Welcome back to the Healthy Life Podcast... today we’re going to deal with one of the easiest exercises to implement but most neglected... that of the face. One of the biggest challenges and yet most sought after things for a stroke survivor is to fit in... look normal. To not stand out! Let’s face it stroke is a challenging hideous disease that can affect even the most strikingly handsome or beautiful individuals and turn them into a drooping and contorted individual. My mother suffered from breast cancer but even after her surgery and mastectomy it wasn’t obvious. The day after I regained consciousness in ICU my stroke was apparent! The entire side of my face drooped and was unresponsive.
We want desperately after the stroke to sound and look normal. I once said that if I was unconscious and didn’t need to move or speak no one would know I had suffered a stroke but as soon as I was conscious, trying to move or speak the deficits were obvious. Several weeks after being transferred out of ICU to the medical floor, I was transferred to rehab my family visited. They were kind and everyone said I looked great... then I caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror and just cried! Either they were laying it in thick or I looked dead when I was in the in the ICU.
When I got home I started working on facial exercises. Something that was not a priority in the hospital or rehab. I can honestly tell you from a self confidence perspective I think it should be elevated to one of the highest levels because when you look good and normal you see yourself making progress. For that reason I will list 5 exercises that I consider critical.
These are the top 5 but I have many more. Let’s break them down.
Cow Chew The cow chew is like a cow chewing their cud. The jaw actually moves and rotates a bit as you open and close your mouth. This should be repeated for about 5 minutes daily.
The “Kiss” The “Kiss” is where you attempt to pucker up with an over accentuated kissing of “fish face” action. This is stimulating the orbital muscles that form a ring around the mouth. This too should be done daily for 5 minutes.
Cheek Sucking Cheek sucking is tightening the check muscles and creating a concave like look to your cheeks. alternating between tightening and relaxing these muscles.
Playing a kazoo.
Hold the kazoo horizontally. Unlike a larger instrument such as a clarinet, you can use one hand to hold your kazoo.
Hum into the kazoo.
Create pitch with your humming. The kazoo has no frills so you create all of the pitches in a song with your mouth.
Train your ear. Because all the pitch in your kazoo playing comes from your mouth alone, you’ll want to practice hearing and recreating notes.
Smile Finally we can focus on the simplest exercise... that of smiling. This exercise is done by over exaggerating the act of smiling. This too works the facial muscles and is the one thing we really want to be able to do. With the exception of the kazoo you can alternate the other exercises going from one to another for approximately 20 minutes total. These re great early exercises and once muscle strength returns they diminish in importance.
Well...Thanks so much for joining me as we learned about “facial” exercises, the need for them and what to do... and what we can do to successfully combat it.... Remember to visit the stroke.global web site often and give us feedback!... I also hope you’ll join us tomorrow! As always it’s an honor and a pleasure sharing today.... thank you! I pray that you’ve enjoyed this podcast... we keep it brief so it’s easy to add to your day... we are on iTunes and Google Play and have links to both on our stroke.global page... please subscribe it boosts us in the ratings and helps us in being able to continue these stroke survivor podcasts.
As always we want to thank our sponsor TCM Restoration for helping us by making this podcast possible. Check them out online at tcmrestoration.net
And thank you again for listening... Please feel free to share this podcast with others, offer your feedback and questions, and follow us online at our website stroke.global or on our Facebook page. Well... I look forward to learning more with you tomorrow... as we continue our adventure ...