About Face: Facial Exercises

Bonnie Prudden's facePerhaps you have noticed that the face is connected to the rest of the body by way of the neck. Of course we can pretty much cover up and camouflage the rest of the body if we don’t like it. But the fact remains that with a bit of good care, not too much sun, good nutrition and exercise, the face will go along with the rest of the body.

Take a look in the mirror, clothes off.

  • What do you look like?
  • Is that how you want to look?
  • What would you change if you could?

The purpose of self-examination — whether to determine physical condition, mental outlook, emotional state, or even the quality of our lives — is to know exactly where we stand.

The skin covering the face is connected directly to the muscles, which is what gives us our expressions and our lines and wrinkles. It also allows us to have a facelift, but more on that later.

It isn’t just age that affects the face.

Desmond Morris, in his book Manwatching tells us about Expressive Gestures. “These are the gestures of the type which all men, everywhere, share with one another, and which other animals also perform. They include the important Facial Expression, so crucial to daily human interaction.

All primates are facially expressive and among the higher species the facial muscles become increasingly elaborate, making possible the performance of a whole range of subtly varying facial signals. In man this trend reaches its peak, and it is true to say that the bulk of non-verbal signaling is transmitted by the human face.”

Anger, frustration, fear, happiness, enthusiasm, and confidence show in our facial expression. Stress, strain, fatigue and muscle pain tell in our face. So does the use of cigarettes.

Next, take a look at your life.

  • Do you like where you live and who lives with you?
  • Do you enjoy your work? Your friends?
  • What stresses are in your life and can you change anything to make it better?
  • Do you have muscle pain such as headaches or jaw pain?

If you do have headaches or jaw pain, use Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy® to erase those problems and help restore your squinty, frowning facial expressions to contentment. If you have jaw pain along with limited range, one or both sides of your face can be taut and expressionless for fear of exacerbating the problem. Frown lines and lines from squinting for those not seeing well can also be helped with BPM. Removing the trigger points causing the contracted muscles helps smooth away lines and wrinkles, bringing better circulation and restoring a healthily rosy look. My headache patients are amazed when I offer them a mirror and they see their face following a treatment.

Bonnie likened the neck to the “Chunnel,” that tunnel beneath the English Channel that connects the British Isles with the European continent. Like the neck, the traffic moves both ways, houses many important functions and the ends are not independent of one another. Necks sprout up from shoulders and connect to heads. Tense, stressful shoulders show in tense tight necks and faces.

There are many exercises that include the neck and jaw line. Pictured at the end of this text are exercises that will not only contribute to a better neck and jaw line, but also will help make your entire body stronger, more flexible, and alive.

  • Do not discount the importance of flexibility when it comes to muscles. Tight muscles cause strain, fatigue, limited mobility and pain — all reflected in your face.
  • Do not discount your emotions and stress levels which also are reflected on your face.

 

The Face Lift
If after 9 or so months you have changed your diet, reduced your stress level, lost weight, strengthened and toned your body, and become more flexible (in other words, worked hard and given Nature a chance), and you still feel like you need a new face to go along with the rest of your new body, find the best artist you can.

You must first make the honest effort to put the entire body in top trim. It doesn’t make sense to take expensive tucks in one part and leave the rest in disarray.

“The human face has limited space.
If you fill it with laughter, there will be no room for crying.”
—Rohinton Mistry

Exercises
The exercises introduced here should be done in this order. They start with simpler exercises that warm the body and progress toward more difficult movements. Done correctly they all improve the neck and jaw line. They can be found in Pain Erasure and the After Fifty Fitness Guide.

Exercises: Waist Twist and Pelvic TiltsExerciese: Arm Circles, Cat / Horse, Knee to NoseExercises: Leg Swing, Thread the Needle, Stretch OutExercises: Body Lift, Flexibility Bounce

To watch Bonnie do the Waist Twist exercise featured above (top left exercise),
click here for the Grape Nuts Commercial.

Last but not least, you may also want to check out my March 2016 blog, Be Kind to Your Muscles . . . Keep Them Flexible.

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The pictures featured here are from How to Keep Slender and Fit After Thirty, by Bonnie Prudden.

For more information about Bonnie Prudden®, Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy®, workshops, books, self-help tools, DVDs, educational videos, and blogs, visit www.bonnieprudden.com. Or call 520-529-3979 if you have questions or need help.

Enid Whittaker, Managing Director, Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy®