I went to see mindbodygreen collective member Jessa Blades, natural beauty expert, makeup artist, and herbalist, for my very first facial reflexology treatment. Blades combines her facial reflexology sessions with Ayurvedic massage work, as she feels the two are complementary.
The first step was to take a test to determine my current Ayurvedic dosha constitution and send Blades the results. When I did it a few weeks ago, I was presenting with a pitta imbalance. I’m a pitta vata dosha type, and my pitta energy was particularly high. It’s worth mentioning that I’m in the throes of my own personal health crisis. I’ve seen many specialists and no one knows for sure what’s going on, but my doctors suspect the root of it is autoimmune, so I’m doing everything I can to complement the Western medicine with holistic healing.
She started off with a heavenly massage on the hands, feet, arms, and head. “How oily can I get you,” she asked me before session. “ALL THE OILS!” I responded. Oil is an important part of Ayurvedic bodywork, as many practitioners believe it pulls toxins from the body, and yes, I’d like some of that please.
When she started the facial reflexology portion of our session, I understood why it’s important to complement it with another modality. Facial reflexology is strangely specific, and while relaxing it’s not quite massage and not always gentle or soothing. The Ayurvedic massage was centering and helped coerce the body into a parasympathetic state, where healing takes place. “These ancient techniques help rebalance the whole body,” Blades said. “They keep chi moving and get energy unstuck,” which presumably helps boost overall health and assuage ailments like mine.