Facial Palsy: A Ray of Hope
The Muscles of Facial Expression
You Can Look And Feel Like You Again
Facial muscles are different to the muscles in the rest of the body because they attach to the skin of the face as well as attaching to each other. Muscles in the rest of our body attach to bone and contract or straighten to move our joints.
Because the facial muscles attach to the skin they can move in any direction. Skin is very light and easy to move so the muscles can create facial expressions to show our emotions even when they only do tiny gentle movements.
There are many muscles in the face, at least 23 on each side, which between them are capable of over 2000 expressions which makes the face a very complex system in comparison to the rest of the body.
The face also has emotional input which means it responds to the emotions we are feeling. No other muscles in the body do this. The information below outlines some of these facial muscles and just a few examples of their expressive function.
Know What You are Working With
I have created exercises and practices that are broken down into both sections such as eye movements and specifically for each muscle or group of muscles.
I have created unique ways of using the fingers to create resistance in one or more muscles in order to both isolate and force them to fire. And developed a strategy to use microcurrent on each muscle that will stimulate a muscle into action.
I have also included these illustrations in each video for a visual reference. It is invaluable to be able to visualize both the muscle and perhaps even imagine them expressing while you are working with them. This practice empowers the recreation of neuropathways and the brain/nerve/emotion reaction.
You don't need to remember the names. lol Just be able to visually target.
Each package of additional help includes a copy of the facial muscles to print for visual reference.
The frontalis raises the eyebrows and forms furrows and wrinkles in the forehead. For example, when you express surprise, doubt, disbelief, exasperation, or exaggeration, or unconsciously when giving orders, making demand, or arguing important points.
The medial fibers of the frontalis raises the inner corner of the eyebrow. The lateral fibers of the frontalis raises the outer corner of the eyebrow. The lateral and medial fibers of the frontalis together raise the entire eyebrow.
CORRUGATOR, PROCERUS & DEPRESSOR SUPERCILII
The corrugator and depressor supercilii muscles pull the eyebrows down and inwards to create the frown expression. The procerus helps draw down the skin between the eyebrows, and assists in flaring the nostrils. It also contributes to an expression of anger or intensity.
Depressor supercilii draws down the eyebrows, along with the procerus, the horizontal wrinkle at the bridge of the nose.
Corrugator supercilii pulls the eyebrows downward and toward the midline of the nose
The orbicularis oculi muscles are responsible for for closing the eyelids and blinking, and allows humans to squint or wink their eyes.
They are split into three rings. The inner ring is called the pretarsal portion and this part of the muscle helps with blinking and closing the eyes for sleep. The middle ring is called the preseptal portion and this part of the muscle helps with blinking, closing the eyes for sleep and tight eye closure. The outer ring is called the orbital portion and this part helps with gentle eye closure and tight eye closure. The eye muscles also act as pumps to draw tears from the tear ducts up to the surface of the eye.
Superior rectus, lateral rectus, medial rectus, inferior rectus, superior oblique, inferior oblique, and levator palpebrae superioris
Together these muscles move the eyeball to look up, down, left right etc.
LEVATOR MUSCLES (TOP LIP LIFTING MUSCLES)
There are three levator muscles that pull up the top lip when they contract. We use these muscles to wrinkle up the nose to show our top teeth, as in disgust, snarl, or to bare our teeth in an act of hostility and smile properly.
Levator labii superioris alaeque nasi (l.l.s.a.n) translated from latin means “lifter of both the upper lip and of the wing of the nose”. It is a the longest name given to any muscle in the human body.
ZYGOMATICUS MUSCLES (SMILE MUSCLES)
There are two zygomaticus muscles that allow you to smile when they contract. The main part of both muscles is right up in the cheek where the cheek bulges when you smile. We use these muscles particularly when we do a full or big smile.
The risorius muscle pulls the corner of the mouth sideways. We use this muscle to express mild amusement or what is called a Mona Lisa smile so it is quite a small subtle expression.
ORBICULARIS ORIS, BUCCINATOR AND MENTALIS MUSCLES
The Buccinator is one of the largest facial muscles and sits right on the inside of the cheek next to the teeth. It presses the cheek against the teeth which helps keep food between our teeth for chewing, and used in blowing and sucking. It also participates in the expression of “smug satisfaction”.
Orbicularis Oris is the kissing, puckering, and pressing lips against the teeth and tight muscle.
This is used when we seal our lips as though we were trying to hold in a mouthful of air or playing a trumpet or horn. When we tense and press our lips in sadness or anger, the lips narrow, but the mouth does not shorten.
Mentalis raises and wrinkles the skin of the chin, thus elevating the lower lip.
LOWER LIP DEPRESSOR MUSCLES
DEPRESSOR ANGULI ORIS &
There are three lip depressor muscles which normally pull the lip and the corner of the mouth downwards. They are used to express sadness and disappointment or other more subtle emotions.
Both depressor labii inferioris muscles contract together to pull the middle third of the entire lower lip straight downward.
LOWER LIP DEPRESSOR MUSCLES
The platysma is a thin, superficial muscle on each side of the neck arising from the upper part of the shoulders, partly covering the pectoralis major and the deltoid muscles and inserts into the mouth and chin area. The platysma pulls the lower lip and corner of the mouth sideways and downwards. When all the muscle fibers of the platysma work to their maximum, this muscle effectively increases the diameter of the neck as might be seen during intense breathing of an athlete sprinting/ often missed and foundationally important!!!