タグ: マインドフルフェイス

Mindful Face – Will (Mind)

前回、人が持つ3つの力 〜 氣力(心)、免疫力(体)、思考力(脳)について書きましたが、今回はその中から氣力(心)について少し詳しく話したいと思います。

顔面神経麻痺のリハビリを通して、そして最近の社会状況をも通してよく思うのですが、どんな時でも以下に柔軟な心を持てるか、がとても大切な氣がします。

顔面神経麻痺発症直後は、医者は必ずステロイドと抗生物質による薬物治療しか治療法はないと言います。薬物治療が終わると、あとは自然治癒しかありません。それでも元に戻らなかったら外的手術と言う選択を提案されます。これが、一般的な顔面神経麻痺の治療のロードマップなのです。

このロードマップは自分が望んでいるものなのか?この問いにこそ、自分の氣力(心)が示す答えがあり、人様々な完治への道筋があるのだと思います。私はどんな事でも悔いなくやり尽くしたいタイプなので、「こんな治療法が効くのでは?」と聞いたり調べたりしたものを一つ一つ試してみました。毎日のセルフマッサージと温熱治療で巡りをよくして、筋肉をリラック状態に保つよう心がけました。食事療法はもちろん、筋肉や神経の再生に良さげなサプリや食事も積極的に取り入れました。その他に、サウンドセラピー、呼吸法、ハーブ療法、ホメオパシス、アロマセラピー等、とにかく沢山試したので何が一番効いたかは定かではないですが(笑)、どれも自分の心に心地良いもの、やっていて楽しく、長く続けられそうなものを選ぶようにしていました。

専門医の意見も聞きたかったので、顔面神経麻痺専門医の元、マッサージ法や心と脳のトレーニングを受け始めました。その当時、「鍼灸は効かないし良くない」と指摘されていたので、何となく敬遠していました。

7ヶ月経過し、顔の調子も7割ほど戻って来た頃、もっとブーストをかけたいと思い、丁度日本に一時帰国していた事もあり、自分の心がふと「鍼灸を試したい」と思うようになりました。時間の許される限り通った鍼治療は、想像以上に効果があり、私の頑固に固まった筋肉の凝りを、今までとは違う感覚でゆっくり解してくれるような実感がありました。カナダに戻ってからも続けようと、最初に受診した鍼灸の先生は残念ながら外れ…。ちょっと症状が悪化してしまったのと、治療自体を「怖い」と感じてしまったのです。諦めずに直ぐに新しい先生を探し、セコンドトライ!きめ細かい鍼灸に治療をしてくださる信頼できる先生に巡り会え、週1で通うのが楽しみになりました。

結局、何が良いのか悪いのかは自分が決める事なのです。ただ敷かれたロードマップを歩むのではなく、納得しているのか常に自分の心に問いかけながら治療の道を歩む事。そしてどこまで自分は進みたいのか、これも氣力(心)次第と思うのです。決まりごとを定めと受け入れず、自分の心の向く方向にふわりと動いてみることが完治への1番の近道なのではと思います。

注)これはRHSに対する専門的医療知識を提供するものではありせん。あくまでも個人的な経験を通して感じた事や学んだ事として参考にして頂ければ幸いです。

[IN ENGLISH]

In the previous Mindful Face Journal, I talked about will(mind), immunity (body), and thought (brain) as the three powers that we, all human beings, possess. I would like to share more about will (mind) today.

When I look back to my days of facial palsy rehabilitation and the current world as it is now, I feel more than ever that the flexibility of my will (mind) power has been a significant factor in my recovery.  You are expected to immediately start treatment with steroids and antibiotics once you are diagnosed with facial palsy. After that is over, you just sit back, relax, and let nature take its course.  If there are lingering symptoms then surgery may be performed. This is usually the roadmap guided by a general doctor for facial palsy patients.

I questioned at every point of this roadmap if it was something that I truly wanted to put myself through. I let my mind answer that question and let it guide me to a new path to my recovery. I am the kind of person who wants to live without any regret.  I feel like I have tried everything that would be effective or beneficial to my facial palsy condition. Self massage and heating therapy have been my daily routine to ensure good circulation to keep my facial muscles and nerves relaxed.  There are so many modalities that I have incorporated into my lifestyle like food therapy, superfood supplements, sound therapy, breathing exercise, herb therapy, homeopathy, aromatherapy, and so many others.  Although I did not necessarily know which therapy would work best for me, I always made sure to choose one that my mind felt at ease and joyful so that I would stick to it for a long period of time.

I made sure that I incorporated a professional’s opinion in my treatment plan too, so I had regular sessions with my facial palsy specialist to learn alternative ways of facial massage and mind and brain retraining. During that time, I remember that acupuncture was not recommended.  Rather, I was told it would do more harm than good, so I stayed away from that particular modality.

My facial palsy condition had gotten much better at about the 7 month mark.  I distinctly remember wanting to boost my recovery at that time and my mind told me it was the right moment to try acupuncture. I tried acupuncture on my face for the first time on one of my visits to Japan. I was pleasantly surprised that the treatment eased the tensions from my face like no other therapies or exercises before. I was hooked! I was determined to continue with acupuncture treatment after coming back to Canada.  Unfortunately, I didn’t experience the same level of relief.  Not only did I feel that my condition worsened, but it made me fearful of booking future sessions.  I didn’t give up. My will (mind) stayed positive. I searched for another acupuncturist who ended up making a world of a difference.  Now, I look forward to my sessions again.

In the end, it was up to me to decide what worked and what didn’t work for me. I feel that there is not just one road to recovery.  I found it important to frequently ask questions to my very own will (mind) and decide whether I was happy on the road that I was on and how far I was “will”ing to go.  I am certain that letting my mind be free and flexible has shown me roads that I never knew existed and gave me infinite trust in my recovery process. 

NOTE: This is not a professional recommendation on how to deal with RHS, rather it is my personal journey through this rare condition. Everyone can have different experience and I am happy to share mine.

Mindful Face – Appreciate the lucky things

顔面神経麻痺のリハビリの中で私にはラッキーな事がいくつもありました。

まず顔面麻痺専門医、Susan Rankin(スーザン・ランキン)さんが偶然にも近所のクリニックで働いていたお陰で、遠方に出向かなくても頻繁に通院することが出来ました。ラムゼイ・ハント症候群(RHS)発症後数ヶ月は、体力が落ち疲れ易かった為、近くに専門医がいたのはとても心強かったです。

そして、家族が100%のサポートをしてくれた事。毎回のリハビリセッションに必ず同行し、私の症状を自分の問題のように一緒に悩み、励まし、日々観察してくれた夫が常に隣にいてくれた事は、言うまでもなく最大のラッキーです。どんなに辛くても心細くても2人で一緒に歩めば怖くない。そんなかけがえのない心の支えが私を常に前向きにしてくれました。

また、メイクアップアーティストである私自身が自分を助けられた事。独自のリンパの流し方やマッサージの手加減など、表情筋の早期回復に大きく貢献してくれたと思います。右側半分が完全に動かない状態が1ヶ月以上続いたにも関わらず、幸い大きな歪みはなく筋肉の強張りも順調にほぐれて、「右の筋肉の方が左よりも柔らかいですね!」と日本でもカナダでも医師に褒められたほどでした。

毎朝毎晩のマッサージ。せっかく時間を費やすのであれば美肌作りも同時にしようとスキンケア効果の高いものを選ぶことで、リハビリの時間をお楽しみのセルフケアの時間にマインドチェンジすることも大切でした。

数々の美容オイルを試した中で、私のお気に入りとして定着したのは沖縄原産の月桃を使用した「Moon Peach(ムーンピーチ)」のサーキュレイトオイル。月桃はポリフェノール、ミネラルが豊富で、コラーゲン生成を促進する成分もあり美肌効果やエイジングケアはもちろん、鎮痛作用、抗炎症作用、筋肉痛の緩和、などの効果も期待出来ます。独特なグリーンの香りにも癒され、マッサージ中「ふぅ〜〜」とストレスや緊張を和らげてくれました。夜のマッサージには高い抗酸化作用と血行促進作用があるビタミンEオイルを数滴混ぜて、より効果的に肌を揉みほぐしました。(ビタミンEオイルは日光に弱いので、夜の使用をお勧めします。)お陰でフェイスラインは以前よりスッキリ、シミソバカスも薄れて、肌もモチモチをキープしています!

少し痛みや強張りが強く出た時は、カナダ先住民の民間療法でも知られるデビルズクラブの軟膏をつけることもありました。筋肉の深い部分にまで浸透しリウマチに効果があると言うこの薬草は、筋肉痛や関節痛の軽減、肌荒れにも役立つそうです。

また、この頃は外出時は勿論の事、家にいる時も珍しくメイクを心掛けていました。少しでも鏡に映る自分の顔を見栄え良くしたいと言う気持ちとイメージトレーニングの意味もあり、左右対称に見える様にバランスメイクを施していました。繊細な目元にはなるべくナチュラルな商品を選び、余計な刺激を与えないよう心掛けていました。腫れぼったかった右目には、ビューラーやマスカラを使用しない。その代わりにアイライナー、アイラッシュグルー、そしてアイブロウライナーの3セットはバランスメイクの必需品でした。あとはチークをワザと左右違う位置にフワッと載せたら均等な顔の出来上がり!

こんな事をしているうちに、メイクアップアーティストとして同じような症状で困っている人を少しでも助けられるのではないか、そんな気持ちが芽生えて来たのでした。この「Mindful Face」のジャーナルもその1つです。どんなに辛い時期でもその中に小さなラッキーを見つけることは、大きなポシティブチェンジの流れに変わって行くのだと、そう信じています。

注)これはRHSに対する専門的医療知識を提供するものではありせん。あくまでも個人的な経験を通して感じた事や学んだ事として参考にして頂ければ幸いです。

[ IN ENGLISH ]

I would like to share the many lucky things I experienced during my facial palsy rehabilitation. 

First, Sunsan Rankin, a facial palsy specialist, worked right in my neighbourhood.  Regular visits were required, especially at the onset of my condition.  Ramsey Hunt Syndrome (RHS) made me feel physically tired, so being in close proximity to her office reduced my travel burden and reserved my energy needed for healing.  

Second, I had (and still have) full and complete support from my family.  I cannot stress enough that this was the most luckiest thing of all; My husband was by my side every single step of this journey.  He worried, encouraged, and observed me as though facial palsy were his very own issue.

Third, the techniques I have learned being a makeup artist contributed to the upward momentum of my physical and mental well-being.  I was lucky to have the knowledge and history of my professional work to help me personally through my recovery.  I would like to explain more about this here.  I feel that my steady facial expression recovery was thanks in part to knowing how to drain the lymph nodes and knowing the right touch and pressure to work the flow.  Luckily enough, my face stayed pretty symmetrical and my facial muscle tension loosened up fairly quickly despite my right side being completely immobile for over a month. My facial specialists in Japan and Canada even pointed out that my right side felt tender and in better shape than my unaffected left side!  I took advantage of my everyday facial massage and made it fun as my own self-care beauty time. After trying out several massage oils, I made sure that the products I used had both therapeutic as well as skincare properties.

I want to introduce some of the products that I have used (Note: There is no monetary endorsement that I have received in sharing this info.  I just love them and want to share!).  

One of my favorite massage oils has been the Moon Peach`s “Circulate Oil”.  Another name for Moon Peach is Shell Ginger.  It is a wild herb commonly grown in Okinawa, a Japanese  island in the South Pacific Ocean. It is known to be very high in polyphenols and minerals.  It supports collagen levels in your skin, so it is often used as an ingredient in anti-aging beauty products. Shell Ginger also has pain relief, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Its unique and earthy aroma felt very relaxing to my daily stress from facial palsy, too. At night, I liked to combine it with Vitamin E Oil to help the benefits penetrate deeper into my muscle tissues. Vitamin E Oil is known for its rich antioxidant properties and promoting good blood circulation.(I recommend to use Vitamin E Oil only at night as it is sensitive to sunlight.) With all the massaging I have done, I have the secondary benefits of firmer skin, less visible dark spots, and skin that is plump to the touch – very lucky me!

When my pain and tension were more uncomfortable than usual, I applied a Devil`s Club Balm.  This is a healing herb traditionally used by our Canadian First Nation’s as a natural health remedy to provide relief for arthritis, sore muscles, joint pain and various skin conditions. 

