Shankha Facial Massage (Blog by Sowmya Cherukuri)
by R.K's Aroma on Jul 05, 2021
Shankha Facial Massage
We all have been praising the benefits of body massages for centuries - to name a few, they relieve tension, improve circulation, increase flexibility, etc... Lately, however more and more skincare experts and therapists have been hyping up the benefits of facial massages. A facial massage is like a mini workout for your face, it involves massaging key facial muscles and pressuring points (like your cheekbones, jawline, forehead, etc.) using your fingers or a tool. Just a few minutes of this practice every day helps in increasing blood flow, reducing puffiness, and keeping your skin looking fresh, youthful, and wrinkle-free.
Just like all your skincare products, the skincare tools you use play a crucial role in maintaining your skin’s health and giving it a glowing, supple look. These skincare tools or facial massage tools when used in the right way will give you nourished skin in minutes. The tools will give you results easier and quicker than using your fingers. They clean the pores, relax your muscles and also help in toning your skin and improving its texture.
Speaking of tools, you might have heard of gua-sha stone, jade rollers, or a derma roller, but did you know we can use Shankha (Conch) as a facial massage tool? Yes, we are very excited to tell you that Prakash Shivdasani from R.K’s Aroma has developed yet another method of facial massage based on lymphatic drainage using Shankha.
Shankha (Conch or Sea Shell) is scientifically known as Turbinella Pyrum and commonly known as Shankh (Hindi), Sangu (Tamil), and Sankham (Telugu). It is found all over the coastal line (mainly Rameshwar, Rama Setu, and Srilanka). Shankh is also known to be distributed in the Gulf of Mannar, Gulf of Khambat, and near the Narmada river mouth.
Shankha has a long ancient history, it was used in warfare by the ancient Indians. The warriors of ancient India used conches to announce the commencement of war by blowing them. In the Mahabharat’s Kurukshetra war, Paanchajanya (Krishna’s Conch), Devdatt (Arjun’s Conch), Paundra (Bheema’s), Anantavijaya (Yudhisthira’s), Sughosa (Nakula’s), and Manipushpaka (Sahadeva’s) were extensively used.
Shankha has great importance in Ayurveda, the powder made from the conch material is used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine as a cure for stomach ailments and for increasing strength and beauty.
Mollusks generally build their shells in three layers. The outermost layer called periostracum is derived mostly from protein, chiefly quinone-tanned protein but also some chitin. This layer makes up a little portion of the total shell material. The inner layers are composed of calcium carbonate.
The chemical compound of calcium carbonate composes of Calcium, Carbon, and oxygen (chemical formula - CaCO3). Calcium plays an important role in maintaining your skin’s health. It helps in replacing the old skin cells with the new ones. Not only this, but calcium also prevents dry skin & dead skin and reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. It works with the epidermis (skin’s outermost layer) to produce sebum. Sebum is a natural skin coating substance that is responsible for maintaining its natural moisture.
Shankha facial massage
A Shankh Facial Massage is a natural alternative therapy that involves gently rubbing the skin with a Shankha (conch) as a facial tool to improve blood circulation. This technique offers a unique approach to stimulate pressure points on the face, neck, and shoulders. The Massage involves using long or short strokes and circular moments.
There are numerous benefits of Shankha facial massage other than stimulating the micro-circulation on the tender skin, below we have listed a few.
Shankha Massage Increases Blood Flow
Just like how the blood flow increases when you do a set of jumping jacks or push-ups, the moment of a quick facial massage using Shankha sends a surge of blood and oxygen to your skin. This increase in the blood flow will help detoxify the skin thus flushing out waste and toxins and keeping your skin fresh & clean (both in and out). More oxygen sent to the skin, more collagen production and cell growth, resulting in a smooth, naturally dewy, and glowing complexion.
Shankha Massage Treats Dullness And Dryness
Since a Shankha facial massage increases circulation and improves lymphatic function, it helps in treating dullness and dryness. The action of gently scraping Shankha across the skin help in the penetration of serum/moisturizer or any product you put on your skin. Therefore those juicy phytonutrients go deeper into the layers of skin feeding us even more hydration and showing better results.
Shankha Massage Reduces Puffiness Of The Skin And Under Eye Bags
The lymphatic system in your body acts as a bouncer and guards your system. It is a part of your immune system which helps in distributing white blood cells (infection fighters) and good nutrients throughout the body while filtering out waste material like excess water, bacteria via lymph fluid. Because the lymphatic system doesn’t have a built-in pump, it relies on muscle movement, respiration, and gravity to ship the lymph fluids from one area to another area of the body to be filtered.
As you age, this filtration system gets compromised due to various factors (lack of sleep, high blood pressure, hormonal changes and skin issues like acne, allergies, eczema, etc.) and can leave your skin looking a tad inflated.
