your clients skin through a full cell cycle. It is as if your clients face is a block of marble… and little by little you are carving out their beautiful skin. metaphorically you are using a small pick ax instead of a one shot treatment as using a chainsaw. I explain that if they want faster results, then they will have longer down time. By treating their skin on a weekly basis and getting them through a full cell cycle, the need for down time and possible adverse effects are minimized. I understand that working with a clients skin on a weekly basis is very involved however, this is the optimal avenue in which to treat them.
The Epidermal Layer
The epidermis is composed of the outermost layers of cells in the skin “epi” in Greek meaning “over” or “upon”, which together with the dermis forms the cutis. The epidermis is the skin’s outer structure  serving a protective function however, the part we can see, the horny layer (horny is referred to the look of the skin under a microscope. The microscopic ‘tags’ the skin cells have allows for natural, daily exfoliation) is   the only a minute part of this stratified  squamous layer.
It is the ultimate result of the keratinisation process  and marks the final stage of a 4 to 6 week journey made by the  keratinocytes. Human skin is continually being renewed. The desquamation of cells on the skin’s surface should  naturally be compensated for by renewal of the epidermis, a process that is responsible by the keratinocytes (85% of the cells in the epidermis). These possess two  properties which successively come into action – the ability to actively divide  and the ability to differentiate.
The epidermis contains 5 layers. The upper or outer layer of the two main layers of cells that make up the skin. The epidermis is mostly made  up of flat, scale-like cells called squamous cells. Under the squamous cells are round cells called basal cells. The deepest part  of the epidermis also contains melanocytes. These cells produce melanin, which gives the skin its color. From bottom to top the layers are named stratum basal, stratum spinosum, stratum granulosum, stratum licidum, and stratum corneum. The bottom layer, the stratum basal, has cells that are shaped like columns. In this layer the cells divide and push already formed cells into higher layers. As the cells move into the higher layers, they flatten and eventually die. The top layer of the epidermis, the stratum corneum, is made of dead, flat skin cells that shed about every 2 weeks.This layer, the most superficial of the epidermis, is  in direct contact with the external environment and therefore plays a vital role  as a barrier against all sorts of aggression. It also regulates the amount of water released from the body into the atmosphere through transepidermal water loss (TEWL).
The Cell Cycle Treatment
The thickness of the epidermis varies in different types of skin. It is thinnest on the eyelids at .05 mm and thickest on the palms and soles at 1.5 mm. The epidermal layer is the layer that we Aestheticians exfoliate and treat on a weekly basis.
The first treatment of exfoliation is day 1. The Basal cell layer (the nursery as I like to call it) starts kicking out new cells. These new cells replace the old cells. This takes 28-40 days for the new cells to reach the surface of the skin. I want to give my client an exfoliation treatment once a week for 6 weeks. By their 4th treatment the Basal layer gets very stimulated and gets fatigued. The Basal layer calls for backup, thus collagen and elastin are synthesized. As a therapist, I like to explain that I want to get their skin through a full cell cycle in order to reach optimal results. This speeds up the cellular turnover, thus results are achieved.
Cell Cycle Graph
Treatment 1/Week 1- Day 1 of a cell cycle

Treatment 2/ Week 2- Day 7 of a cell cycle

Treatment 3/Week 3- Day 14 of a cell cycle

Treatment 4 /Week 4- Day 21 of a cell cycle

Treatment 5/Week 5-  Day 28 of a cell cycle

Treatment 6/Week 6- Day 35 of a cell cycle
The cell cycle time of basal keratinocytes 3 days after abrasion is drastically reduced to about 11 hrs. This is compared to 5 to 7 days in the normal epidermis. The cell cycle time gradually increased to 14 hr at 5 days. It is sped up to 1 to 2 days at 7 days, and 4 to 5 days at 14 days after abrasion. This dramatically changes the skin, minimizes the skin conditions and the skin has been renewed.

I understand that some exfoliation treatments can be extremely strong and may need more recovery time. Jessners, TCA’s and other stronger peels that purposely sheet or shed the skin needs more time to heal. These peels can be used on a 10-14 days rest period. In other words, with these stronger peels, you will have to double your time and get them through 2 full cell cycles. This takes longer and has more opportunities for adverse effects. Just take precaution and work within your comfort level. Being a result orientated therapist with advanced skills, personally like to use a Jessner on the 6th treatments with a client that is having consecutive peels. I call it the “crescendo” of their treatment. If you think of it, after they have had their 5 consecutive/weekly treatments, the skin is prepped and ready for such a Peel. As I have said before, do this only if you are confortable with it.
The Base Line
After you work with your clients on a weekly bases by getting them through a full cell cycle, other treatments can be utilized. I call this stage in their course of treatment (and you know you will always want to see them for maintenance and further treatments) “The Base Line”. “The Base Line” means you have gotten their skin through a full cell cycle and their skin is functioning at its optimal level of cellular turnover. I want to take advantage of the skin in their stage because of increased function. Oxygen treatments, LED, Ultrasound, micro current and other skin care treatments can be more affective due to getting their skins cell cycle up to speed, mind the pun.
After you work with your clients on a weekly basis by getting them through a full cell cycle, other treatments can be utilized. Oxygen treatments, LED, Ultrasound, microcurrent and other skin care treatments can be more affective due to getting their skins cell cycle up to speed, mind the pun.
Keep your eyes open for this article in Febuary 2013 issue of  Les Nouvelles Esthetique and Spa magazine. Or visit www.lneONLINE.com