It was important for me to feel good but I also wanted my face to reflect the goodness I was feeling.  I usually reserved makeup for when I went out but I noticed I made the effort to wear makeup while I was at home during my rehabilitation. This was my attempt to “feel good AND look good” about the reflection in my mirror.   It was important for me to see my facial structures balanced for visual image training as well. My right eye felt quite puffy and sensitive for a long period of time, so I preferred using clean and natural makeup products with no harsh chemicals.  I avoided using my eyelash curler and mascara. Instead, I creatively used the eyeliner pencil, eyelash glue, and eyebrow liner to balance my eyes.  I finished off my look with applying blush at different positions on the left and right cheek. Voila, that was enough to make my whole face look symmetrical!  I was so lucky to know the tricks of the trade.

The idea of helping others who are suffering from similar conditions came to light while I was going about my daily routine of facial massage and beauty care.  This “ Mindful Face” Journal has been a strong part of my own support system by being able to share and communicate my experiences.  I believe that when I can appreciate the little lucky things even during the toughest times, it can lead to big positive changes to my life.

NOTE: This is not a professional recommendation on how to deal with RHS, rather it is my personal journey through this rare condition. Everyone can have different experience and I am happy to share mine.

 

Mindful Face – Remember to Smile

「笑顔を取り戻したい」、「瞬きをしたい」。この2つの願いはRHS発症1ヶ月後にカナダで出会った顔面麻痺専門医、Susan Rankinさんから「何を一番に治したいですか?」と問われた時の私の答えでした。患者の数だけ症状があるように、私の症状も色々でした。顔の右側が完全麻痺していたので、笑顔を作ることはもちろん、瞬きや涙も出ません。右の口角は完全に閉まらず薄く開いている状態で、口に水を含むとプ~ッと漏れてしまい、うがいも困難でした。「パピプペポ」が上手く言えず、食事中も右顎の筋力がないのでモコモコと食べ物が口に溜まってしまう現象がありました。耳はボワボワと詰まった様な感覚かと思えば、聴覚が過敏になり小さな音でも爆音のごとく鳴り響き、耳栓なしでは外を歩けませんでした。麻痺は決して無感覚ではく、強ばりやつっ張り、痛みや強い違和感を伴うのです。右側全体おたふく風邪の様に腫れている感覚もあり、顔面打撲をした様な痛みが伴いました。細かい症状を挙げると尽きないですが、様々な困難な症状の中でも「笑顔」と「瞬き」が出来なかった事が私には一番辛かったのです。

「笑顔」は幸せや楽しい感情を表現するだけでなく、笑いそのものが自分の心を明るくしてくれます。思いっきり笑えない事がこんなにも心理的に重く辛い事だとRHSを通じて痛感しました。綺麗に笑えない自分の顔を鏡で見ては落ち込んだ日も多々ありました。もう2度と同じ笑顔を作れないのではと一瞬不安がよぎった時に、笑いある人生を過ごして来たとしても、もっともっと笑っておけば良かったと後悔しました。ムッとしている時間があったなら、何てもったいない事をしてしまったのだろうと、そんな気持ちになりました。行き交う人との何気ない笑顔の交わしも出来ない自分が、常に機嫌が悪い人に見られる様な気がして、マスクで口元を隠していたのもこの時期でした。

また、「瞬き」は無意識で最も力を要さない行為ですが、一般の成人で1分間に10~30回するそうです。これが出来なくなると、大きな大きな障害となります。眼球が常に乾くので30分に1回は目薬を差し、ほんの小さなホコリの侵入も防げません。風や紫外線に刺激され、PCや携帯のブルーライトにも疲労し傷つきやすくなります。右目を使わずに保護してみようと眼帯をトライしましたが、逆にバランス感覚が鈍りとても気持ち悪かったです。そして、健康な目は普通に使ってないと視力低下にも影響が出るらしく、室内ではダテめがね、外ではサングラスと言う保護スタイルが私の定番になりました。就寝時はテープで強制的に閉じる必要がありました。

普段の何気ない表情や動きで、体や心は守られ、バランスの良い状態に保たれていることに感謝する機会をRHSに与えられました。笑ったり、泣いたり、怒ったり、喋ったり、と日々の当たり前の営みは、自分の内側と外側は正に一心同体であると言う事実をとても分かりやすく実感させてくれました。

Susanさんが教えてくれた最初のリハビリの中で、「鏡を見ない」で表情を作るレッスンがありました。視覚に頼るよりも、頭の中でその表情に伴う「心情」を思い浮かべながら練習した方が、動き易くなるのだそうです。脳と体は必ずその時の心情と動作を覚えているから、そこへと自分自身をリンクしてあげるのです。心が笑えば顔は笑う。たとえ笑う機能が奪われても、その内なる笑みはその人が放つオーラとして滲み出てくるもの。

