myofascial therapy

Natural Methods to Smooth Forehead Muscles for Results that Look and Feel Amazing by Deborah Tosline

 By modified by Uwe Gille (Gray378.png) [Public domain, Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By modified by Uwe Gille (Gray378.png) [Public domain, Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Click on the green-blue text for links to more information.

Determined to naturally smooth my forehead, I developed an evolving routine to smooth the muscles and overlying skin. The routine has a forehead focus combining several practices and expanding on techniques developed by Sanford Bennett (1841-1926) who, I’ve mentioned before, remodeled his entire body.

I’ve been practicing this routine for about 2 months and have seen results, which keeps me going. This is a long-term effort, it may take six months to one year to see significant results. For me, this little practice has further validated the effectiveness of skin remodeling for rejuvenation.

It feels shallow to write an entire article on smoothing the forehead! What can I say, skincare is a relaxing, fun, and beneficial hobby for me. Here is my shallow little story. My entire life I’ve worn bangs, thick, wispy, short, and long. One brief time in my early 20’s I tried to grow them out and could not face so much of my face. Abort. I never tried again.

Until now. At 59, it feels like a bad time to ditch bangs. Bangs curtain my worried concentrating brow which is fast becoming a deeply wrinkled brow and for no good reason! With bangs, I didn’t notice my constant forehead angst. Once I began pinning the bangs to the side of my face my constant forehead expressions became only too evident to me. Yes, my forehead muscles respond to life as if I am in a constant state of fear and/or deep concentration, alternately lifting or furrowing my brows, all the while keeping the muscles in constant flex.

I had to do something or I would never survive the bang grow out. Know what I mean?

 Carol Burnett By NBC photo by Elmer Holloway-stamp is faint. (eBay item photo front photo back) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Carol Burnett By NBC photo by Elmer Holloway-stamp is faint. (eBay item photo front photo back) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

My Forehead Smoothing Routine focuses on these elements:

·      Relax and release forehead and scalp muscles

·      Strengthen the forehead and scalp muscles

·      Smooth the forehead fascia and muscles

·      Remodel the forehead

Relax and release the forehead muscles

This is easier said than done. If fact, it feels impossible. I am using mindfulness to try to change habits. How is this possible? Neuroplasticity is the study of our thankfully plastic brains.

Here’s the concept. When one thinks a thought, a suite of neurons fire. Repetitive thinking of the same thought results in development of a neural pathway (super highway). If one can recognize the thought and stop it (ha ha, but it IS possible) the neurons do not fire and over time atrophy and shrink, weakening the neural pathway. That is why we can change ourselves, but only through mindfulness practice.

There are other benefits to releasing facial tension besides a softer relaxed facial expression. Less facial tension probably reduces headaches. Science has shown that tense facial muscles result in increased emotional tension. Similarly, scientists now know that the act of smiling produces happy biochemistry in the brain.

Dr. Jared Edward Reser writes, “Our faces are full of tense muscles that hold excessive tension throughout the day and during sleep. The tension throughout our brow, eyes, nose and jaw causes us to feel anxious, and because of our mammalian heritage, it causes us to breathe shallowly. These tense muscles also go through degenerative processes that involve muscle atrophy, reduced circulation, inflammation, fat deposition, as well as trigger point and scar tissue development.”

I furrow my brow when I write or think about almost anything. This pattern of behavior is entrenched in my neural pathways. It’s time to make a change. I furrowed my brow while I typed this! I have a long way to go.

I now know that relaxing facial muscles feels good.

 Old_zacatecas_lady.jpg: Tomas Castelazo derivative work: Dobromila [CC GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Old_zacatecas_lady.jpg: Tomas Castelazo derivative work: Dobromila [CC GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Strengthen the forehead and scalp muscles

I am reinvigorating my facial exercise program, which has been a little lax. I primarily use Flex Effect, which uses resistance training, a method that can increase the size of the muscles. Facial muscles are teeny tiny, but they do respond over time. Think of strengthening one’s scalp to lift the forehead.

