You might be thinking that’s a strange question. Why should I? We all have a good idea of how to do exercises for our upper and lower body, but how much attention do we pay to exercising parts of the face and head? Facial and neck exercises not only help keep the wrinkles away as we age, but more importantly, they increase blood flow, strengthen muscles in the face and stimulate acupoints relating to the beginning and ending of certain qi organ meridians: stomach, small intestine, large intestine, urinary bladder, and gallbladder. The following exercises are great to practice in the early morning before you begin your day. Let’s begin with the eyebrows….
Eyebrows: Slowly knit and raise the eyebrows about 10 times.
Eyes: Close and open eyes 10 times, then rotate eyeballs in all directions with eyes closed, then open. Repeat each 10 times.
Cheeks: Quickly puff the cheeks 10 times.
Lips: Close the mouth and pout the lips 10 times.
Lower jaw: Move the jaw forward, backward and to both sides, with mouth open, 10 times. Grind the incisors 30 times.
Swallowing: Swallow about 10 times with the mouth closed to improve function of the throat muscles.
Tongue: Stick out the tongue 10 times with mouth slightly open. Then rotate the tongue 10 times with the mouth closed.
If you are lying down in bed, you can stop here. Otherwise sit up and follow with neck exercises.
Neck: Protrude the head forward and shrug shoulders 10 times to prevent a stiff neck. Incline the head forward with chin to chest. Then incline backward as far as possible. Do this movement slowly 8 times, inhaling backward and exhaling forward. Turn the head slowly all the way to the left, inhaling, then to the right, exhaling. Do this 8 times. Incline the head forward and slowly rotate left, backward and right. Bring back to a normal position then reverse direction. Repeat each 8 times total.
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