Want to look younger? Make faces

Sunday afternoon my husband and I found ourselves lying on our backs, rolling our heads from side to side while moving our tongues and eyes in the opposite direction.  We also pressed our fingertips in circles around our eye sockets and let our jaws go slack. All of this was part of what the instructor called a “Feldenkrais facial.”

I’ve written about Feldenkrais “awareness through movement” on this blog twice in the past, each time struggling to explain what constitutes Feldenkrais practice.  I know two activities that it’s not: yoga and stretching.  I’m only a little closer to knowing what it is.  I think its goal is to help us see the connections between small movements and the rest of our bodies, to realize that moving one part of our body, such as the neck, engages our spines,  shoulders, and  hips if we let it.  And the message is that we will move more efficiently if we involve more than a single muscle or joint in our actions.

The instructor’s husband took a “before” and “after” photo of each of us outside the classroom.  The purpose was to document any changes in our appearance after two hours of making faces.   Today I opened an email containing the pictures.  Hmmm.  We studied them carefully.  Which was my “before” and which my “after?”  I counted the same number of  wrinkles in both.  My face was shinier in one, but that seemed like a change in lighting more than a sip from the Fountain of Youth.  I decided I did look a little more relaxed in the one, but since I’ve retired I feel more relaxed, so the “after” face wasn’t a lot different from “before.” We then looked at my husband’s photo.  “You didn’t change at all,” I said.

“That’s because they sent me two copies of the same photo,” he replied, “and the problem is that I don’t know if this one was taken before or after the class.  But at least I don’t look any worse.”

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About stillalife

I retired June 30, 2010 after working for 40 years in the field of education and most recently doing school public relations/community outreach in a mid-size urban school district. I wrote for superintendents and school board members. Now I'm writing for me and I hope for you. In this blog, I offer my own views coupled with the latest research on how to preserve our physical and mental health as we age, delve into issues most of us over 50 can relate to like noticing wrinkles and forgetting where we left our keys, discuss the pros and cons of different ways to engage our minds and bodies after we leave the workplace, and throw in an occasional book review, all peppered with a touch of humor, irony, and just plain silliness.
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