Tom Hagerty developed circulation promoting, hair preserving, forehead lifting exercises and has maintained his hair and scalp health. Check out his tight forehead.

 It's blurry, no matter. Tom Hagerty at 74 http://www.hairloss-reversible.com/my-story/

It's blurry, no matter. Tom Hagerty at 74 http://www.hairloss-reversible.com/my-story/

 http://www.hairloss-reversible.com/my-approach-2/

http://www.hairloss-reversible.com/my-approach-2/

Smooth the forehead fascia and muscles

I am currently using these methods to smooth facial fascia and muscles:

Index Knobber II

I use the Index Knobber II to help break my furrowed brow habit during (ha ha) deep thinking at work. I keep this tool nearby and rub my forehead muscles smooth throughout the day to relax my forehead. This great little tool is easy to hold and may be used to apply deep sustained pressure on targeted muscles.

FaceBlaster

I use the FaceBlaster to release facial fascia. It’s handy and I like it. I use it as directed on warm oiled skin. I rub the FaceBlaster across my forehead and I can feel the indentations in the muscles and fascia become shallower with time. I am slowly removing the deep ridges and let me tell you, it is good. The tool helps release tension, fascial adhesions, and tightness.

Sanford Bennetts wrinkle rubout

Sanford Bennett is the epitome of body and skin remodeling. After being ill at 50, bed ridden in poor health, and wrinkled, as he wrote, he devised and devoted himself to a series of bed exercises and was deemed the man who grew young at 70, based on medical examinations. His face had become smooth and without a single wrinkle.

Sanford’s wrinkle rubout consists of contracting the muscle while vigorously rubbing it as it heats up. Afterwards the muscle contraction is released and the muscle is smoothed and massaged. I use this technique with my fingers, the Index Knobber II or the FaceBlaster.

Facial trigger point therapy

Trigger point therapy helps to release muscle tension, allowing for proper circulation and muscle function. Breaking muscle tension habits are challenging. Physically releasing the tension is an important aspect of the routine.

 http://www.observedimpulse.com/2015/03/myofascial-release-for-face-composure.html

http://www.observedimpulse.com/2015/03/myofascial-release-for-face-composure.html

Again, Dr. Jared Edward Reser writes, “Compression and deep tissue massage are the only real way to get the tension out. Compression will reinvigorate the muscle, reverse the muscle shortening, increase the blood supply, and allow the muscle to grow and thereby eat up the fat that surrounds it. If you want your face to look healthy, and feel amazing, invest some time and effort in my facial massage regimen…”

Frownies

I’ve upped my Frownie use during this time. These are awesome. Unfortunately, their price recently increased. Frownies hold the muscle in place as you sleep (or as you are teleworking) to help stop unconsciousness muscle contractions.

 Before Frownies https://www.frownies.com/before-after.php

Before Frownies https://www.frownies.com/before-after.php

 After Frownies https://www.frownies.com/before-after.php

After Frownies https://www.frownies.com/before-after.php

The Frownie website states this: “FROWNIES Facial Patches assist to soften and smooth the appearance of deep wrinkles or fine lines mechanically. The muscles of the face cannot move under the patch, keeping you from frowning or expressing while you sleep or any time you have the patch on. Yet, the paper patch allows the skin to breath promoting skin restoration and repair. By holding the crease flat and relaxed while you sleep the body can relax muscle memory.”

Remodel the forehead

There are a variety of ways to remodel the skin. I am focusing on using the Tripolar STOP a radiofrequency devise and the Derminator a mechanical dermaroller. I am also using facial skin massage and facial skin and bone rejuvenation techniques from Flex Effect, these are very powerful practices. The daily products that I use are summarized in the February article. They contain active ingredients that promote collagen production. These practices will strengthen the skin and prevent bone loss in the forehead.

Results

With any skin treatment routine, it is vital not to over-aggravate the skin. Be mindful of the skin’s response to any treatment and give it time to rest. I allow my skin to approach irritation then I stop and give it a nourishing break. Over irritated skin results in a lack of balance and should be prevented, always.

