It just might be the key to bettering your physical and emotional health.
We live in a fast-paced world and walk around immersed in stress and self-judgment. What most of us don't realize is that all of this stress creates tension in our system—our faces, bodies, and our life.
This is exactly what Julie Civiello Polier preaches, and when we discovered her Instagram, we were so intrigued by the education she was putting out and wanted to learn more.
Julie is an author, founder of LINEA, holistic esthetician educator, reiki master, intuitive guide, and a celebrity shamanic facialist working with celebrity clientele like Miranda Kerr and Goldie Hawn. Julie shines a light on our interconnected system, a practice that originated in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and teaches others how to work with the face to heal deeper rooted issues. With the release of LINEA, her holistic beauty kit, Julie encourages women to bring healing into their own hands. It is her mission to transform everyone into the alchemist of their own health and beauty.
Tell us about yourself. How did you end up as a reiki master and shamanic facial practitioner?
Gratefully, I was introduced to alternative healing methods at a very young age by my mother, Mary Ellen Civiello. She comes from Irish-Italian lineage and a very strict Catholic upbringing. So many people in our family thought she was off her rocker experiencing acupuncture, muscle testing, energy healing, macrobiotic cooking, and craniosacral therapy in the 1980s and beyond.
I was in a severe car accident at 26 years old, where I was rear-ended and was on bed rest for several months with an intense neck injury. I pushed back on the urgency for surgery and cortisone or epidural procedures because I had seen many people recover without being cut into or only given pain medication as the total form of treatment for injury. This physical debilitation prompted the deepest journey and exploration of alternative healing I had had to date, where I advocated for myself medically with great effort and challenged western practitioners to consider the four bodies (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual) in a whole way.
Along with physical therapy and two epidurals I ended up giving into (which did more harm than benefit for my body), I practiced my way through all the levels of reiki until I became a teacher and someone who can attune and certify reiki practitioners. I also explored embryology, the study of how we created ourselves and collaborated with our mothers within the womb. I found these stages of our development so fascinating and not taught enough in schools or offered to the public. I feel we would have such an enormous amount of care for our worth if we truly understood how we came to be and how miraculous each of us are.
I was so hungry for all of this: learning, self-realization, and niches of healing techniques that I explored so many different modalities and began creating mixed-modality facial techniques that went much further than skin deep even before I went through esthetician school. In fact, it was a regular facial client I was working with who coined the work “Shamanic Facial,” and it stuck! It is such a joy to discover on Instagram how many facial therapists are mixing healing modalities into their facial and bodywork for clients these days! We’re all feeling the inspiration at once to elevate ourselves and inspire each other to receive and offer from a place of overflow, tending to ourselves and each other as full and whole beings.
What exactly is a Shamanic Facial and how does it differ from a traditional facial?
I felt the whole experience of a Shamanic Facial and every aspect of it could have many layers of intention and care, even if the client wasn’t aware of all the layers of love I was infusing into each moment. I had never received the kind of facial I was hoping to offer, but with each session, I would build upon the last with more detail and more care.
I had studied reiki before I earned my esthetician’s license. There is an activation or attunement that occurs with each level of reiki studied that is traced into the student’s palms, heightening the awareness of touch and reminding us that our hands are powerful healing instruments. So, with each facial massage, each eye serum application, or each crystal placement, I find there is an opportunity to transmit the healing activation of reiki and offer it to the client or group class. I apply this same transmission into my voice as often as I can since our words touch people too.
I love to mix modalities. These days I’m not offering one-on-one client sessions. So when I’m teaching within a retreat or a class of healing practitioners, I bring in all the wisdom I carry and share it generously for the alignment of the class and what the group is inspired by. I also like to leave a lot of room for listening because we learn the most from each other.
Each facial, class, panel, public speaking event, or retreat may have an inclusion of spiritual psychology, reiki, Feldenkreis (somatic intentional movement), eurythmy (vocal and physical warm-up), voice work, breathwork, facial massage, Chinese facial reading and mapping, crystal or gem harmonization for chakra alignment, Gestalt therapeutic techniques, free form writing, gua sha (facial and body massage with a crystal stone, bone, or soup spoon), wisdom on the gut-brain-skin connections, akashic records, muscle testing or kinesiology, or intuitive messages or readings as I am clairaudient and clairvoyant.
