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Japanese Face Massage

Look 10 Years Younger with Tanaka (Japanese) Face Massage

How often have you woken up with a puffy face? Do you find that your face looks pale in the early hours, and even into the afternoon and evening? Do you look tired, even after hours of restful sleep?

Your facial skin can be a fickle creature, but you are not alone. There are many people who do not like the look of their skin in the morning. It looks different, and it feels different. It is one of life’s little mysteries.

Why does our skin looks tired and stressed when we have rested for so long? There must be something which we can do?

Many people try various solutions. From face masks and creams to expensive make-up and plastic surgery. All in search of perfect skin and a youthful complexion.  Often these solutions serve to make the problem worse. So, is there anything which we can do? Well, we may just have the answer.

Note: This post contains affiliate links.  Please see disclosure for more information.

Tanaka (Japanese) Facial Massage

Hiding the problem is not the solution. If you sweep your dirt under the rug every day, there will come a time when the dirt will spill out, and your problem is ten-fold. The same is true for trying to cover up your skin problem. Let’s take a look at the root of the problem.

When we look at issues such as paleness and puffy faces, we know that there is a culprit hiding. Poor circulation. Poor circulation can cause this and more. Spots, wrinkles, dull skin, sagging, small pores, and tired skin. We need a hero to step in, and we have just the one.

Tanaka is a Japanese facial massage. It can improve your circulation and fight all of the problems we have mentioned. There are many facial massage techniques, but we have found Tanaka to be our go-to massage.

We can tell that you are skeptical. Check out these four videos and try it out for yourself. When you are done, you will be amazed at how your face feels.

As you can see, Tanaka massage does take some time when done properly, but what are a few minutes in exchange for radiant skin? Try the Japanese facial massage technique once a day for two weeks and you will feel like a completely different person. We cannot get enough!

How the Technique Works

Lymphatic drainage and facial acupuncture

That is a mouthful, but it is what the first two videos are all about. Acupuncture can be achieved with your own touch. By arousing the areas of the face around the lymphs, the lymphs are drained, and the skin is lifted and enhanced. [1]

Flushing lymphs

The Tanaka massage is a massage which focuses on the lymphs, flushing the waste from our lymph vessels. Less waste means a firmer face, with less puffy skin.

By massaging from the ears down to the neck and collarbone, you are flushing out a lot of toxins. This is a great starting point. With a few simple movements, you can flush out a lot of toxins from your skin, and begin to relax and soothe your facial skin.

Lymph nodes positions

Parotid lymph nodes are located in front of and behind our ears. These nodes can affect facial skin immensely. If they are not taken care of, then your skin can swell and become less firm.

Improving contours and preventing sagging

When you massage your cheeks and push them in an upward direction, you are reducing the fat and cellulite in that area. Our tip, when massaging your cheeks, is to be firm. This is not a massage to immediately relax your face, it is one to stimulate it, and you need to apply pressure if you are going to remove the fat. Massaging around the nose will help to lift the skin in that area.

Additional points

When we watched the videos, we found the technique to be rather simple (as long as we followed the method exactly). We liked that it took a relatively short amount of time. With a little practice, we were able to achieve the desired effect in five minutes.

What is the desired effect? We have talked about how you should perform the massage and why. You will have watched the videos and seen how to perform the massage yourself. What we want to mention, is how you should feel at the end of the massage. As we have said before, this massage is not one which will relax the face.

You should apply pressure to your face as you are massaging. The end result should not be one of pain, but it should also not feel as if your face has not been touched. Aim for a tingling feeling when you are done.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How often should this massage be done?

This massage can be done daily. We would recommend first thing in the morning or last thing before bed.

Q: What type of massage cream should I use?

box of collagen cream

We would recommend a facial cream which does not absorb into the skin too quickly like this one.  If you prefer, you could also use a facial oil like this one or make your own chamomile facial oil.

Q: I do not like this massage, what else can I try?

If you prefer a more classical face massage, then check out our review of the best facial massagers on the market.  You could also try one of these facial massage tools or an eye massager.

How to Do a Tanaka (Japanese) Face Massage

woman giving herself a face massage

This is a simple facial massage technique that will help keep your skin looking young.

Prep Time 1 minute
Active Time 10 minutes
Total Time 11 minutes
Difficulty Easy


  • Massage lotion, cream, or oil


  1. Before beginning the massage, apply cream, oil, or lotion to the whole face.
  2. Place your hands right below your ears, use a little pressure, and move them down your neck. Repeat this motion three times.
  3. Using three fingers on each hand, apply light pressure to the center of your forehead. Keep the pressure light and glide your hands towards your temples, pause for a moment, and then move your fingers down the side of your face and neck. Repeat this motion three times.
  4. Place one finger on the outer corner of each eye. With gentle pressure move your finger under the eye towards your nose, then move your fingers above the eye back to the outer corner of your eye. Move your fingers back under the eye towards the center and back out under your eye. Then, press lightly and move your fingers towards your temple, then down to your collarbone. Repeat three times.
  5. Place two fingers from each hand on the center of your chin just below your lips. Keeping light pressure on your chin, move your fingers towards the outer edge of your mouth, then with only one finger from each hand add a bit more pressure as you move the fingers back toward the center above your lips. Repeat three times.
  6. Using one finger from each hand trace the outside part of your nose, moving the fingers up and down several times. Then move the fingers up and down repeatedly on the arch of your nose.
  7. Then using light pressure with two fingers from each hand just below your eyes move towards the side of your face then down to the collarbone.
  8. Next, take the two fingers from each hand and place them just below the outer edges of your lips. Using light pressure move them up tracing the outside of your nose toward the inner corner of your eyes. Keep pressure in this spot for three seconds, then move the fingers to the outer edge of the face and down to the collarbone. Repeat this motion three times.
  9. Now focus on one side of the face at a time. Start from just under the face halfway from the center of your chin and your ear. Using two fingers press lightly and move up diagonally to the inner corner of the eye. Then move the fingers to the edge of your face and down to the collarbone. Repeat this step three times on each side of the face.
  10. Take two fingers from each hand and apply pressure just outside the wings of the nose. Then move the fingers to the edge of your face and down to the collarbone. Repeat this step three times.
  11. Use the back of the thumbs to apply pressure just outside the wings of the nose. Then move your thumbs to the edge of your face and down to the collarbone. Repeat this step three times.
  12. Then apply pressure using the back of the thumbs at the outside corners of the mouth. Move your thumbs up to the temple and then down to the collarbone. Repeat three times.
  13. Place your thumbs on either side of your nose. Apply pressure and move the thumbs to your temples, then down to the collarbone. Repeat this step three times.
  14. Next, use one hand under the chin to hold your face steady. With the other hand, using two fingers rub up and down in short strokes move left to right.
  15. Then place two fingers from each hand in the center of your forehead. With a little bit of pressure move your hands to the outside of your face then down to the collarbone.


Do this massage daily for best results

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About the Author

Natalie was introduced to massage therapy and manual therapy after health issues of her own. She wants to share what she has learned to help others life happier lives.

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