This past weekend when we were checking in before an IN TOUCH MEN INTRO workshop, Alan brought up the face. He expressed how in most of the Somatic sessions he’d received this area was often overlooked. In his explanation of this he questioningly expressed “maybe… it’s because in areas like the top of the head there are no muscles to explore…” MY MIND SHOUTED WHAAAAAAAT……. and our workshops focus was solidified.
I sense this area of the body may so often be overlooked in Somatic Therapies because of timing. I feel this is unfortunate being that the outer surface of musculature on the face is so closely linked to our bodies inner surface or energetic-being. I feel the inclusion of the face in our hands on work is crucial to our overall well being.
The seventh cranial nerve, the facial nerve, controls most of the 43 muscles in the face. This nerve exits the cerebral cortex and emerges from your skull just in front of your ears. It then splits into five primary branches: temporal, zygomatic, buccal, mandibular and cervical. This splitting allows it to reach different areas of the face enervating different muscles that allow the face to manifest expressions.
When we “make faces” we are transmitting information to the world around us. These expressions are designed to be read and interpreted by others. By contracting facial muscles we produce millions of different messages that provide cues to our emotional state, our short-term feelings about our immediate environment, our mental well-being, our personality and mood, as well as our physical health. We also transmit our confidence or lack there of... and our perceptions of what we receive from the other faces around us.
As we find ourselves daily in complex situations the musculature of our faces do as well. They are, like us, always busy working and always in need of attention, rest and balance.
This past weekend as we got to work, we gave ourselves time to feel how approaching this sensitive area was not only incredibly relaxing but also a doorway into a deeper level of communication between the giver and receiver of CONSCIOUS TOUCH.
As we melded with one another, allowing our healing energies a moment of play, we created space for this energy to expand and left the workshop ever so slightly healthier than when we arrived.