What types of emotions do we hold in our face?
Any and all emotions can travel across our faces at any time unless we are choosing and consciously maintaining a seat as a witness, which is easier said than done, I often find. Our face is a map of our entire body, and each organ and system is represented on some part or even repeated on a few parts of the face. So, with facial massage, we have the ability to tend to all parts of our physical AND our emotional body. The reason for this is because many emotions are closely associated with an organ, and Traditional Chinese Medicine reminds us that over the last 5,000 years, at least, every part of us is intricately connected with all the other parts. For example, our lungs are often associated with the emotion of grief. You may notice someone who is recently widowed may have sagging or sunken cheeks, which is where the lungs are located on the organ-facial map.
What are some of the top reasons people come to see you?
The spectrum is wide and varied for what people approach me for and I think one of the most recurring themes is around releasing patterning that has come to the surface of their consciousness that feels outgrown or inhibiting in some way. Many times, the issues we decide to face have made it into the physical body from the etheric and emotional bodies, and we are facing them because we have the physical discomfort reminding us, again and again, to care for the issue and resolve it. I notice if it’s not physical, we often brush it aside until it manifests physically and we can no longer ignore it.
Most often, the patterning folks want to adjust, and the cure is around self-worth and unplugging their own value, worthiness, and realization of love from another human being like a parent or a spouse, or even a child. The cord is cut and rethreaded to plug back into the highest self and also source energy, which are two aspects of the same frequency or consciousness of being. We are all one, endlessly connected. This often means defying societal connections and unspoken rules of engagement. It is deep and brave work as well as play.
What is facial mapping and how do you use reflexology in your treatments?
Facial mapping is a practice that is many thousands of years old, originally documented in China during Confucius’ era. It may also be documented in the Bhagavad Gita, which is an even older Hindu sacred text than the scrolls from Traditional Chinese Medicine.
I apply face mapping and reading all day, every day. Sometimes I use it as a piece of potential diagnosis if a client or student asks a question. I’m not a clinician or an MD, so I always offer it as a possibility or even phrase it as a question to allow the person I’m with to consider it within themselves before taking it on as truth. And that energy of allowing could apply to anything.
I find facial mapping is so useful when there are skin messages popping up in the form of pimples, rashes, hyperpigmentation, dry irritation, and so on. The area in which the skin message is popping up will reveal what organs and, therefore, what emotions are involved. For instance, I had continuous little pimple breakouts on the right side of my forehead for months above an eyebrow and they formed a line almost up to my hairline. I couldn’t figure it out for a while because this area is the ascending colon, and I wasn’t having bowel issues, nor was I eating things that didn’t agree with me. Then I realized I had a lot of scar tissue from the emergency cesarean section I had in 2019 and it was growing and evolving, wrapping around my ascending colon, and causing an obstruction for the colon and the waste my body was trying to rid of. I went to see a scar tissue specialist who practices abdominal and pelvic floor massage and the pimples finally healed and didn’t return because we got to the root cause.
What are some techniques we can use on ourselves to help clear stress?
Activating your breath is an immediate and easy one. With each exhale, you can visualize all the stress, disharmony, upset, outgrown patterns, and limiting beliefs leaving your body completely and exiting every nook and cranny. With every inhale, you can invite in whatever you want (manifestations, peace, harmony, love, ease, comfort, gentle ways of learning, or financial abundance).
Here are some videos I’ve created that cleanse stress from all four of our bodies: emotional, physical, mental, and energetic.
Upper Chakra Smoosh - This one is fabulous for relieving the upper chakras, heart, throat, third eye, and crown, as well as any energies that are causing sluggishness or cloudiness. This simple move relieves facial tension, allows the eyes to relax, and the jaw to release. This “smooshing” move also realigns your third eye clarity and abilities to vision past, present, and future.
