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What is Buccal Massage?

Buccal massage - what is it? Thanks to celebrities like Megan Markle and Kate Moss, who credit their sculpted cheeks and sharp jawlines to it, this peculiar facial massage has been gaining popularity over the past few years. At first glance, it seems pretty strange - an esthetician gloves up and massages the inside of your mouth. Can something like that really give the results it claims it does?

Buccal massage, pronounced, ‘buck-ull’ isn’t a new concept by any means; it’s been practiced for over thirty years in Europe. Called buccal massage in reference to the buccal or buccinator muscle, this massage involves working both the inside and outside of the mouth simultaneously. Your licensed esthetician will massage oil into the skin and lips, don gloves, and gently place one to two fingers inside of the mouth. The process involves stretching the muscles before moving on to massaging them; working the upper face, mid face, and then lower. We finish by massaging the lips to increase circulation, smooth lines, and promote a plumper appearance. 

Two places in particular that are worked are the zygomaticus major and minor (muscles up by the sinuses) and the masseter. These muscles in particular can hold a lot of tension, which can result in increased marionette lines, TMJ, jaw pain, and general discomfort that you may not even realize you’re holding. Generally buccal massage is a comfortable (albeit different) process, however since these particular muscles can hold a lot of tension some may find it a little uncomfortable to be massaged. But this is good discomfort, similar to how when you get a normal massage it can be a little painful in areas where the masseuse is working knots or tight muscles. And as the muscle is worked and you get additional sessions, the discomfort lessens and eventually no longer is uncomfortable.

Buccal massage is a powerful and sophisticated massage technique that not many spas in the United States offer. At The Spa at Selenite, our estheticians are professionally trained by a European practitioner who has spent years practicing and popularizing buccal. Can it give you the results it claims to tout? Absolutely. Buccal, when done in a series of 6-10 sessions once a week, can greatly improve the jawline and the marionette lines, as well as help with TMJ and jaw pain. A more chiseled look can be seen after two to three initial sessions, less pressure and discomfort can be felt in the jaw almost immediately. A once a month maintenance session is recommended after you’ve completed the series. 

Buccal massage isn’t just good for pain management or for sculpting your cheekbones; it’s also fantastic for lymphatic drainage and blood circulation. The lymph system is how your body rids itself of toxins and basically operates as your body’s waste removal system. However, this system doesn’t have its own pump, unlike your veins which circulate the blood completely on its own. The lymphatic system needs a little help to get things flowing, which can be done through exercise or, most commonly, through facial massage. Stagnant lymph in the face can result in a bloated or puffy appearance, particularly in the jaw and cheeks. At Selenite, we prep for our buccal facial with lymphatic massage, which gets things moving and increases the efficiency of the buccal portion so our movements can be even more sculpting. Double the massage for double the lymphatic drainage, giving you both relaxation and results.

Our highly trained estheticians at The Spa at Selenite are available for booking starting April 15th, with a Grand Opening April 22nd. Come see us for a buccal massage facial and experience full body relaxation - as well as those Hollywood-worthy results.

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