Posted on Nov 27, 2023, 6 p.m.
Globally people are looking for approaches to relieve stress and restlessness arising from daily life and uncertainties. While many look to self-care in the form of meditation or moving your body, at least one person is challenging people to try something new-ish: Face Yoga.
You can exercise your body, your chompers, and your mind, why not exercise your face as well?
“Many of us are staying home and it's a perfect time to quiet that busy mind because we often have lots of negative thoughts and that stresses us out,” Takastu explains to Yahoo Life. “What we can do to break that habit is practicing Face Yoga. And we do lots of warm-up poses because I really believe posture is so important because when you have a good posture, you feel good. And when you feel good, it shows on your face,” says Fumiko Takastu.
Takastu came up with her own version of face yoga after suffering from an accident that altered the appearance of her posture and face, forcing her to deal with trauma even after her immediate suffering was over.
“I couldn't smile. I couldn't look at myself in a mirror. It was too painful because I could not recognize myself,” she says. “And on top of that, I started seeing signs of aging, and I felt like I was trapped in my body because I was still young and healthy and fit but my face didn't show it.”
Takastu decided to try and start exercising the muscles in her face after reflecting on the positive value that it has on the body, and she quickly began to reap benefits “The mental and the physical practice to get the best version of yourself,” Takastu ultimately shares as the crux of the method. “The mental part is, you know, self-love and self-care and paying attention to your facial expressions, body posture. And the physical aspect is moving the face as a muscle, just like a body.”
Now Takastu is actively encouraging people to try doing the same, especially now during a time of constant anxiety that can impact people in a variety of ways, and she acknowledges that stress can even be accumulated while sleeping and it can be manifested in visible ways when it is least expected.
“When we are sleeping, we don’t know, but we are carrying that tension and stress. Especially if you go to bed with stressful thoughts, you go to bed and you’re sleeping with this,” Takastu says. “When you wake up in the morning, when you look tired, do the face poses so that you release the tension. And when you feel comfortable with your facial expressions, when you feel confident, people around you treat you accordingly.”
According to Takastu the daily practice of these stress-relieving and anti-aging poses can help people to see and feel an immeasurable difference in their overall well-being, and she recommends that people practice face yoga in the morning as well as in the night as stress accumulates.
“When you are able to isolate all the facial muscles, you feel like you own your face and you feel like, well, I can change my facial expressions. I can change my mood instantly because I know how to, so that's a super powerful tool people can have,” Takastu says. “That's why the Face Yoga method is not just an exercise, but it's a lifestyle.”
Science has been examining whether face yoga can actually help to make you look younger, and at least one proof of concept study published in JAMA Dermatology has yielded positive results:
"Now there is some evidence that facial exercises may improve facial appearance and reduce some visible signs of ageing," said lead author Murad Alam, a dermatologist from Northwestern University. "The exercises enlarge and strengthen the facial muscles, so the face becomes firmer and more toned and shaped like a younger face."
"But if muscle underneath becomes bigger, the skin has more stuffing underneath it and the firmer muscle appears to make the shape of the face more full," said senior author Emily Poon.
"Muscle growth is increasing the facial volume and counteracting the effects of age-related fat thinning and skin loosening."
While there is not a lot of evidence to support face yoga, this may be something worth thinking about the next time you are considering handing out hundreds of dollars on the latest fad in anti-aging skin care products, especially since this can be done for free.
Below we have listed some of the articles that we have previously posted on facial exercises, two of them even include descriptions of how to perform some of these exercises at home.
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement.
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