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What's Up With the Facial Massage?

Why do we perform the facial and acupuncture point massage after training qigong?

When I introduce Cosmos Qigong to a new group of students during our weekly classes, they get a lot of material in that very first lesson. Once they’ve learned the basic pattern introduced that week, I lead them through a facial massage and a point massage. Eventually this little sequence becomes like second nature to them, but I admit it can seem a little strange to the newly initiated to the point of wondering what the heck this weirdness is all about.

Actually, it’s not that strange. Nearly every style of qigong has some variation of this sequence, and its function is both important while also bearing fringe benefits. First of all, I’ll reiterate that we practice genuine qigong and Kungfu in Shaolin Wahnam. After a session of qigong, even most new students can feel their qi flowing. While most of the energy we generate when practice ends up being stored to give us energy, clarity, and health, we also spread some of it out on the face and head. That extra qi to the face also invigorates the skin and keeps it young and healthy. It’s actually a bit of a joke among more senior students in Shaolin Wahnam that when we meet again after a long period of time, even years, most of us look the same, if not younger.

The function of the point massage is basically the same thing. There are acupuncture points all over the face. The meridian with the most points on the face is what we refer to in Chinese medicine as a Yangming meridian. Yangming meridians are said to be “abundant in qi and blood”. The whole facial acupuncture craze for skin care? Yep, most of those points getting needled are Yangming Meridian points.

But the most important function of the facial massage and point massage is that it serves as a bridge between the qigong state of mind we are coming out of at the end of a training session and the everyday world around us where we are working, living, and playing. Much in the same way walking directly out of a dark movie theater into the bright sunlight is a bit of a shock to the system, so is simply walking away after training, say out into traffic or onto a noisy street. So, we perform the facial massage and point massage as part of a routine to smooth that transition. In this way, we actually benefit more from our training because we allow the energy we generate a little more time to consolidate before returning to the rest of our lives. This also allows the benefits of our training to percolate into the world around us, and how we interact with the people and things in it.

I could probably blather on forever about how awesome Cosmos Qigong is, and it is! The miraculous transformations stun me, steady improvements make me smile, but I can’t help but take a step back and appreciate the little things inside of it that also bring positive benefits, like the seemly simple facial and point massage. Every piece of it has a purpose and is helpful. It’s the myriad of little things that come together in a joyful whole. Is it time for you to put those happy pieces together? Classes will start up again in the spring. Check out our info page here and keep your eyes peeled for registration!

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