It’s not a secret that Parkinson’s fighters gradually put on a masked face. They usually develop reduced facial tone and movements of facial expressions. While not everyone will experience masking with their Parkinson’s, those who do may realize that they are blinking often and their stares are blank. Apart from such apparent problems, weakness in facial muscles may also cause motor problems like difficulty in swallowing and drooling of saliva.
Before this masked face is confused with your lack of interest in a conversation, keep your facial muscles supple and responsive with below mentioned facial exercises. These easy, ‘at home’ exercises will help you loosen the facial muscles and prevent them from getting tighter. It would be great if you could sit in front of the mirror while performing them. This will help you have a good visual feedback.
This exercise works on your Zygomatic muscles, helping you express positive emotions better. All you need to do is holding a broad smile on your face. You can adjust the number of repetition as per your current competency level. It is important to ensure that you are not overdoing it and over-tiring your face.
2. The closing of eyes
Make your Orbicularis Oculi muscles work by shutting your eyes as tightly as possible. By practicing and using muscles in eyes, you can help keep masking at bay.
3. Raising of eyebrows
This exercise works on your Occipitofrontalis Muscles to promote good blood supply from several arteries. Raise your eyebrows and make creases on your forehead to perform the exercise. Repeat at least 10 times.
4. Flaring of nostrils
Dilate your nose and push it upwards. Repeat this process 10 times to stretch your Nasalis muscles. Relax your face in between attempts.
5. Tongue movements in mouth
Open your mouth and move your tongue within the mouth around the teeth. This exercise can also help you manipulate food with the tongue and detect remains that are stuck in the cheeks after swallowing.
6. Lips pouting
Protrude your lips and hold the position. Retain the position as you count until 5. Repeat 10 times. The exercise works on the Orbicularis Oris muscle and helps you maintain facial harmony.
7. Jaw dropping
Pterygoids are the muscles that help in chewing. Jaw dropping strengthens these muscles. To perform the exercise, drop your jaw to open your mouth and make a small “O” with your lips. Keep repeating small “O” or big “O” as per your competency. It’s recommended to repeat it for 10 times.
This Blog is contributed by Dr. Deepak Kr. Nain. Deepak is LSVT BIG certified therapist who specializes in the field of rehabilitation. He possesses a clinical expertise in prescribing the best solutions to help people with neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Stroke, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS).