Most of us in the movement and even therapy based fields do not pay attention to the face.
This is a pretty big gap considering there are 43 muscles in your face. Have you ever wondered why this is the case?
Face exercises are not very sexy, and also while not glamorous, they carry an intense emotional charge, because to work with the face in its full capacity is to work with emotions, as there is no way around it. The muscles in the face are muscles of emotional expression.
The thing here though is that the face is also an intensely social part of us as well. It’s one of our primary modes of connection with humans.
The muscles of the face can and do become chronically tight, lax or shut off entirely. Then, because we use the face for emotional and social expression, this tightness is basically the mask we put on. The mask can either be something we present or something we use to hide. But the truth is there. To take off the mask is to open ourselves to a broader range of feeling and expression.
Whether it is a chronic emotional pattern cemented on your face, pulling the rest of your feeling system with it, or a cover, the face is HUGE.
This work was really tough for me at first, and its also been really helpful. See, I was not always the most expressive person and was quite socially awkward at times in the past, but most people would not know it these days, and while I cannot credit that purely to face work, it has played a critical role.
How would your life change if you were more expressive and had a broader range of feeling states?
Breaking social norms and expectations can be so fucking freeing….its great. We can get so stuck in acceptable formats and habitual modes of feeling that we lose a sense of who we really are in any given moment.
Breaking out of this trap is one of the most useful aspects of movement practice, and it pains me that this power is rarely worked with, in favor of just more acceptability.
So, as a small gesture in this direction of more freedom, I would like to offer you this free Mini-Class on exercises to remove the armor of the face: