With exercise showing benefits that go far beyond the gym and a healthy heart rate, people are looking for new workouts and all the physical, mental and emotional benefits they bring. There are no shortages of ways to strengthen our bodies but do we ever consider our most visible muscles? The ones we think to exercise the least? FaceGym (also known as face yoga) just may be a good, safe alternative to traditional facelifts.
WHAT IS FACEGYM?
FaceGym was developed in London in 2016 to help people tone their facial muscles, improve skin elasticity, and work towards a more vital appearance.
Workouts use a variety of kneading, flicking and pressure techniques to warm up the muscles before the fun begins. The workout includes cardio-simulating massages, mild impulse therapy with the FaceGym Electro Pro, and a cool-down session with stone rollers. From start to finish, the process follows the warm-up, exercise, and cool-down arc of any other effective muscle exercise.
But strengthening and toning are only part of the benefits of FaceGym. As with all muscles, regular stretching and exercise aren’t just about strength and fitness, but also flexibility. Working the facial muscles helps to lower strain and improve blood flow. This is linked to fewer migraines caused by tension in the face and neck.
FaceGym workouts also help produce collagen: a natural protein in the body responsible for skin texture and reducing inflammation.
It starts with removing all makeup and cosmetics. You can come in with your game face already on or have it cleared at the centre. The important thing is to make sure your skin is ready for the essential oils, moisturisers and contact from expert hands.
The session starts with a stress ball massage to stretch and warm up the muscles. Every major muscle in the brow, cheeks, jaw, temple, neck and upper chest is stretched. Although this is an exercise for the facial muscles, stimulating blood-flow from the chest up ensures a more effective workout.
CARDIO & TONING
The cardio session ramps up the stimulation with a deep tissue massage to the face’s major muscle groups. The heat and pressure of strong circulation also carries more oxygen through the vessels, releasing energy into the muscles. This part of the process has many of the same sensations as a good jog.
The middle third of the main workout focuses on toning. This is done mainly through an electric pulse device called the FaceGym Electro Pro. The mild electro-pulses help the muscles contract and flex and is painless for the most part. Electronic impulse devices are mostly used to firm up targeted muscles, but have also been used to relieve chronic pain.
The main workout ends with a skin IV treatment. Your FaceGym trainer starts with a deep cleanse of your skin to remove impurities and prepare it for the final part. The treatment is done through a high-pressure air IV that pushes an exfoliating solution into the skin without the need to break through the skin barrier. One of the main benefits of this solution is its anti-oxidising agents, which help to prevent cell damage.
With the muscles warm and energised, it’s time for the final part of the FaceGym treatment. The trainer cools and stretches the muscles one last time with jade rollers. Not only does this help to lower lactic acid build-up, but cooling the muscles post-workout lowers the risk of strains and kick-starts the recovery process.
IS FACEGYM FOR ME?
Like with any exercise, you have to decide what works best for you.
Many people would like to tone their jawlines and improve contours around their cheeks. One of the biggest struggles with working out is that we can’t actually target where our bodies burn or store fats. That’s just down to genetics. That said, one of the key benefits to muscle workouts is that stronger muscles burn more fat and help give a more toned look overall.
The other good news is FaceGym’s health benefits aren’t just based on aesthetics. Cardio workouts in the face and neck have shown to relieve tension headaches by relaxing the muscles and stimulating blood flow. There’s also something to be said for the relaxation that comes with a trained professional helping you through the entire process.
If you have sensitive skin, however, you should sit with a trained professional to discuss any potential side effects. As with any exercise or treatment, it should be safety first.
Currently, the official FaceGym centres are only available in London, New York and Los Angeles. There is, however, a growing number of wellness centres offering similar treatments in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Images courtesy of https://www.instagram.com/facegym.