Tuong-Vi Giang, L.E.

…After overcoming bipolar disorder, I realized that good mental health is imperative to my life. My family’s healthcare struggles, along with my mental health awareness have inspired me to help others through my love of skin health and mindfulness practices. Years later, as a licensed esthetician working in Manhattan, I was given a rare opportunity to travel the world. I boldly seized this opportunity and learned a wealth of unique techniques in over seven different countries.

During my travels, I was lucky enough to study in Paris with world-renowned facialist, Joëlle Cioccio. There, I received training and practice of Madame Cioccio's sustainable approach to respecting the skin’s ecosystem as well as her carefully examined knowledge of the epidermis.

Along the way, I traveled to my birth country of Vietnam, where I met Bui Quoc Chau, a noted professor and acupuncturist. He taught me the art of facial reflexology - a skillful manipulation of points in the face linked to body organs. I had the privilege of treating Vietnamese locals in Saigon with a wide-range of physical ailments and skin conditions.

As part of my continuing education, I practiced mindfulness with sisters of Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist as well as advisor to Martin Luther King Jr. in France and Vietnam. At the monastery, I lived, worked and meditated with the beloved nuns 24/7. I was lucky to closely practice mindfulness and study the deep roots of meditation and spirituality.

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…Skincare -- there’s a stigma of vanity, insecurity and superficiality. What most people don’t see is that beauty and mental health are inextricably linked to one another. It is true that skincare is also caring for the person as a whole. Beauty goes beyond our outer appearances. By taking care of ourselves, the whole health of our being equally radiates, making us feel and look our best. For many, participating in a beauty ritual like getting a facial treatment or applying makeup can actually benefit and calm the nervous system. In recent years, researchers across the world have quietly made advances in understanding the interplay between the nervous system and the skin. Although, causes of skin conditions such as acne and eczema are multifactorial, often times they are related to stress.

As someone who’s been challenged with bipolar disorder for most of my life, I can attest that relaxing activities have tremendously helped me overcome my suffering. This is why I’ve tied this awareness to every aspect of my work because chances are, there’s not one person out there who hasn’t dealt with mental distress.

Facial massages and treatments not only rejuvenate and repair the skin, but they also tap into the parasympathetic system by allowing the body to fall into a deep rest without the distractions of daily life. During this time, your cells receive the nutrients they need through the movement of blood and lymph caused by massaging the skin. Therefore, helping you to be silent and listen peacefully for any unhealthy patterns or habits that were unnoticeable through all the noise. This tranquil time is just for you; take pleasure in the freedom from your troubles. Together, a peaceful mind and massage will encourage rehabilitated skin and mind. Even though we cannot control every facet of our emotions, we have full control over routines that can help to manage everyday stress to maintain the balance of our physical and mental health.