Kobido – Japanese Facial Massage

kobido-japenese facial massage

This Japanese style of facial massage stems from anma, the traditional Japanese massage technique. Not to be mistaken for Kobudō, which is the Japanese term meaning “old martial way”, Kobido has been around for more than 2000 years and is a highly regarded skill in Japan – passed down from master to apprentice.

It has just recently become well-known in the United States as a form of facial lymphatic drainage and skin firming massage (most popular for giving the appearance of a mini face lift, while draining the skin of excess fluids, toxins and hyper-pigmentation.)

I had the honor of experiencing this phenomenal massage first-hand and believe me, when done correctly – it really works! Last fall, I spent a weekend in Boulder, CO with some esthetician friends and took an introductory class from Shogo Mochizuki, whose master still resides in Japan and performs Kobido daily, using sake as a massage medium.

Shogo taught us to rapidly move our hands and the pads of our fingers to stimulate the skin and the body’s lymphatic system simultaneously. Shogo first worked on my skin, using pure squalane oil, from olives, instead of the traditional sake (I guess he was all out). The massage felt like thousands of butterfly wings beating wildly yet gently all over my face. When I got up to look at myself in the mirror, I was amazed at the transformation. The darkness under my eyes was gone, my skin was softer than ever, and some of my fine lines weren’t noticeable anymore! I felt like a million bucks (or 10 million yen!)

For more details, check out this great article on kobido from Les Nouvelles Esthetiques – a trade publication for estheticians.
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3 replies
  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    This is very interesting article. I have never heard about ‘Kobido’ and I have Japanese background. I would love to find out more about this massage.

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