It is clear that my forehead skin wrinkles reflect the terrain below, the fascia and muscles. It is absolutely necessary to smooth deeper tissue to smooth facial skin.

Overall, this effort is a fairly small time investment. I’ve changed a few daily habits and added short treatments for my forehead.

My anecdotal results:

·      I notice other folks smooth brows. Is it botox or are their brows naturally smooth? I asked a natural beauty lady friend and she said no botox.

·      I emulate my natural beauty lady friend’s brow, it’s a serene experience.

·      My body and brain have learned that I do not want to furrow my brow. Now when I forget and furrow, the area becomes red. This never happened before. It is probably a little sensitive.

·      At these times, I practice full release of all head muscles. Try it.

·      My muscles have become substantially smoother. In the past, when I used a facial tool, the device would preferentially drop into muscle dents and now the devices move more smoothly across my skin as the muscle dents become shallower.

·      My skin became thicker in the spot between my brows where I use the Index Knobber. This is similar to developing calluses, thicker skin, when learning to play the guitar. It’s the same process. I am developing a forehead callus. Ha ha, that’s funny.

·      For more even results, I began using the Index Knobber on my entire forehead. Should take another month to thicken up the rest of the forehead skin.

·      I don’t mind growing my bangs out anymore. In fact, I don’t know why I had bangs my whole life. I am embracing full-face exposure.

·      The more smooth my brow, the tighter my forehead. I did not research this and gosh this article is so long already. My theory is that when the muscle is constantly flexed it becomes lax and when the muscle is relaxed it tightens up!

·      This is more than skin deep. The release of facial muscle tension can be life changing.

Take Away?

We have more power over ourselves than we may realize. If you have a desire to do so, embrace your power to naturally change yourself in whatever way your heart calls out to you to do.

Take good care of yourself.

Deborah

The Rambo Barbie Rugged Routine for Skincare by Deborah Tosline

 Photo taken December 2013 at 54, see below for a more recent selfie

Photo taken December 2013 at 54, see below for a more recent selfie

Click on the blue-green text for links to more information or to products that I currently use. I  am not affiliated with any of the products.

As we hiked off the mountain at dusk, running to cross the bridge before nightfall, my friend called to me “Rambo Barbie”, yes it was funny and kinda true.

Rugged femininity is my approach to lifestyle and skin care.

There are a variety of ways to achieve skin care goals and assertive flexibility is a key to success. Your skin care routine typically depends on available resoures including: funds, time, products and information. With so many ways to accomplish a goal, you may pick and choose what works best for you based on where you live, your routine, and lifestyle.

My ‘Rambo Barbie Rugged Routine’ for Skincare was founded on having little expendable income; a need to protect my skin from southern Arizona’s harsh clime; and a desire to take good care of my largest organ to promote health and smooth clear skin.

The basic tenets of my skin care routine vary slightly however my use of additional skincare practices varies over time. Change takes effort but it’s beneficial to cross-train and stimulate the skin in a variety of ways for maximum benefit and self-maintenance.

Here is something different

I am carefully aggressive in my skincare practice. For decades, estheticians, product advertising, and everyone else told us to treat the eye and neck skin different from facial skin. I followed that advice for a couple of decades. After I began using advanced Do-It-Yourself (DIY) skin care methods, I saw significant improvements in my facial skin while my “delicate” eye and neck skin continued to decline.

Rambo Barbie executive decision: “my eye and neck area shall be treated the same as my facial skin”

 Photo taken October 2016 at 57

Photo taken October 2016 at 57

After about a year of treating my eye and neck skin the same way that I treat my facial skin, I began to see significant improvements that continue today.

Time for Self-Care

I’ve made time for self-care and shared this time with my daughter to teach her its value for well-being and health. My daughter is grown and at this stage I have a little more time to practice self-care. Although, I am busy with a full-time career, spare time personal projects, marketing my “Skin Remodeling DIY” book, and pursuing a healthy lifestyle, you know how it is, but I do make time to integrate small DIY skin care practices into my day.

