The Benefits of Facial Massage + Acupressure for Singers June 07 2018
A spoonful of honey and vowel warm-ups aren’t the only pre-show rituals for singers. Krystina Lewicki, who has been singing and teaching voice for over 20 years, shares her experience at Province Apothecary and how she uses facial massage and acupressure to relieve vocal stress:
"When I received a facial several months ago, I came home and started vocalizing. I wasn't surprised that vocalizing was flowing well because of relaxation of the neck, throat, back and all of the facial muscles and jaw. I've experienced similar benefits from therapeutic massage, which contribute to an ease and openness in flowing breath which creates beautiful tones in the singing voice. What did surprise me was that my vocal range had actually increased a full tone from a Bb to high C (soprano range Bb6 to C6 on the piano). I did an experiment again after the second facial and had the same result. I am practicing the morning routine with brushes, along with the facial acupressure routine to help keep my mature voice fresh and expressive for singing."
"There are many resonant cavities in the head. When there is open space in the resonators, more vibrations and subsequent harmonics can be released and heard. When the bones are lifted from acupressure and tissue tension released through facial massage, it helps to create more space. The overall result gives a singer more range, beautiful tone and makes it easier to connect the coordination of breath all the way up to the resonators."
"I remember being at an Opera Masterclass with one of the world's finest sopranos, Sondra Radvanovsky. She demonstrated how she used acupressure to lift her cheekbones to create more space in bone structure to give the soft tissue and fascia more room to stretch open. She leaned her elbows on the piano and placed her fingertips on her cheekbones and applied pressure while inhaling and lifting the soft palate and tissues."
Krystina Lewicki has been singing and teaching voice for over 20 years in her High Park home studio. She works with young and mature singers, and is a member of the Women's Bandura Ensemble of North America (BWENA) https://www.banduristka.org/ .