top of page
BP logo  with larger canvas at 50%.jpg
Emotional Expression

Perhaps the most profound effect of facial palsy is on a person’s self-image.  What bothers people most is their appearance. 

The face also has emotional input which means it responds to the emotions we are feeling. No other muscles in the body do this. 

We are such a visual society.  We rely on another's facial expressions to read the moment.  When you are unable to physically create that representation of how you feel, it creates self consciousness.

You may even be able to feel the inability to move areas of your face, such as areas that seem dense and non-responsive during movement... until those areas become alive and free again.

Stress Compromises The Ability to Heal

Medical research estimates as much as 90 percent of illness and disease is stress related. 

What we feel as stress is the product of the sympathetic nervous system or the “fight or flight” response - an almost instantaneous surge in heart rate, cardiac output, blood pressure, sweating, shallow breathing, and metabolism, combined with a tensing of muscles.  Internally, the “fight or flight” response shuts down digestion and elimination and reduces blood flow to the internal organs. Short term, this stress reaction is a good thing. The “fight or flight” response prepares us to respond to any environmental threat by fighting against it or fleeing from it.  But long term, continuous exposure to stress is harmful, placing excess wear and tear on the body’s systems and severely limiting the body’s natural maintenance and healing abilities.  The nervous system is super sensitive to stress. ause of the other stresses I was experiencing in body, mind and heart, I found myself in long pauses with no improvement. 

When activated, the parasympathetic nervous system lowers blood pressure, heart rate and respiration (the pace of the breath). Digestion and elimination are allowed to be stimulated, and blood is free to travel to the digestive, reproductive, glandular, and immune systems — systems necessary for the promotion of long-term health. This is the “relaxation response” also known as the “rest and renew” stage, when the body has the time and resources to heal.

Here I share an 11min audio meditation that takes you through progressively relaxing the body, the breath and the nervous system.  It is designed to activate the "relaxation response". 

Many find it helpful to reduce anxiety and to fall asleep. 


Feel free to download it and use it as often as you need to.

The Shame and Grief of
Facial Distortion

Did you ever imagine a time before Bells Palsy when you would be grateful to see wrinkles again or that you would be so happy not to have to hold your eye shut any longer while your rinse your hair?!

Everything is awkward, like eating and drinking in front of others, showing your face not only in public but at work everyday. I really noticed that the camera accentuates the disfigurement - my 50th birthday pictures make me cringe.  I teach in front of a camera several times a week and have recordings of classes I have taught over the year that were shared to the participants.  

No one else shamed me.  I just became naturally very self-conscious about my appearance and my speech.

I transformed my current feelings of shame, and the layers of buried shame, through the healing art form I teach and practice called Alchemical Healing.

The fact that I am a yoga teacher and medicine woman, and could not heal myself in a timely fashion added to my self-imposed shame.

I believe that everything happens for a reason, I have learned and grown so much through this process, I am grateful for the heightened awareness, and commitment to myself, and the appreciation of things I took for granted.

You can learn more about a Healing Session with me here:

I also practiced a mantra meditation that expressed

I Am Beautiful, Inside and Out. 

This repeated phrase brought up the sorrow and grief of my outward appearance.  Keep repeating it until your tears are spent and you believe it no matter what your face looks like.

Emotional Release

Our tissues hold our pain.  Memories, emotions, traumas.  Yoga and the healing therapies I practice and teach have proven this concept without a doubt.  Whenever we have a chronic condition there is always an emotional or traumatic component that needs to be addressed for healing on all levels to be achieved.

When letting go of the tension in the facial muscles you may experience the release of any subconscious emotional pain connected to those areas that your body has been physically holding onto.

Know that this is normal and just allow yourself to feel it momentarily and let it go.  Do not stuff it back down.

In my video collection I share a guided relaxation of the face that includes how to manage and transform any emotions that may arise.

Natural Emotional Responses

The newest research has uncovered that we use a combination of the emotional centre and the motor centre of the brain to create the myriad of facial expressions.

It is through the co-ordination of facial exercises while intentionally activating the emotional centre, that true or full control is developed and repatterning is the result.  Eventually with practice, emotion based exercises become natural and effortless.  This is the key to recovery from synkinesis. 

At 1st you may be more aware of the old patterns but you will "get it" with a little time spent in front of the mirror or your devices camera with guided instruction.

Mirror Therapy

The idea here is to work in front of the mirror and intentionally invoking a list of natural emotional responses associated with certain reactions such as:

  • Disgust

  • "happy to see you"

  • Fear

  • "Thats adorable"

  • Embarrassment

  • Concern


I am currently working on and testing a guided practice with cues that invoke emotional responses such as short stories, images or music to be used in front of a mirroring device both view the results and activate both the emotional and motor centres of the brain.  

If this feels daunting be assured that we approach the practice without criticism but with gentle intention and care.

If you would be interested in testing this practice contact me.


This site offers health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional. Do not disregard, avoid or delay obtaining medical or health related advice from your health-care professional because of something you may have read on this site. The use of any information provided on this site is solely at your own risk.

bottom of page