Daily Morning Routine:

 Silk Microfiber Cloths

Silk Microfiber Cloths

  1. Silk microfiber cloth is a gentle exfoliator/skin polisher
  2. emulsifies skin oils which rinse off with water
  3. does not abrade, no matter how hard I scrub = I love
NiacinimideGlucosamine.jpg
  • Apply DIY glucosamine/niacinamide serum, let dry or wait five minutes You can buy ingredients here
  • Apply DIY 20% vitamin C serum, let dry or wait five minutes You can find several Vitamin C DIY recipes here
  • Apply DIY collagen building and skin firming lotion – I am currently using peptides. Buy a peptide and add it to a lotion that you are currently using. You can also buy ingredients here
  • Apply sunscreen
 Sun Cream by Winter Sun in Flagstaff, AZ

Sun Cream by Winter Sun in Flagstaff, AZ

  1. apply craft formulated physical sunblock with zinc and titanium oxides
  2. every day, rain or shine, inside or out
  3. apply to face, neck, chest, and hands
  • Apply mineral makeup focus on natural ingredients
  • Avoid applying products with synthetic chemicals
  • Use sun protective clothing, umbrellas, hats, driving gloves, scarves
 Carry a scarf at all times, so handy.

Carry a scarf at all times, so handy.

Daily Evening Routine

 Near Infrared Light Emitting Diode (LED) Spa

Near Infrared Light Emitting Diode (LED) Spa

  1. built using internet instructions
  2. began using 1/8/18
  3. 10 to 40 minutes daily, so far, its just so good
  4. it’s fantastic
  • Still love to turn on near-infrared LED lamp while brushing teeth
  • Scrub face and neck skin with silk microfiber cloth and rinse:
  1. Removes makeup, oil, dirt, grime delicately
  2. I super scrub face from ear to ear, hairline to chest, eye and neck skin
  3. The gentlest physical exfoliator that I’ve ever used
  • Apply 0.1 percent Retin-A two to three nights a week
  • Apply Alpha Hydroxy glycolic acid lotion when I remember but ideally once or twice a week
  • Apply craft formulated cream once or twice a week
  • Apply compounded hormones
  • Apply Frownies to release forehead muscles and retrain them to relax
 Frownies

Frownies

Weekly Skin Treatments - I try to fit in a little bit of this and that

  • Apply raw local honey or “fresh from the leaf” aloe vera gel covered with a piece of Nori seaweed for a 20 minute (longer if you have the time) nourishing skin treatment
  • Release facial muscle tension/trigger point release, e.g. roll forehead on a firm 2-inch yoga ball
  • Reorganize and smooth facial fascia:
 FaceBlaster Fascia Tool

FaceBlaster Fascia Tool

  1. Sanford Bennett’s wrinkle rubout
  2. Face Blaster fascia buster
  • Practice facial resistance and other exercises:
 Flex Effect resistance facial exercise program 

Flex Effect resistance facial exercise program 

  1. FlexEffect
  2. Facercise
  1. Short needle to increase penetration of high quality products
  2. Short needle then apply green tea before using near infrared LED spa

 Additional Skin Treatments that I Strive to Use

  1. When I do facial lymphatic massage
  2. When I remember (I no longer have blackheads)
  3. After dry brushing
 Lymphatic Facial Massage

Lymphatic Facial Massage

  1. When I remember, it eliminated under eye puffiness, now I forget to use it
  2. When I have a cold or sinus condition
  3. Following advance skin care treatments to reduce inflammation
  1. Use long needle four to six times per year
  2. Promotes collagen and elastin
  • Ultrasound (sonophoresis or phonophoresis), during facials or after dermarolling
  • Dermawand radiofrequency device, blemish treatments as needed
 Photo taken March 2017 at 58

Photo taken March 2017 at 58

At almost 59, I can say that I have the best skin of my adult life. Healthy skin is beautiful skin. It is possible to make changes to your lifestyle or skin care routine at any time, if you are consistent, you will see improvements. I veered away from mainstream skin care decades ago and my pocketbook and skin condition are better for it. I hope that sharing my skin care routine inspires you to rethink your skin care and integrate new protocols into your personal routine. Choose practices and treatments that you can easily integrate into your lifestyle. Use this time for relaxation, rejuvenation and health = beauty.

