Does buccal massage work? Experts consider

Cassie Milam’s dentist told her that without a night watch, she was in danger of grinding her teeth. Although the protectors prevented damage from her TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder), they did not alleviate the tension or pain in her jaw. But the 37-year-old mother of four knew a strange, new facial massage did just that.

Milam found a spa in Houston where the esthetician would massage her mouth from the inside out.

Cheek massages, popularized by the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Meghan Markle, are also getting a lot of attention on TikTok, where influencers share videos of themselves getting treatments or promoting DIY treatments. promises everything from pain relief to anti-aging effects and overtime facial shaping.

Milam now goes to the doctor every month to relieve her jaw strain.

But how does a cheek massage work and where can you do it professionally? Experts explain.

Cheek massage experience

The first time Milam got a massage, she was a bit amused by the sensation. She knew the treatment would involve putting her hand in her mouth, but she wasn’t prepared for that feeling.

“At first, I was like what am I going to do with my tongue? What if I drool? But it just feels so good,” said Milam. “Even without the jaw pain, with the tension you keep on your cheeks and face, that’s the best thing.”

On top of that, her dentist approves. He sent Milam home with a mouth guard but said that since the stress causing her to grind her teeth (probably a result of life as a mother of four) won’t ease soon, it’s cool. -xa might be a good alternative.

Milam says: ‘I’m trying to avoid injecting for as long as possible and I feel like what she did has helped a lot with my wrinkles and the lymphatic massage has helped with my jawline. mine is slimmer.”

Milam’s esthetician, Katia Moreno, owner of Katia’s European Spa in Houston, Texas, begins with a facial cleansing and lymphatic drainage massage, all done using medical gloves. before putting it in the mouth to massage the entire cheek area.

Moreno uses non-comedogenic oils that allow her hands to glide over her skin without clogging pores. After the massage, she cleans the skin a second time and recommends a hot towel and enzymes for further treatment if the client requests it.

Moreno, who claims to be a cheek massager on Instagram, spent nearly 80 hours training in Ukraine to learn all about lymphatic drainage and facial muscles. Despite her French roots, Moreno says the massage has grown in popularity in recent years and now accounts for about 90% of her appointments.

Moreno says many of her clients have found they can delay demand botox and fillers with regular cheek massages, which, she says, shape and rejuvenate the face. She even says that these clients have noticed other benefits, including less frequent migraines and remission from TMJ.

Moreno’s massages start at around $220 and last for an hour.

Danna Lu Davis, is a licensed esthetician offering massages at her spa in Bethesda, Maryland. She says it’s also her most popular gift. Davis’ facial surgery took 25 minutes and cost $50. The 70 minute option with gua sha costs $160.

Davis’ client, Grace Kishna, 71, has been seeing her for the massage since July 2021 and says it has helped improve the side effects of Bell’s Palsy, the illness that causes her paralyzed on one side in 2018. Acupuncture helped for a while before Kishna found Di Di’s Facial Spa.

“When I first went to see her, I didn’t have much movement on that side of the mouth,” she said, “and now there is movement.”

The science behind cheek massage

Like all massages, facial muscle action can relieve tension and soreness, while providing a relaxing experience.

And medrainage system works by moving fluid, called lymph, under the skin to various lymph nodes, where it returns to the body’s cardiovascular system, reducing swelling in the face and other parts of the body. body.

So it makes sense that these massages help relieve muscle pain and help make the face look slimmer, says Dr. Kimberly Lee, board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon. hospital treatment said. Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgery Center.

She added: “What is lacking is that this is only a temporary thing. “So it’s not like you get a cheek massage and then you’re told your whole face will be shaped forever, or you’re stressed forever.”

One long-term solution for those looking to slim down the cheeks is to get rid of that fat, through an outpatient procedure that provides lasting results, says Dr. Kimberly Lee.

As far as anti-aging goes, Botox may be more effective at reducing wrinkles and migraine symptoms, say Heather Lee Dra dual board-certified facial plastic surgeon at Quatela Plastic Surgery Center.

Dr Heather Lee points out that cheek fat is a fatty patch located deep in the face and contributes to what she calls “a youthful, fresh look”. But the trend these days is to want a more beautiful face, so many women look for ways to get rid of or reduce that amount of fat. Massaging the cheeks will not remove fat and cannot actually reshape muscle.

Dr. Heather Lee agrees with Dr. Kimberly Lee in the sense that these massages may provide short-term benefits, particularly when lymphatic drainage results in a temporary reduction in facial puffiness and function.

Can you do it yourself?

Without a deep understanding of how these facial muscles work, estheticians do not recommend doing it yourself.

“You can do a small part of this on your own, but you can’t really work those deep muscles,” says Moreno.

But unlike the less enticing online trends—you don’t pose a huge health risk to trying this one out. Remember that since you are massaging from the inside of your mouth, you need to make sure that your hands are washed before and after the procedure.

“If you think about those Listerine ads, there’s a lot of bacteria in our digestive tract,” says Dr Kimberly Lee.

You may feel some relief, but if you want the full effect, see a specialist.


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