The sweeping directional movements of the Shankha and the pressure used as the tool is pressed against the skin, can act as that missing pump necessary to improve lymphatic drainage, thus reducing puffy skin and under-eye bags.
Shankha Massage Fights Acne And Acne Scars
Shankha facial massage also helps in preventing and clear acne, decongesting the skin, and lessening inflammation. Shankha, thanks to its composition, can reduce flare-ups, redness, and the size of the acne by moving congestion and improving circulation. But, make sure you are not rubbing Shankha on broken skin and pustules.
As Shankha brings fresh blood to the surface of the skin, it helps in renewing skin cells, hence r educing the visibility of acne scars. For more effective and quick results you can use Shankha on a serum or oil that can combat acne and reduce acne scars.
Shankha Massage Prevents The Signs Of Aging
Regular usage of Shankha as a massage tool on the face can prevent the signs of aging like sagging, dullness, fine lines, and wrinkles. A Shankha helps in relaxing stiff muscles and tissues, thus smoothening out aging signs.
Shankha Massage Can Sculpture The Face
The unique shape of Shankha works perfectly to sculpt, lift, and tighten the skin. Since the technique itself stimulates circulation and oxygenates it carries nutrients to the skin cells. The increased blood flow resulting from Shankha contributes to a more lively, plumped-up, and youthful appearance.
Shankha facial massage can be done by a professional therapist or by yourself as a DIY. The Massage involves using long or short strokes and circular moments. But first, let us have a look at how to hold Shankhs the right way while massaging.
How To Hold Shankha
The art of holding Shankha in hand for massage is based on Ancient Vedic Mudra, Katarimukha-Hasta.
Here are a few photos for a clearer understanding of how to hold Shankha.
Here is another way to hold Shankha for better results.
Here’s how to use Shankh as a facial massage tool in brief.
1) Tie your hair up or wear a headband to make sure your hair won’t be falling on your face.
2) Cleanse your skin with a mild facial cleanser. For better results use RK’s Aroma’s Chamomile Face Wash or Tea Tree Face Wash.
3) Now, take a few drops of RK’s Aroma Fountain of Youth and spread it evenly to form a thin layer on your face. Why Fountain of Youth, you ask? The facial oil is an ancient blend of essential oils that promises to restore glowing, younger-looking skin.
A. Stroking upwards from the collar bone to the jaw bone.
B. Rub in circular movements on the chin cleft.
C. Stroking of the Jaw from the center of the chin towards the ears.
D. Stroking of the Cheeks towards the ears.
E. Gently stroke upwards to the Nose laying emphasis on the corners, up to the sides of the nose.
F. Circling of the Eye stroke under and above the eyes.
G. Stroking of the Forehead.
H. Rocking Movement - Placing the shankh between the nose and lips. Starting from the center of the upper lip towards the temples.
I. Shoulder Effleurage - Lightly stroke upwards from the center of the chest and towards the shoulder bone. Repeat several times.
4) After the massage, wipe off all the excessive oil from the face.
(Please refer to the chart)
It is advised for personal hygiene to wipe the Shankh after every use and preferably to be used by an individual person only.
Dark circles can also be cured with is the treatment if you massage the area around the eye in a circular motion for five minutes every day before going to bed.
Other Ayurvedic Uses Of Shankha
Along with using Shankha as a massage tool, you can also use Shankha for various benefits. Scroll down for more Ayurvedic uses of Shankha.
1. Shankha water helps in curing many skin diseases, rashes, allergies, etc. All you got to do is pour some water in the Shankha and leave it overnight. The next morning remove the water and massage your face with it. Doing this regularly for a month helps in curing white spots too.
2. You can also restore your hair’s natural colour within few days. For this store water overnight in the Shankha as in the above pointer and add Rosewater to it the next morning. Then wash your hair with this mixture, you will observe your hair becoming smooth and silky. You can wash eyebrows, moustache, and beard too.
3. If you are suffering from indigestion, stomach pains, and laceration in the intestines, drink two spoons of this overnight stored Shankha water.
4. Did you know this overnight stored Shankha water can actually increase eyesight? Yes, all you have to do is mix equal amounts of the overnight stored Shankha water and normal water, take the mixture in your palm and dip your open eye into it. Now move the eyeball from left to right rapidly for few seconds. This treatment also helps cure pus in the eyes, dry eyes, and many eye issues.
5. Shankha Bhasma, an Ayurvedic medicine that is prepared from the Conch shell is used to treat abdominal pain, malabsorption syndrome, gastritis, etc. Shankha Bhasma is also used for improving skin colour and complexion.
6. Shankha Bhasma when mixed with tamarind, Panchlavana (the five salts), seed ash, ammonium chloride, asafoetida, pepper, caraway, long pepper, ginger, aconite, and purified mercury in specified portions makes a compound pill called Shankavati. This pill is used to treat dyspepsia. This pill is also prescribed for Vata and Pitta ailments, as well as strength and beauty.