Take good care of yourself! xo Deborah

Body Function - Choose to Lose, Maintain, or Gain Health = Beauty by Deborah Tosline

Slide1.jpg

Click on blue-green text for internet link.

Sometimes I practice guitar. Recently, I tried to play a riff and it hurt my finger so bad I could feel my forehead muscle frown and the little wrinkle between my brows deepen. I relaxed my forehead (will use Sanford Bennett’s wrinkle rubout later) and told my finger not to worry, it will only hurt a little before it gets stronger. Just like self-care.

Choose to Lose, Maintain, or Gain?

We are premium high-performance beings endowed with a body and mind that have amazing capabilities. We are evolutionary and plastic, capable of adapting to a variety of conditions. However, the body is not infinitely capable of maintaining health while being bombarded by synthetic chemicals from the highly processed foods and products that we consume and absorb. The average woman applies more than 500 synthetic chemicals on a daily basis. Nor are the body and brain able to maintain strength, flexibility, conditioning, lubrication, and intelligence when they are not intentionally used.

Instead of aging en masse with the mainstream culture, choose not to lose any of your capabilities and personal identity.

Choose not to lose… instead maintain and increase your body and brain capabilities.

Choose to invest the time and discipline required to provide the self-care that you need to function at your highest level so that you may endure and enjoy all that life offers.  Beauty will follow.

 Source: By Thomas Geminus (1510-1562) after Vesalius [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Source: By Thomas Geminus (1510-1562) after Vesalius [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

To me, beauty does not consist of certain facial constructs; instead beauty resides in all people in different ways. Beauty reflects the multitude of differences among us. Holistic beauty is an expression of kind inner thoughts and actions, physical and mental well-being, hard work, deep rest, great circulation, time in nature and nutrient dense nourishment that combine and are reflected as individual beauty.

Self-care is not a fad or a luxury; it is a personal, familial and societal responsibility to keep your mind and body strong and flexible.

Self-care practices began thousands of years ago. Yoga has been practiced for at least 5,000 years (maybe 10,000) as the need for special personal maintenance to optimize well-being and strength were recognized.

What have you chosen to lose?

In skin care and self-care, I ask, what have you chosen to lose? Unless you have debilitating physical and/or mental conditions that prevent practicing self-care you are capable of maintaining all aspects of yourself at a high and beautiful level… if you choose.

What have you given up? The strength to walk a mile; ability to touch your toes and move freely; living without pain; having supple glowing skin, bright eyes, and a sharp and calm mind; the list will be similar and different for all.

The good news is that it is never too late to choose to maintain and gain.

You may earn back almost each and every part of yourself. Our evolutionary elastic selves are poised to respond to change (adaptation) for survival and will improve with effort. You may become stronger, softer, smoother, smarter - all that you desire and nurture. Check out Sanford Bennett’s transformation from 50 to 70 years of age. He implemented self-care practices and became the “man who grew young”.

Choose to change the way that you care for yourself. Choose to change for your survival. Choose to keep as much of yourself as possible to live a high-quality life in every moment as you mature. You don’t need a lot of money for self-care. You do need time, motivation, discipline and fortitude to nourish and challenge yourself.

 Fortitude  Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/75/USMC-101027-M-3215R-001.jpg

Fortitude

Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/75/USMC-101027-M-3215R-001.jpg

The next time that you say something like “I can’t, because I am too old to _____ (fill in blank) INSTEAD SAY I can’t because I chose to lose the ability to ________. Today, the mainstream cultural aging condition is more about a lack of self-care. Loss of function is a personal choice given up under the excuse of aging.

Choose you. Let your body and brain know that you need all of you! To prove it, you have to use it… all!

Exercise your brain and get smarter! Exercise your body and get stronger! Stretch everything, regain flexibility! Choose to maintain and gain intelligently and with guidance via teachers, YouTube tutorials or visit the library for instructional books.

