Korean-American woman Kwon Seong-yeon has been practicing bodywork for the past 15 years.
She has spent her entire life practising a variety of techniques, including facial rejuvenation, body massage, and bodywork that uses massage oils to enhance the appearance of skin.
She is the founder and CEO of Asian Lesbian Lifestyle (ALL), which is based in South Korea.
“The most important thing is to make my skin healthy and beautiful.
The most important part is to massage my body,” Kwon told Al Jazeera.
Kwon is currently in her early 40s, and she has always enjoyed her bodywork.
She told Aljaan that her first encounter with massage oils came in her late teens when she was living in Seoul.
“I was trying to figure out what I could do to get rid of the blemishes that were coming on my skin.
I wanted to know if I could use some of my body oils to cleanse it,” she said.
Karen Hui-jin, a massage therapist in New York, told Aljazeera that many Asian women find it hard to find a massage oil that suits them.
“There are some Asian women who like Asian oils because they feel that they can feel their skin better.
It’s a very natural, non-toxic feeling.
It feels like they have a massage in their hands,” she told Alijajaan.
“Many Asian women do not like the feeling of the oil penetrating the skin and the oil is really harsh.”
For Kwon, the oil was the perfect thing to use.
“It’s very relaxing and makes my skin feel soft.
The oils do a lot for my skin, so I’m happy to have it,” Kwan said.”
Asian women can use different types of oils, like Asian lotions, and Asian hair sprays,” said Karen.
“I recommend using one of these oils if you can.”
The use of oil is a matter of personal preference.
Some Asian women prefer the feel of the oils and can use the oils on their skin, while others prefer oils that are softer and don’t penetrate as deeply.
“In general, the majority of Asian women want to use oils that aren’t as harsh as Western oils.
They want to massage more and feel better.
Asian women also prefer oils with a softer feel,” said Hui.
Kwan says she likes to massage her face, neck and shoulders.
“But it’s not always that simple,” she added.
“In the beginning, I would get so busy that I’d miss my massage because I’d go into the bathroom to wash my face.
But now, I don’t miss it because I know that it’s safe and effective.”
Al Jazeera’s Risa Ochs said that Asian women often do not have access to a personal masseur, who is not allowed to work in Korea.
Ochs explained that many massage therapy centers are owned by the government and therefore are often not able to provide Asian women with the care they need.
“When a woman goes to a private clinic for a massage, she’s usually not provided with enough information about what the procedure is like, so they have no idea what to expect,” Ochss said.
“Sometimes they can’t even provide the services that they need for free.”
“Women have to pay extra for the services they’re provided, and the facilities are not well-equipped to accommodate the number of women who are required to go to a massage center,” Oechs said.
In recent years, there have been some improvements to Korean-style massage therapy.
Korean-speaking therapists in the US have been trained in Korean-language techniques, and in 2017, Korean-owned massage therapy facilities in the United States opened their doors.
In 2017, there were also more women taking advantage of the Korean-inspired massage therapies.
“We’ve also seen the growth in the number and variety of women that are seeking services from Asian-style therapists in South and Central America,” said Ochsi.
According to Hui, Korean massage therapy is now available to more Asian women, and her experience has been positive.
“If I had a massage from an Asian masseur in the past, I wouldn’t have felt good,” she explained.
“As an Asian woman, I think that Asian massage therapy has always been a way for me to feel safe and happy.”
Ochsi, the former massage therapist, also believes that the trend towards Asian-inspired Asian massage is the result of the need to better educate people about Asian culture and medicine.
“Many women have come to us with a very personal need to learn more about Asian medicine, so we’re bringing that information to the forefront,” she concluded.
“This will hopefully help the community better understand what Asian massage practices are and how to best incorporate Asian medicine into a Korean-based practice.”
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