Clear Recent Stress - This one is so great for the stomach as these points are right at the top of the stomach meridian, just under the eyes. The emotion associated with the stomach is most often disgust, so these points can beautifully clear judgments around disgust so we are no longer holding them in our bodies. I find it also resets the eyes and all the constant information we take in, which is exhausting for our vision.
Releasing Worry + Upset - I love this one for gallbladder, ovary and fallopian tube, and spleen support. The gallbladder tends to be associated with upset or anger/rage and the spleen tends to be associated with worry or overthinking. I find they both have a relationship with over responsibility, too. This pinching technique is great for releasing tension held in the brow and it’s also an emotional cleanse on all these fronts, as well as allowing for creativity to flood in once there is space which is all connected to the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus.
Cleanse Your Energetic Field - This is a great staple and so easily applied if you need to move through a triggering moment where you don’t want to have a harsh reaction towards anyone or yourself. Ninety seconds is a significant length of time to fully move through an emotion and a physical stretch of a muscle or muscle group. You may look a little funny doing this on public transport, but who cares? You’re modeling emotional hygiene and I think that is so cool.
How do our relationships show up on our face?
I could teach for an entire seven days on this question, as I find it to be such a vast topic.
Yes, our relationships show up all over our face! And our faces constantly change, reflecting our inner life, our physical health, and our emotional ups and downs. Many of us have completely different noses and face shapes from two years ago because of everything we’ve all been through as a collective. In addition, the two sides of our faces reveal our relationships with primary masculine energies and female energies. This stems from Traditional Chinese Medicine, and those who practice yoga may be more familiar with the Ayurvedic depiction, which shows the opposite. However, I have noticed this TCM version is highly accurate, more accurate most of the time. Here is a great infographic that explains it better:
I should also note our relationship to the issue is not necessarily the issue itself. Meaning our relationships do indeed show up all over our face (and body). For example, you might have worry lines and wrinkles. Perhaps it is how you are holding your own upset, fears, or worries with regard to your mother or your “mother wound.” Your relationship with yourself, or perhaps the judgment you maintain with yourself about how you’ve handled conversations with your mother, may be causing some patterning in the skin’s fabric, fascia, and collagen matrix. I’m not saying your mother’s actions haven’t been hurtful or inappropriate in the deep or recent past. I mean that we can choose freedom from our own restrictions and the restrictions our near relations try to place on us. Can we continue to choose what’s in alignment for our path, even if it comes with a lack of approval or dismissal from family and friends? Where are we still prioritizing our time, values, actions, and beliefs in order to fit into someone else’s version of comfort and safety?
An easy way to dip a toe into physical freedom and access presence is to activate your breath and release some deep-seated beliefs that aren’t serving you anymore. Can you soften for the sake of yourself and this fabulous journey of life, so you are continuously unburdening yourself and activating your own freedom within and outside of your body, mind, and spirit? Can you slow yourself before speaking? Can you quicken yourself to listen? Can you be slow to anger? All things I am very much in practice with.
Tell us more about LINEA and the LINEA method?
I became a mother in 2019, and ushering our son into the world radically changed my relationship with everything and especially how I was attached to the incredibly successful business I had built. I had been inspired for years to create a tool that would place the reminder of self-realization and healing into each client’s hands and to have something tangible outside of our healing sessions together that could strengthen and continue their at-home practice of meditative facial massage and care.
To that end, the blessing that came out of the lockdowns in Los Angeles was that I was at home with our baby boy, and I got to spend every moment with him and witness each milestone. I used each nap and after bedtime to work on the creation that is now LINEA. I also felt I needed to create something for myself, something that I could wear on my body, that was always within reach, and that was chic. I wanted the ability to release tension at any moment, even while nursing or on a neighborhood walk with our son. I realized I needed to put the gua sha tool on a necklace.
At the tail end of 2020, I launched LINEA, a three-part elevated skin protocol that combines a love for natural skincare, whole-body healing, and facial massage into one accessible and affordable holistic beauty kit. LINEA’s Holistic Beauty Kit includes an oil, tool, and method specifically designed to optimize skin functionality and energetic stimulation. Through the LINEA Kit, I encourage people to bring healing into their own hands. Everyone has the ability to be the alchemist of their own beauty if they so choose – internally and externally.