Choose to change, grow your mind and body for you, for me, and for all. While you are at it, please, please promote a healthy environment - spread kindness and take good care of the Earth, it is the basis of our health and source for everything that we have. When health is optimized, beauty will glow.

 The Fountain of Youth Source:https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ALucas_Cranach_d._%C3%84._-_The_Fountain_of_Youth_-_WGA05707.jpg

The Fountain of Youth Source:https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ALucas_Cranach_d._%C3%84._-_The_Fountain_of_Youth_-_WGA05707.jpg

Absolute Basics for Self-Care

·      Learn how to cook using fresh and pure ingredients

·      Eat whole, nutrient dense food

·      Practically eliminate processed food and sugar

·      Read labels

·      Avoid synthetic chemicals

·      Buy organic - at a minimum the 12 most chemical laden vegetables/fruits “dirty dozen”

·      Buy raw (nutrient dense) organic fats and oils, toxins are held in fats and persist

·      Stop using synthetic fragrance anything and everything

·      Use healing essential oil scents only, nose has special receptors for these oils

·      Skip the drugstore, most of the time

·      Buy or make basic body care products, easy, save money, avoid synthetic stuff

·      Stop using cleansers with synthetic chemicals

·      Back to basics with home cleaning products, save money and reduce exposure

·      Promote lymphatic circulation

·      Increase overall circulation

·      Cardio 6 days/week walk, bike, run, hike, machines, jump rope, any way you can

·      Stretch a little daily and a lot once or twice a week

·      Practice being mindful and meditate to relax the brain

·      Breath from the diaphragm

·      Practice parasympathetic breathing, longer on exhale than inhale

·      Maintain health of soft tissue using trigger point therapy

·      Work hard

·      Sleep, sleep, sleep

·      Rest hard

·      Wear sunscreen and use sun protection

·      Other…

To gain, you MUST push yourself beyond what you think you can do

·      Try to learn excruciatingly difficult mental things, music, dance, math, language

·      Improve cardio – go regular and go faster, alternate and go a little faster

·      Increase strength (a little heavier and different challenges over time)

·      Stretch, stretch more (lightly, persistently increase range of motion of everything)

Start slow, select a few and strive to do more. You have a lifetime to grow young.

Ask others to join this journey, teach children and loved ones how to care for themselves. Give the gift of whole health to yourself and all. Beauty will follow.

Take good care of yourself! xo Deborah

Facial Muscles: Tight and Ropy or Relaxed and Soft by Deborah Tosline

 1106 Front and Side Views of the Muscles of Facial Expressions By OpenStax [CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

1106 Front and Side Views of the Muscles of Facial Expressions By OpenStax [CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Note: Click on the blue/green text for links to articles.

Facial muscle tension is wrinkling your skin (and may be increasing anxiety). Heal thyself with compression.

Wrinkles and folds in facial muscles cause the overlying skin to wrinkle and fold as well. Smoothing tense muscles into a relaxed state provides a beautiful foundation for the overlying skin. Compression may be used to eliminate muscle tension to relax and smooth muscles allowing the overlying skin to appear smooth as well.

I regularly practice myofascial soft tissue release and trigger point therapy to relieve muscle tension or pain in body muscles. For me, it is a terrific, pain eliminating do-it-yourself soft tissue therapy.

Trigger point therapy is extremely beneficial and may be used as an effective practice to release muscle tension to promote muscle stretching and to reduce or eliminate pain. The premise is that when a muscle develops an injury: it stops contracting and lengthening properly, circulation decreases, and congested areas form where waste accumulates. These areas may feel like a small or large painful lump in the muscle, or the entire muscle may be tight and ropy. The congested area or trigger point causes the muscle to shorten and typically refers pain to other parts of the body and also pulls on and causes pain in nearby joints.

