Awakening the face with Yamuna therapy in Norfolk
PUBLISHED: 15:30 02 October 2017 | UPDATED: 15:30 02 October 2017
Former fashion PR and pilates instructor Sharon Clark is one of only a handful of people in the UK trained in Yamuna Facial Therapy, a new treatment said to promote a more youthful appearance and help with everything from repetitive stress to tinnitus and headaches. She told Sheena Grant more, while Sue Bayliss sampled a treatment...
1. What is Yamuna facial therapy and where/when did it originate?
The Yamuna Face Ball method is a deeply therapeutic, toning technique. With age, the bones of the skull shrink and facial muscles slacken, taking the skin with them. This method stimulates, lifts and realigns bone, releases fascia (connective tissue) and muscle, activates muscle and increases skin circulation and tone. It also releases pressure in the head, changes stress patterns in the face and re-educates muscles to work in a different way. The whole face is reawakened. It’s for men and women of all ages but the younger someone starts, the better chance they have of maintaining a wrinkle-free, relaxed face through the decades. It was created in the US by Yamuna Zake. Yamuna originally created a system called Body Sustainability, using various sized balls to release fascia, lengthen muscle and create space between joints. When she reached an age that many of her contemporaries were having cosmetic surgery or using Botox, she took her philosophy that worked so successfully in other parts of the body to focus on the face. What Yamuna hoped would be more of a wrinkle-fighting vanity treatment turned out to be deeper and more profound.
2. What are the benefits?
As well as lifting and reawakening the face and helping reduce fine lines, it also provides relief from the effects of repetitive stress and sustained tension caused by squinting, frowning, jaw clenching and teeth grinding. It can also relieve sinus congestion and sinus headaches and release tension throughout the body. Results are seen immediately but benefits are cumulative with a course of treatments.
3. Is it widely available in the UK?
It’s very new to the UK. I am one of only a handful of certified Yamuna Face Ball practitioners in the UK.
4. What does the treatment involve?
Your head rests on a neck ball while a smaller face ball is gently worked on your face. It will be held in set positions to stimulate and promote bone health, provide fascia and muscle release and increase the tone of the muscle and skin. To work the jaw, chin and neck area, the neck ball is swapped for a pillow. A rehydrating rose oil by Neal’s Yard is applied to finish. During a course of treatments more detailed work will be undertaken to change the patterns of stress and allow muscles to work more correctly with bone structure. This method is not a traditional facial. It is more of a workout for the face.
5. How long does a treatment take and how many treatments do you recommend?
Each treatment is an hour but I schedule 75 minutes to allow for a pre-treatment consultation. If clients want significant change, I recommend a course of six treatments followed by monthly maintenance treatments. However, a single treatment will provide deep relaxation and a lift to the face, perhaps before a special occasion or just as a treat. Individual treatments are £60. A course of six treatments is £300, which equates to £50 per treatment.
6. What’s your background and how did you become a practitioner?
I was originally in fashion PR after studying a BA honours degree in fashion design. I’ve always been interested in health and wellbeing and believe any natural method of keeping us fit and healthy has to be a good thing. Through training as a pilates teacher I was introduced to the Yamuna Body Sustainability system. I trained in the face ball method in February 2015.
7. Where do you practise and how can people find out more?
I have a studio in Cromer and at Holt Holistic Centre and am looking for venues in Norwich. I also go to clients’ homes or other venues, before a wedding or special occasion for example. Visit www.yamunafacialtherapy.co.uk or my Facebook page, Pilates and Yamuna Norfolk. Alternatively, phone 07809143900 or the Holt Holistic Centre on 01263 711898.
‘I didn’t want the treatment to end’
Arriving at Sharon’s treatment room in Cromer I was unsure what to expect from a Yamuna Facial Therapy treatment. But I needn’t have worried.
Sharon gave me a warm welcome and explained what would happen - my head would lie on a rubber ball whilst she applied another one to my face.
The pressure of the ball on my face was firm but I was able to relax. Sharon let the ball stay in one place for long enough for me to feel that the muscles were releasing any tension. She moved slowly from place to place, giving me time to relax into each application of the ball. It felt deeply releasing. I became aware of how much tension we all hold in our faces. Giving it up to the firm pressure of the ball was a great relief.
I felt in good hands. Sharon is passionate about Yamuna and pilates and comes across as caring and empathetic. She told me to let her know if anything was uncomfortable - the only moment that was slightly unnerving was when my eyelids were pulled upwards. But when I let my eyes open it felt ok, rather than trying to keep them closed.
I have to admit, I didn’t want the treatment to end. Sharon finished by applying a rose oil to my face and neck. Having taken a before picture, she took one after the treatment and my face did look more relaxed and open with brighter eyes. I then had a drink of water to flush out any toxins and ensure I was well hydrated.
I will certainly be returning to Cromer to have regular Yamuna sessions with Sharon. My whole body felt relaxed, even though she only applied pressure to my face. I’m convinced the natural approach improves wellbeing and has to be better than cosmetic surgery, which can go wrong. This approach involves no risks at all.