1ヶ月と11日が経った61日の土曜日。ふとした会話で笑う感情を放ったその時、右の口角と頬が同時に上に小さく動いた瞬間の感動を今でも忘れません。私の笑顔のかけらが少しづつ元に戻って来た瞬間でした。内側と外側のビューティーは固く結ばれ繋がっている。それを改めて確信した日でもありました。

注)これはRHSに対する専門的医療知識を提供するものではありせん。あくまでも個人的な経験を通して感じた事や学んだ事として参考にして頂ければ幸いです。

[ IN ENGLISH]

I want to have my smile back” and “I want to blink”.  Those were my top wishes after the onset of RHS.  A Vancouver facial specialist, Susan Rankin, asked me “what condition would you like to improve the most?” after dealing with RHS on my own in the first month. Everyone can experience different conditions and mine was full of variety. The right side of my face could neither smile nor blink, let alone shed a tear. The right corner of my lips was always slightly open so it was hard to keep fluids in. It was difficult to make out “P” sounds and I always had to push food out from my right cheek. My right ear felt like it was underwater but still very sensitive to noise. Any small sound felt ten times louder and caused thundering pain.  I had to wear an earplug whenever I was outside. I thought paralysis meant that it makes that area completely senseless or numb. Surprisingly for me, my paralysis felt stiff and tight with chronic pain and discomfort as if my face was swollen from a bad cold or bruised very badly.  Losing the ability to “smile” and “blink” was the hardest for me to handle.

A “smile” is an expression of happiness and pleasure.  The simple act of smiling, itself, can light up your mind. RHS has taught me that my face without a smile feels lonely, stressful and miserable. There were many days that I was disappointed to see “no smile” or “imperfect smile” from my reflection in the mirror. I was beginning to wonder if I would ever get my smile back.  If I had known that there would be a day that I wouldn’t be able to smile my life, I would have smiled and laughed much more than I ever did.  I would gladly exchange any of my moody faces I had with smiles now. Without a smile, I became very self conscious even when I tried to exchange casual greetings with people I met on the street.  I was very worried that everyone perceived me as a grumpy individual.  Those were the times that I started to cover my mouth with a mask to hide my insecurities.

A “blink” is something so effortless and unconscious that I never really paid attention to it. An average adult blinks around 10 to 30 times per minute. That is a lot of blinks in a day to not be aware of!  Having this small and precious blinking ability taken away from from me caused a lot of havoc. My right eye felt dry all the time, so I lived off of a preservative-free eye drop every 30 mins. It was vulnerable to lots of things like a small dust in the air, wind and sunlight. I tried wearing an eye patch to have full protection from all elements, but it worked the opposite way. I encountered a lot of discomfort and loss of balance by covering my “bad eye”.  That was when I learned that stopping the normal function of my eye can make it weaker. I eventually found a comfortable style of eye protection by wearing regular glasses indoors and sunglasses when I was outdoors.  I taped my eyelid before I went to bed too.

RHS gave me the opportunity to appreciate the small expressions and facial movements that had been keeping my mind and body in balance every single day. My daily smiling, crying, talking and even getting angry were all so natural and so normal to realize that they actually symbolized my mind and body working as one. During my first rehabilitation session, Susan taught me an important lesson on how to recover facial movements without looking at the mirror. She guided me to let my brain and body to think and bring in emotions while doing the facial movement exercise. I was linking myself to the time when I felt happy, angry, sad and excited, because my face remembers those movement linked to my emotions. When my mind smiles, my face smiles.  I felt that even if my face couldn’t fully smile, my face emitted the smiling aura from within me.  

Saturday June 1st was one month and eleven days after my RHS onset.  I will never forget that day.  It was the day that I clearly remember with overwhelming joy when the right corner of my lips and cheek spontaneously pushed up together.  It was a small but proud improvement of my smile while I was engaged in some happy conversation. That was the moment that my smile came back to me again. That was the moment that I could not be more convinced that the inner and outer beauty are connected together with an immensely strong bond.

NOTE: This is not a professional recommendation on how to deal with RHS, rather it is my personal journey through this rare condition. Everyone can have different experience and I am happy to share mine.