 Trigger Point Complex By Davidparmenter (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Trigger Point Complex By Davidparmenter (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Trigger point therapy uses compression on congested areas in the muscle. During compression, wastes are squeezed out allowing fresh blood, oxygen and nutrients to flow into the area. This provides nourishment and supports normal muscle function. With consistent treatment, congested areas and the associated pain may be greatly reduced or eliminated. For me, trigger point therapy is effective. When a new pain arises, I treat it with trigger point therapy and it disappears. Magic do-it-yourself medicine.

 Trigger-Point-myofascial By Muthu.G (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Trigger-Point-myofascial By Muthu.G (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Do you hold tension in your forehead? I try not to, but I do. Further, I furrow my brows while reading, writing and when thinking J I noticed and felt the tightness in my forehead and eyebrow muscles and decided to try trigger point therapy. I used a 3-inch compression ball to compress my forehead trigger points. The treatment was a little painful but also a relief when the tight forehead muscles relaxed. After the treatment, my forehead muscle was smooth and the overlying skin was smooth as well.

I was curious about this technique and searched for articles on facial muscle compression. I found two interesting references. The Yamuna Ball is used to apply pressure to the face to stimulate bone health and enhance facial muscle stretching. An article by Dr. Jared Edward Reser titled “Compression for the Face: Composure, Aesthetics and Mental Health” discusses methods, Dr. Reser’s personal experience including before and after photos, and instructions on how to use compression to eliminate muscle tension, smooth facial muscles and even change one’s attitude for the better.

 Dr. Reser in 2010 before facial muscle compression

Dr. Reser in 2010 before facial muscle compression

 Dr. Reser in 2016 after practicing facial muscle compression.

Dr. Reser in 2016 after practicing facial muscle compression.

Dr. Reser has determined that “wrinkles in the skin don’t come from using the muscles. Rather, wrinkles form over dormant muscles that have been strained repetitively.”

Fig7DeepFacialLines2merged_edited-1.jpg

Over time, habitual facial expressions result in depleted and fatigued facial muscles. Dr Reser states that “tense muscles around the orbits of the eyes contribute heavily to looking and feeling tired”; in addition he believes that habitual facial expressions and the associated muscle tension may actually cause a “psychological anchor” for a poor mood.

The bottom line is that tense facial muscles do not function properly, develop trigger points and scar tissue, and have reduced circulation resulting in muscle atrophy. Dr. Reser states that “compression and deep tissue massage are the only real ways to release facial muscle tension.”

Essentially compression of facial muscles would be completed across the entire face. Dr Reser recommends starting with target zones that identify facial muscles that are typically tight and result in muscle restrictions. 

 Dr Reser image showing eye muscles

Dr Reser image showing eye muscles

 Dr. Reser image showing eye compression

Dr. Reser image showing eye compression

Botox may be used to release tension and relax facial muscles. However, Botox paralyzes the muscle, reduces circulation and the availability of nutrients, which inhibits muscle growth. With time the botox treated muscle has decreased tone and reduced biochemical activity and atrophies or shrinks. In comparison, muscle compression costs nothing and results in relaxed, well-nourished and plump muscles with better muscle function and range of use. Compression treatment is not instantaneous but with consistent daily practice over time, all facial muscle tension may be released.

Dr. Reser believes that relieving facial muscle tension may be the primary determination of attractiveness,  “…the extent of facial tension can probably be seen as a marker of status hierarchy that we wear on our faces. If your face, head, neck, and throat were completely free of muscular tension, you would likely be among the most beautiful people in the world.”

Dr. Reser recommends:

1.     Deep tissue compression to reduce facial muscle rigidity.

2.     Breathe diaphragmatically while firmly compressing tender muscles to help reverse muscle rigidity.

3.     Compress tight facial muscles for a few minutes a day until facial muscles are no longer sore, stiff or ropy.

4.     Trigger point therapy will reduce facial tension and promote stronger, more prominent facial muscles with increased range of motion.

Try to reduce muscle tension. Notice facial tension and practice wearing a serene relaxed facial expression and a slight smile as you move through your day. It will look nice and science shows that smiling makes you feel great, but that’s another article.

I have begun a daily facial muscle compression routine and look forward to reducing facial muscle tension and other potential changes.

Take good care of yourself.