Massage & Bodywork

MAY | JUNE 2017

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C h e c k o u t A B M P 's l a t e s t n e w s a n d b l o g p o s t s . Av a i l a b l e a t w w w. a b m p . c o m . 45 FUNCTIONAL ANATOMY education Facial Muscles Rethinking Our Focus Areas During the Session By Christy Cael The facial muscles lie just under the skin and cover the anterior and lateral skull and mandible. This complex network of muscles performs a variety of functions, including moving the jaw, mouth, nostrils, eyelids, and scalp. They also create a wide array of facial expressions—raising your eyebrows, squinting your eyes, pursing your lips, and even wiggling your ears—and are subject to the same issues that affect other muscles, like hypertonicity, adhesions, and trigger points. In addition to the direct actions generated by the facial muscles, there is a well-established functional connection between the temporomandibular and craniocervical regions of the body. 1 This means that because facial muscles create movement and direct the positioning of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), they also influence posture and movements in the head and neck. Preprogrammed neurological commands coordinate movements of the jaw, head, and neck, making the health and proper function of one dependent on that of the others. Traumatic injuries and chronic conditions affecting one of these areas will also directly affect the others. Beyond the interconnectedness of the face, head, and neck, there are other unique neurological features of the facial region. When examining how much area within the brain is used to process sensory input and direct motor control of different regions of the body, the space dedicated to the face is relatively large. Both the hands and the face have high sensory importance, which

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