How Botox helped facial exercise
The idea of exercising the face has been around for a very long time – indeed some facial exercises can be found in yoga. It is likely that if the yogis were interested in aesthetics and not in the heavenly pursuits they would have figured this thing about long ago. But beauty has become a large part of who we are and how we have come to identify ourselves. The trouble with criticizing the idea of the maintenance of physical beauty – is that the more we look into it - the more we can see how closely it is connected to our overall health. And as ageing is the loss of beauty – so it is our health and wellbeing.
Since the subject of physical ageing is extremely complex – and more it is also a new science – there is still a lot we don’t know – or have observed and haven’t quite grasped the meaning of. In the meatime what people will want to do is to find a quick fix – to find a quick solution. The Botox treatment has emerged as one of the premier treatments in the fight against the ageing face. So has cosmetic surgery. But Botox has the advantage of being able to erase a wrinkle or lined area – without going through whole surgical procedure. Botox is largely a cosmetic treatment – where the toxin is injected into the facial muscle – which acts to freeze the movement of the facial muscles – so that facial muscle or group of muscles are unable to contract and pull the connecting skin into a wrinkle – and as simple as this for the next three months or so - when the muscle is unable to act on the skin - the skin will remain wrinkle free in this area.
The downside is that the face’s movement can appear frozen, because the facial muscles move as a unit, when one group does not take part in this movement it has the knock-on effect of interfering with the way the other facial muscles move, in effect hampering their movement. The upside is that no skin is removed and the face for the most part maintains its unaltered look.
Why Botox is an unwitting friend of the facial exercise field? Facial exercise has been built on the premise that underlying contractions in the facial muscles produce the wrinkles. And that loose facial muscles cause sagging. If we could somehow improve the condition of these facial muscles than we could improve the condition of the skin. But for years the overriding theory was that the skin wrinkled through usage – that over the years it became worn out and wrinkles occurred through the breakdown of parts which made up the skin - like collagen – and that the only thing that could deal with them were creams or surgery - remember? In fact you can still find those arguing this theory today.
What the Botox has done is to say wrinkles are not caused by the skin wearing out – they are produced by the contraction of the underlying muscle – that when you stop this contraction – then the connecting skin does not form into a wrinkle. The facial muscles are unique in that they have one connection to the skin and the other connection to the bone – and this way they differ from our body’s muscles in that these have a connection to bone on both sides. The aim of the body’s muscles are to move the bones – so when these muscles atrophy – then your overall posture changes or you say you have become unfit. But when your facial muscles lose their tone – since they have a connection to the skin – then you say you have aged.
At least Botox helped settle this! But what it does not settle is how to stop the contractions which cause the wrinkle – though it freezes the muscle – it cannot get the muscle to relax and to release its contraction – using its own muscle action.
This is where the field of facial exercise can and will take over – with a better understanding of how the facial muscles not only control the skin but also how they control the facial bones and ultimately position the head in a way that can alleviate facial ageing.
By Roxanne Hill Facial Exercise Developer
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