Facial Palsy DVD 2 – Management of Synkinesis – Massage

Massage is important to keep your face supple as your nerve recovers. Daily massage will help reduce the risk of stiffness, which could affect your movement and cause headaches. Normal facial movement is very gentle and graceful but stiff muscles cannot move gently or gracefully. Facial massage needs to be carried out daily using firm pressure with the pads of the fingers and small, slow, circular movements. Don’t let your fingers slide over the surface of your skin, they should remain still, whilst moving the muscles deeply in circles.
Try to stay relaxed as you massage your face, if it helps you can rest your elbows on a
table in front of you so your arms don’t get tired. We tend to massage both sides of the face for ease. Start working at the forehead and follow the movements on the screen. Notice that Trina is moving her hands to cover the whole forehead area so that no muscle gets missed out. You should spend 2 minutes massaging the forehead every day. When you are ready to move your hands to the temple area, massage here for at least 1 minute. Then, move to the cheek area. As this is a large area you may find it helpful to imagine 3 lines across your face and massage your way along these lines as shown on the screen. Remember to keep the massage firm and not miss any areas out. Spend at least 3 minutes covering the cheek area. Now massage the chin area. You may want to work from the outside in as seen on the screen and then finish by using one hand in the very centre of the chin. You should do at least 2 minutes in the chin area. Finally, massage the neck on the affected side, you need to cover the area between the jaw line and the collar bone so firstly do firm circles down from the chin to the collar bone, then down the middle of the neck to the collar bone, then down from under the
ear to the collar bone. Do at least 1 minute in each area.
You can’t really over-do facial massage. If your face feels particularly tight and
you want to do more sessions of massage each day then please do.

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