I have had facials on nearly every continent, and the very best are intensive massage treatments.
Products vary from one spa to another, as well as the machines they use, but my favorite facials are accompanied by a customized massage. Its benefits are twofold: circulating the lymph (and releasing facial toxins) and having an almost immediate lifting effect.
I like the Omorovicza massage in Hungary and the Kobido massages, which are stimulating (you get your cheeks strummed). Just after the massage, the face feels relaxed and lifted, and the skin is oxygenated – it’s amazing.
Kobido: what is it?
Kobido is an ancient Japanese facial massage. To provide Kobido massage, facialists must be certified, aka learning from a Kobido master (a title relegated from one generation to the next, with Dr. Shogo Mochizuki representing the 26h generation). This Kobido master is Japanese. As his health deteriorates, he hasn’t been giving as much training. There are fewer and fewer newly certified Kobido experts in the world.
It’s nearly impossible to get a massage from Dr. Shogo Mochizuki in Japan – the master is only accessible to the Japanese elite. But we do have access to certified Kobido experts (his trained and certified Kobido facialists).
Before opting for a Kobido treatment, you must either ask for the facialist’s certification or check her up on the official list on the kobido.com website. This list is not 100% up-to-date, so don’t hesitate to request a photo of the facialist’s certification.
Kobido in Italy
There are only two certified Kobido masseuses in Italy, but only one in Rome: Simona Primavera.
I’m incredibly fortunate to be able to book a session with her and then opt for a 4-session package until the end of my stay in Rome.
There are several levels of Kobido. Each level requires a lot of time + practice + examination. To reach the 6th level, as Simona has, it took several years and several places of training (because the master offers very little training abroad, Simona followed him to Japan, Miami, Spain, France…). She’s been practicing Kobido for 11 passionate years.
She was a lawyer before that, specializing in international relations. She traveled a lot, and used to for Italian embassies, and in 2009, decided to take Kobido training. Here I am in front of her office.
When she welcomed me in, she was incredibly enthusiastic – a real ray of sunshine. The Kobido world is pretty small, she knows my other Kobido practitioners in Paris.
Kobido session with Simona Primavera
Before the Covid crisis, Simona had a practice in the historic center of Rome, with a tatami mat as a massage table. Currently, her spa is located a little further away, but still near the city center – at Via Tacito 26, in an osteopathic office.
I had the opportunity to test Kobido in Paris with two practitioners. Because they had beautician backgrounds, they developed a tailor-made facial treatment, combining Kobido techniques with physiotherapy, Face Sculpting, and Gua Sha.
Simona has remained more faithful to the ancient techniques, following the Kobido method from A to Z. I like both approaches, but I am also curious to experience the traditional method: using water to massage as well as natural Japanese toners provided by the Kobido master (such as rose water, rice water, and other natural ingredients). The water temperature changes depending on the area and the technique used: sometimes it’s lukewarm, sometimes it’s hot, and sometimes she puts hot stones on my acupuncture points while massaging me with her hands.
Here’s how the session goes:
- If you’re wearing make-up, you’ll go through a thorough oil cleansing.
- If not, you’ll be given a lightly exfoliating cleanser (rice water) with massage, which is then removed with heated towels. If you feel that’s not enough (maybe you’ve been outside all day, with sweat and air pollution), don’t hesitate to ask for makeup removal anyway.
- Simona massages with her eyes closed, which lets her better assess my skin’s needs. Because of this, she immediately found the tension in my jaw and worked the area a lot.
- The neckline isn’t massaged but pressured, to help circulate the lymph. After years of experiencing facials, I know as soon as a facialist touches me if she knows acupuncture points. I can confirm that Simona knows them and has assimilated the Asian culture as well as body energy, etc.
- She also does some light massaging on the neck, arms, and legs, so the whole body is relaxed.
Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I’d like to share a video with you. I had the same treatment (except Simona wasn’t in a kimono, not practical for the massage – but the motions remain just as precise and efficient).
The great thing about 100% massage facials is that the beautician NEVER leaves your side. No masks are taking 20-minute chunks out of your 50-minute session. She’s there for you for the whole duration of the treatment, which I appreciate a lot.
Ah yes, and there’s one little detail that I love: using scarves for my hair and to cover up. They’re super soft and don’t leave a mark on my forehead.
Here are my before & after (after 5 facials). My jaw is much more relaxed, my whole face appears lifted, and my skin is clear, and smooth. Now all I have to do is carefully treat my acne marks. These results also reflect a very gentle and restorative at-home skincare routine.
€120 for a 50-minute session
She also offers a 4-session package: €400
It is an excellent price, considering the quality of her services.
Simona speaks very good Italian, English, and a little French. I recommend you send her a Whatsapp directly (rather than by e-mail) +39 329 335 5647 to make an appointment. She replies fast.
You can pay by cash or card.
More info on her Spring Touch site: http://www.springtouch.it/